Why Adrian Peterson Should Be the No. 1 Overall Pick in PPR Leagues!

William Del PilarContributor IJuly 28, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 4:   Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Wild Card playoff game on January 4,2009 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Fantasy owners are discriminating against Adrian Peterson by assuming he isn’t good enough to be No. 1 in point-per-reception leagues.

I can’t argue the fact he does not catch many passes, but I look at the overall No. 1 as someone who can produce consistently, is proven, and has upside. Finally, there are as few questions as possible about his ability to post top-tier fantasy points.

Peterson fits the bill.

Some Items of Note during My Research

  • Last year he played his first full 16-game season (17 counting the playoffs) since high school—a possible sign that his body is maturing and able to handle the week-in and week-out grind of the NFL. A doctor once told me the internal bodies of young men don’t finish developing until their mid-20s, give or take a couple of years. Peterson is 24.
  • He increased his yards per carry from 4.5 in September and October to 5.1 in November and December.
  • He scored six touchdowns from inside the 10-yard line, counting the playoffs.
  • He had 10 100-yard games. Four of them came in the final five weeks of the regular season.
  • He had fewer than 76 yards rushing just once (Week Five).

Some Negatives That Can be Positives

  • He did not have one red zone target (pass). However, that just means he has nowhere to go, but up. Remember, he wants to improve and be part of the passing game, and the team wants the same. Backup Chester Taylor is in the final year of his contract and could walk, so it’s imperative the team improve this facet of his game.
  • He had only 28 targets in 2007, but increased to 39 targets in 2008. He needs to learn how to catch but also more accurate quarterback play.

My Projections

  • Rush attempts: 325
  • Yards per attempt: 4.73
  • Rushing yards: 1,537*
  • Receptions: 25
  • Yards per catch: 10.45
  • Receiving yards: 261
  • Rushing touchdowns: 12
  • Receiving touchdowns: one
  • Fumbles: four

He Has the Upside To Approach 2,000 Yards

There is currently no other back in the league right now with the potential to approach 2,000 yards.

Peterson's one real negative that does concern me, is that he runs upright and is thus prone to more injuries. Some believe he looks for contact, but I don’t; I believe he will not avoid contact. Either way, that is the only legitimate concern I have.

Peterson would be my overall No. 1 pick regardless of the scoring format because he got stronger as the season wore on, and come playoff time, that’s what I want out of my fantasy back.

Is it a gamble in PPR leagues? Maybe for some, but not for me, because I don’t expect Matt Forte or Maurice Jones-Drew to see 60-plus receptions. Jones-Drew needs to prove he can do it every down, every game, and Forte needs to show he wasn’t a one-year wonder. As for Michael Turner, the team has already acknowledged they want to lessen his load.

What Are Your Thoughts? Agree or Disagree?

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