Adrian Peterson Injury: What Do Fantasy Football Owners Need to Know?

Andrea HangstFeatured Columnist IVNovember 21, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 30:  Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs for a nine yard touchdown in the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers October 30, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Vikings won 24 - 21. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Fantasy football owners of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson all let out a collective gasp on Sunday, as the perennial fantasy stud went down with a leg injury in the team's Week 11 contest against the Oakland Raiders that saw the star carted to the locker room.

Luckily, X-rays showed no broken bones. However, an MRI on Monday confirmed what had already been feared: Peterson has a Grade 1 high ankle sprain that will require him to wear a boot this week.

Though Peterson may be able to participate in light activity on Friday, he won't be nearly healthy enough to play in his team's Week 12 game against the Atlanta Falcons, leaving his fantasy owners in the lurch for at least one week.

However, Peterson's owners and fantasy GMs looking to capitalize on the back's injury shouldn't rush to add fellow Viking rusher Toby Gerhart.

The plodding Gerhart had just seven carries for 18 yards and a single seven-yard reception once he took over for the injured Peterson, and with the Falcons' top-three rush defense ahead, he won't help your fantasy team one bit.

Hopefully you've stashed away some injury insurance on your bench just in case your starting back fell injured; if that's the case, then you're all set in Week 12. However, if you didn't back up your back, then the waiver wire will have to suffice as the source of a replacement.

If you can nab him, the Detroit Lions' Kevin Smith, who rushed 16 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns and had four receptions for another 61 yards and a score against the Carolina Panthers, is the top waiver wire add of the week.

Other options include the Cleveland Browns' Chris Ogbonnaya, the Buffalo Bills' C.J. Spiller (starting back Fred Jackson has a "very, very sore" calf bruise"), or the Green Bay Packers' Ryan Grant (as starter James Starks should miss time with what is being called a knee sprain).

With fantasy playoffs just a few short weeks away, losing such a valuable starter as Peterson at this most tense of times is certainly reason to worry. But with the right moves and trust in the fact he shouldn't miss much more than a week, your team should be just fine.