Fantasy Alert: Adrian Peterson Named Lions' RB1 over Johnson, Swift

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIISeptember 29, 2020

Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson (28) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions are making some notable changes ahead of Week 4 that will have major fantasy football implications. 

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell signaled to reporters on Tuesday that veteran Adrian Peterson will serve as the top running back on the depth chart and is likely to receive the bulk of snaps moving forward. The switch places Peterson ahead of Kerryon Johnson and rookie D'Andre Swift in what has been a committee approach.

Bevell said:

"It's not anything that those guys are or aren't doing. We're just trying to, again, accentuate their positives and put them in positions to be successful. You saw Swift. His plays were a little bit down. We want to keep those up and get him more involved. The one play he catches, he has a nice catch-and-run, looks fast, looks explosive. It's just continuing to manage those guys and putting them in the best situations."

Peterson rushed for 75 yards on 22 carries while hauling in one pass for 10 yards in a 26-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3.

The 35-year-old was released by the Washington Football Team on September 4 and signed with the Lions two days later. 

"I've told you, this guy is a freak of nature now. I don't know where that wall is or where he's going to hit it. The guy is always asking for more," said Bevell, who was Peterson's offensive coordinator in Minnesota at the start of his career. "He is in great shape. He takes care of his body. He does all those little things to set himself up for that success."

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Not even a month after receiving his playbook, Detroit seems ready to make the 35-year-old its lead back. That could be great news for fantasy managers in need of some running back depth. 

According to FantasyPros, Peterson is available in nearly half of all Yahoo leagues and more than 60 percent of ESPN leagues. But "depth" is the key word here. Peterson's not quite RB1 material for managers just yet. 

The seven-time All-Pro hasn't topped 100 yards rushing in any game this season, and the crowded nature of Detroit's depth chart means any slip-up in his game—or a notable development in Swift's game—could just as easily cost him the top spot. 

Peterson hasn't scored a touchdown in three weeks, either. 

He'll provide solid depth and may even work as a trade sweetener, but All Day shouldn't be considered a starter except in the deepest of leagues.