Adrian Peterson was the No. 1 overall in many NFL Fantasy Football League Drafts this season. That comes as no great surprise, as he is still considered the most talented running back in the game today, even with emerging stars such as Lesean McCoy, Ray Rice and Arian Foster. While those three have proven to be better fantasy football running backs this season, it was Peterson who was more or less the consensus top pick entering the 2011 NFL season.
I just happened to be one of those people with this mindset, as I drafted Peterson with the first overall pick to the Stone Cold Bullsharks. Having been forced to make alternate arrangements to my lineup to hold on to the No. 1 seed entering the playoffs, such as acquiring Chris Johnson and Michael Turner while picking up Reggie Bush and Roy Helu earlier, I was excited to hear that Peterson was going to return this weekend against the New Orleans Saints with many leagues holding their semifinal playoff matchups during week 15 of the season.
Sure, I was concerned that Peterson was coming back for a terrible Minnesota Vikings team that had nothing left to really play for, unless they can see the Indianapolis Colts win two more games and then have the luxury of selecting Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. But that remains highly unlikely, so 2-12 was almost a foregone conclusion for the Vikes, regardless of whether or not Peterson played on Sunday.
But then Peterson said something that made me actually get excited about inserting him back into my starting lineup for my playoff matchup.
“It’s very important, especially for my fantasy team owners,” Peterson said with a smile. “They’ve been giving me a hard time.”
Well, 10 carries for 60 yards and no receptions and no touchdowns isn’t exactly something that your fantasy owners have been clamoring to see from a player they most likely used a top pick to draft for this season. Especially not in the playoffs.
I have to say that I completely respect Peterson, both as a player and a person. He is a class act all the way. But I’m not sure that he understand fantasy football to the extent that his owners may have hoped.
Either that, or his head coach Leslie Frazier is even more clueless than Many people believe.
Yes, the game was out of hand, and sure, playing your best player who admitted to only being at 85 percent is not the wisest decision. But if he said he was good enough to go, then don’t Vikings fans and fantasy owners have the right to see the most explosive player in the game play for at least the majority of the game?
Peterson’s nickname is “All-Day.” I guess he and I have different meanings of what all day should truly mean.
While the game was out of hand, Peterson still could have helped. After all, Toby Gerhart certainly put up solid numbers as his reserve, and in fantasy football, garbage time points still count for just as much as they do when the game is still in question. My opponent had McCoy, who busted that long touchdown toward the end in a blowout to score his third touchdown while going over the 100 yard mark. That was a killer.
And did I mention that I sat Turner and Bush to use Peterson, since he appeared that he was ready to unleash three weeks of pent up energy on Sunday? Turner had over 60 yards and a score, and I don’t even have to tell you about the monster game that Bush had as the Miami Dolphins rolled past the Buffalo Bills once again.
Thankfully, I am not bitter today. Yes, I kept uttering 10 carries for 60 yards yesterday, causing my poor wife to even further question my sanity (although by now, she must know that I’m bat crap crazy, especially when it comes to fantasy football playoff games).
But unlike many other owners who started Peterson this week, I was bailed out by Tony Romo and Calvin Johnson.
Oh, and the fact that my matchup was still completely up in the air while my opponent had the Baltimore Ravens defense against turnover prone Philip Rivers on Sunday night, watching the San Diego Chargers drop 34 points on one of the best units in the game clinched the win for me and another trip to our championship game next week.
Now, my 2-7 record in the finals not withstanding, I am unsure of whether or not to give Peterson a second chance.
After all, fool me once, shame on you.
But fool me twice…