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Player Spotlight: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings (1 Viewer)

Jason Wood

Zoo York
2013 Player Spotlight Series

One of Footballguys best assets is our message board community. The Shark Pool is, in our view, the best place on the internet to discuss, debate and analyze all things fantasy football. In what's become an annual tradition, the Player Spotlight series is a key part of the preseason efforts. As many of you know, we consider the Player Spotlight threads the permanent record for analyzing the fantasy prospects of the player in question. This year, we plan to publish more than 140 offensive spotlights covering the vast majority of expected skill position starters.

As always we will post a list of players to be discussed each week. Those threads will remain open for the entire preseason, and should be a central point to discuss expectations for the player in question.

Thread Topic: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Player Page Link: Adrian Peterson Player Page

Each article will include:

  • Detailed viewpoint from a Footballguys staff member
  • Links to thoughtful viewpoints from around the Web
  • FBG Projections

The Rules

In order for this thread to provide maximum value, we ask that you follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Focus commentary on the player (or players) in question, and your expectations for said player (or players)
  • Back up your expectations in whatever manner you deem appropriate; avoid posts that simply say "I hate him" or "He's the best"
  • Avoid redundancies or things like "good posting" ... this should be about incremental analysis or debate

While not a requirement, we strongly encourage you to provide your own projections for the player (players):

Projections should include:

  • For QBs: Attempts, Completions, Passing Yards, Passing TDs, Ints, Rush Attempts, Rush Yards, Rush TDs
  • For RBs: Rushes, Rushing Yards, Rush TDs, Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs
  • For WRs & TEs: Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs

Now let's get on with the conversation! We look forward to your contributions and let me offer a personal thanks in anticipation of the great debate and analysis.

80 views and no posts. Ok then. :bowtie:

When a player has as many nicknames as Adrian Peterson does. You know that guy is good.

All teams have averaged 31093plays over the last 11 years.

The Vikings last 3 seasons-

2012 1001plays 1083plays against 483pa 486ra 5.4ypc
2011 1007plays 1027plays against 510pa 448ra 5.2ypc
2010 982plays 977plays against 505pa 441ra 4.4ypc

As bad as 2011 was for the Vikings 2010 was actually worse. They ran less plays and opponents needed less plays to beat them, more running out of the clock.

The Vikings have stated that they want to pass the ball more effectively this season than last. Jennings is going to be the main catalyst behind the improvement along with Ponder, Wright and Rudolph all gaining valuable experience.

Hopefully Xavier Rhodes can make a big improvement to the Vikings pass defense. Like Harrison Smith did last season.

The Vikings defense faced 612 pass attempts in 2012. The addition of Floyd will help the already strong pass rush that could generate more sacks than last season with a healthy Jared Allen and better coverage.

The entire starting 5 offensive linemen from last season return again in 2013.

The Vikings gave up 32 sacks which is not bad but could be improved on if Ponder does get more comfortable with the protection. For the last 3 seasons the Vikings have averaged 5ypc rushing as a team. While QB scrambles does inflate this number somewhat in most cases that is not so with the Vikings. Ponder averaged 4.2ypc on his 60 runs. Harvin averaged 4.4 on his 22 Gerhart averaged 3.4ypc with his 50carries while Peterson had 6.0 on 348. In 2011 however this number was inflated by Harvin getting 6.6ypc on his 52 carries, Gerhart having 4.9 on his 109 as well as Ponder and Webb adding 50ra over 7ypc

The league averages 4.3ypc as a team. So the Vikings are clearly better than most teams at running the ball. This is not new. Adrian Peterson has a career 5ypc on 1754 attempts. This is not a fluke. Peterson averages 99.4 rushing yards a game.

With receiving yards that is 116yds/game. Peterson has scored .85 TD/game.

Peterson on per game averages has had 1865 combined yards and 13.6TD a year. The low looks like 1600yds the high was 2314yds. That is almost a 800yd variance.

There were a lot of things that happened for the Vikings in 2012 that I would call unlikely to be repeatable, or lucky. As much as I would like these things to happen again chances are they will not. The Vikings as a team was overall very healthy all season. From Petersons miraculous recovery to the Oline being able to play together for the most part all 16 games. I hope the Vikings can be as healthy in 2013, perhaps the #1 medical staff in the Nfl can keep the Vikings team a bit ahead of other teams in this regard but I would not be surprised if the Vikings have to face more injury issues at some point in 2013 than they did in 2012. That being said losing Percy Harvin was a challenge for the passing offense for awhile.

Another thing is Peterson had some really long runs in 2012. While Peterson may break just as many tackles in 2013 as he did last season, it is unlikely he will do so while as deep for those really long TD like the new record 82 yard TD and several other 50+ runs. The Vikings led the league runs of over 10 yards in 2012 with 64. Peterson had 61 of those. The 49ers had 59, NE and the Giants 58, WAS 57. Peterson had more 10yd runs than any team despite many of those teams getting the advantage of zone read looks and mobile QB like Kaep and RG3.

Where I got this information- http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/05/2012-nfl-stats-team-explosive-plays-produced-by-running-backs-fullbacks/ I think this would be interesting to take a deeper look at as well.

The Vikings had a lead for the 3rd longest amount of time for the season. They may not be able to keep the wind at their backs as often in 2013

On the flip side of this a improved passing game could lead to more overall plays. If the defense improves against the passing game that may create more offensive opportunities also. So I do expect the Vikings to open up the passing game and increase passing attempts, while still maintaining a similar workload for Peterson. As Frazier said at half time against the Bears which was essentially a playoff game "we are going to run it and then we are going to run it some more. Then when we think we have run it enough we will run some more."

This is not changing. I just think the passing offense will be more effective than last season which should lead to more 1st downs and TD over FGs.

Many RB recovering from ACL injury are better in the 2nd year after the surgury than the 1st. How could Peterson be better? I don't know, but what if he can?

Peterson improved in pass protection and as a receiver last season. This is an area that Peterson does have room to grow into still. Peterson has often been spelled on 3rd down by players such as Chester Taylor and more recently Harvin or Gerhardt This may be something that goes under the radar a bit because Peterson did not have very good yardage on his 40 catches last season, but he was in on more 3rd downs. He caught 40 in 2012 but only averaged 5.4ypc I think this shows ow focused defenses were on stoping Peterson to keep him to such a low average.

His 2nd lowest was in 2008 6ypc. With Favre Peterson averaged 10.1 and 9.5 ypc. In these seasons Peterson did not get as many rushing attempts as I think he should. 314 and 283 carry seasons with Favre. His career average is 8.6ypc as a receiver.

Based on Peterson's ypg he would get 1590yds rushing

I looked at each season Peterson played in at least 15 games for an approximation of the number of carries to expect him to get in 2013. 363+314+283+348 1308 average 327 a season in those 4 seasons. Peterson has a career average of 19.7 carries/game which would be 315.5 for a season.

All teams have averaged 31093plays over the last 11 years. This would be 971.65 plays/team. The last 3 seasons total plays averaged 31428plays which would be 982plays/team on average.

The Vikings last 3 seasons-

2012 1001plays 1083plays against 483pa 486ra 5.4ypc
2011 1007plays 1027plays against 510pa 448ra 5.2ypc
2010 982plays 977plays against 505pa 441ra 4.4ypc

The Vikings are in a division with explosive passing offenses of the Lions, Packers and the Bears with Cutler/Marshall and now Trestman. :hangover:

The Vikings are going to give up a lot of 1st downs just from trying to stop the big plays these offenses are capable of. The Vikings have had a terrible secondary for some time but there were significant improvements last season from the combination of Frazier and Williams being focused on the secondary as well as the addition of Harrison Smith at safety which was critical to the success of the secondary. The Vikings have tried to address the safety position many times with draft picks and free agents over the past decade or so but none of those attempts worked out. Smith did and the way the coverage functioned was much improved. Sanford the other safety made some mistakes (as did rookie Smith at times) but he is a very fast player who plays gunner on special teams very well also. He needs to improve in coverage but at least he can get there fast. Cook played most of last season and is in a contract year. Rookie Xavier Rhodes should step in as a starter opposite Cook and finish off the starting 4. Rhodes excells in press coverage which should allow the Vikings the option to blitz more. Robinson will not be able to replace Winfield but he did make some plays last year. Overall I consider the secondary improved enough that the Vikings may be able to cut down the opponent plays against them and give those plays back to the offense. If the defense can improve enough to limit the other team by being more effective on 3rd down and causing more turnovers that can give the offense more opportunity to add to this.

I could see the Vikings flipping the 2012 play numbers as their upside. I don't think the offense or defense will regress. For the most part this is a very young team. Many of the young players are still getting

So I see total offensive plays being 1000-1080 Ponder was sacked 32 times. I am not expecting this to go up with the entire offensive line coming back healthy. If Ponder improves as I expect him to I could see him getting this number under 30 perhaps giving a few more plays to the offense. Total plays expected 970-1050 490-550pa 480-520ra. The Vikings did have 519 rushing attempts in 2008. I do expect there to be more pass attempts than rushing attempts but it will be very balanced.

Ponder averages 3.3ra/game the last 2 seasons. Francis thinks he should run more.

I am not so sure because Ponder had 4.2ypc with 60ra last season compared with 7.8 on 28 the year before at 2.5 a game. So the floor would be 40 and 60 the high for Ponder. That leaves 420-440 carries left for the other players.

Based on last season Gerhart will likely get 50 carries in COP role but I can see Peterson being on the field on 3rd downs more often this year possibly. I do not think Gerhart will have much more than this unless Peterson misses significant time. That leaves 370-390 carries left for other players.

If Harvin would have been healthy all of last season he was on pace for 32 rushing attempts. Harvin did have 52ra in 2011 but I think that was at least in part due to games when Peterson was injured. This is an important part of the offense however. I see Patterson and Wright getting opportunities to run the ball and they will likely account for 20-40ra in this offense. That leaves 330-370 carries left for Peterson.

Peterson averaged 6ypc on 348carries last season. I do not expect him to maintain that high ypc with that level of workload. Petersons career average is 5ypc. This is really high compared to other RB who average about 4.3ypc. The lowest Peterson has averaged is 4.4ypc. I am going to put this range at 4.6-5.4 based on his 5ypc career average. Just out of curiosity I matched Petersons career high carries and ypc which would mean he would rush for 2178 yards. There is so much variance here I decided I might as well just tack that on for the upside.

The low for receptions for Peterson is around 24. I do not think the 1st 2 seasons with Peterson giving up 3rd downs to Chester Taylor or Ponders rookie season where he was injured as good data for what is likely to happen in 2013 as the other 3 seasons for Peterson. He had 36,40 and 43 catches respectively. I saw improvement from Peterson in pass protection but the yards/catch have been poor because of all the attention he gets and in part because of Ponder not making the defense worry about anyone else. 7.7 and 5.4 ypc with Ponder last 2 seasons.

There is a lot of room for improvement in this regard as Peterson does average 8.6ypc for his career. I think the key to this is Ponder and Jennings creating that threat which will allow Peterson to get some opportunities on 3rd downs. So I project 36-48 catches for Peterson in 2013. I do not expect defenses to be taking their eye off of Peterson as a receiver though so 8ypc is what I would expect but it could be as bad as 6ypc like the last 2 seasons with Ponder who certainly is no Favre. That would be 288-384yds 1-3TD

To sum up I project Peterson to have 1518-2178 rushing yards 13-18TD. 36-48 catches 216-384yds receiving 1-3TD.
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Since Biabreakable pretty much covered every thing, I guess I will just point out that the link in Mr. Jason Woods post to the Adrian Peterson Profile page is actually a link to the former Chicago Bears running back Adrian Petersons' Profile Page.


I hardly think I covered every thing and I am sure I got things wrong as well.

Potential pitfalls I see are

Greg Jennings misses playing time with injury the passing offense may regress to something similar to what it was without Harvin. I could see the team leaning more on Peterson while Jennings is out as well though. Just maybe not doing as well as with Jennings making the defense play the whole field more.

Injury to Ponder. I think Cassell can be servicable for a game or 2 and I would expect the team to lean more on Peterson for those games as well. If he had to play half the season I think teams would cause Cassell more problems after some tape on him in real games with the offense. This still might mean a lot of action for AD but lower effectiveness. There is a chance Cassell could play well also.

Ponder does not improve. In this scenario I actually see Peterson doing something similar to what he did last season or worse. While the Vikings certainly plan to have a improved passing offense, if Ponder goes in the tank again Peterson will get a heavier workload.

All of these pitfalls lead me to thinking they would lean on Peterson more at a loss of yards/touch. Especially in the passing game as Petersons yards/catch have been horrid with Ponder. Perhaps Cassell would do a better job with this. The main concern is injury, otherwise even a disappointing season will likely be top 5. Hard to ask more than that.

In 2014-15 I will not be as optimistic about Peterson as I am today because Peterson will be 29. I expect some decline when he hits age 29-30 from this peak he is at now. And then further decline in 2016-17 if he is still playing then. I do think that is possible because of Petersons passion for the game and seemingly fast healing process.

Peterson has said he wants to have a career like Walter Payton. To be a complete RB and play at a high level late into his career. I do think it is possible for Peterson to achieve that goal. Fran Tarkenton was saying Peterson was better than Jim Brown again recently. :hophead: But even Jim Brown has said he sees a lot of himself in the way Peterson plays. The fields are just much cleaner.
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It was a good read Bia, but is this type of projection really helpful?

To sum up I project Peterson to have 1518-2178 rushing yards
That's a huge amount of work to put in, to land on this. I realize there are tons of variables, but when this is the projection your huge amount of analysis spits out, don't you start to wonder if you're getting enough return from the process?

Well you could just post the median of this which for some players is an easier thing to do. Personally I like to know the upside and the downside, while my expectation that the most likely outcome is somewhere in between.

As far as enough return? I am not sure if I understand your question.

I think he is the favorite to be the #1 RB, and I give him about a 25% chance to finish up as the top scoring RB in PPR.

He gets enough passing targets to get him 30+ catches with potential for about 50. He will also get 20 carries and I would expect 5 YPC or better, and double digit TDs. I mean, he IS the offense, and he IS the best RB in football.

300 points in PPR is my projection. Which is what, like 45 less than last year I think?? I can't even believe I am expecting LESS than last year even though he started the year slow coming off injury, but I am.

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Peterson is money in the bank.

You know that he's going to average at least 20 carries a game.

You know that he's likely to average at least 4.8 yards per carry.

You know that he's likely going to get at least 30 receptions (which helps overcome some of his disadvantage to Foster and Martin in PPR leagues)

You know that he's likely to score 13+ TDs.

And you absolutely know that Peterson is the most talented RB in the NFL.

What more can you ask for?

Sure, Ponder could regress and Jennings could be a bust.....which would hurt the MIN offense, but given the volume of work Peterson is going to get, it's highly unlikely that he falls outside the top 5RBs unless he gets injured.

IMO he's the undisputed #1RB in FF and should be the 1st pick in all formats, albeit in PPR he isn't that far ahead of the pack like he is in standard leagues.

330 car, 1650 rush yds, 14 TD

35 rec, 250 rec yds, 1 TD

I agree with Biabreakable's range of outcomes for rushing yards it's more likely skewed to the lower side. I would project Peterson's rushing yards the following way.

< 1500 10%

1500-1599 25%

1600-1699 30%

1700-1799 20%

1800-2000 15%

2000+ 5%

you can put him down for roughly 1400 rush yards and 12 TDs once again. he's going to come back to the pack this season ( won't approach 2k yards)..a very dependable first round pick.

Adrian Peterson sets date for breaking all-time rushing markPosted by: Dan Wiederer

Updated: July 28, 2013 - 12:37 PMOK. It's been well documented that Adrian Peterson was agitated that he fell 9 yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record a year ago. And in order to raise the bar for 2013, Peterson has announced a personal goal to chase a 2,500-yard season.

But that's not the only milestone the always motivated running back keeps in the back of his mind. Peterson also wants to some day leave the game as the NFL's all-time leading rusher, a record currently held by Emmitt Smith.

Peterson, with 8,849 yards, is approaching the halfway mark to Smith's 18,355-yard record. And last December, in our in-depth profile of Peterson as the Star Tribune Sportsman of the Year, we told A.D. that he was on pace to catch Smith in Week 4 of 2019. Peterson wouldn't accept the math, vowed to get the record sooner and promised to get back to us with his prognostication.

On Saturday, in an exclusive sitdown with the Star Tribune, we finally made Peterson do the math.

The full transcript of our discussion with Peterson will post online soon. And you won't want to miss his candid thoughts on a whole variety of topics, ranging from Robert Griffin III's ACL recovery to the trade of Percy Harvin to his suspicions of performance-enhancing drugs in the NFL to the lingering sting of the Vikings' NFC title game loss to New Orleans four seasons ago.

But here is the part of the exchange where Peterson, playing along in good spirits, finally delivered a projection on reaching Emmitt Smith.

[SIZE=10.5pt]Q Forget about Eric Dickerson’s record for a minute. Last December, we talked about Emmitt Smith’s record and I told you you were on pace to get there in Week 4 of 2019. You said sooner and promised to come back with a timetable. Emmitt had 18,355 yards. You’re now 9,506 away. We need a week and a year. When do you get there?[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]A Man. Oh boy. I have to do some calculations. I’ve been in the league seven years. I’m already right around [9,000]. Calculate it out … Let’s think. Maybe get a couple 2,000 yard seasons … I’ve got … Hmmm … 2017.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]Q What week in 2017?[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]A Man. I better go late. I’m already getting too far in front of myself. I’ll say Week 16. There it is. Week 16 in 2017. Whoo. That’s pushing it, huh? But hey, pushing it is the only way to do it. You know it.[/SIZE]

Just to break it down for you in full, that gives Peterson 79 games to amass the 9,506 yards he needs to reach Smith. That comes out to a per-game average of 120.3 yards per contest with the assumption that Peterson avoids injury and doesn't miss a game between now and Week 16 of 2017. Yes, it's pushing it indeed. But good fun to consider, right?


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