Tue, Jul 26th 10:14am EDT
By Anthony Cervino
Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press is suggesting that 2016 could be RB Adrian Peterson's final season with the Minnesota Vikings due to his astronomical (for running backs) $18 million contract value for the 2017 campaign. (Source: The Pioneer Press)
Fantasy Impact: Although this report is pure skepticism, it garners debate as the running back position is tremendously undervalued in today's NFL. Adrian Peterson will receive $12 million in 2016 while his contract value skyrockets up to a whopping $18 million in 2017 for a rusher who will turn 32-years-old in March. In the upcoming fantasy football campaign, Peterson will likely finish in the top 10 in scoring if he remains healthy, but it could be his last big year production-wise in the league with age, as well as the wear and tear on his body, creeps up on the future Hall of Famer. Jerick McKinnon should be selected as Peterson's handcuff as he could see an increase in touches if the Vikings begin to prepare for the future.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter Matt Vensel reports that Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could see a decline in snaps. Backup RB Jerick McKinnon has “had a strong spring” and the Vikings are very interested in giving him more snaps. The Vikings also plan to run more plays out of the shotgun formation. For years, Peterson has struggled in the shotgun and has preferred running behind center. The Vikings may look to substitute Peterson when in the shotgun formation. (Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
Fantasy Impact: Even if Peterson does see a slight decline in snaps, he should still get enough snaps to be considered a "bell-cow back". Peterson is going into his tenth season but has shown very few signs of slowing down. With the recent four-game suspension of Le’Veon Bell, there are very few RBs that are safer options than Peterson. Peterson is the Vikings best player, they will adapt their system to fit his strengths, regardless of what they are saying now. Consider Peterson an RB1 and a first round draft pick going forward.
Peterson was also the no-doubt motor of the Vikings. Teddy Bridgewater ranked 22nd in total passing yards and 32nd in passing yards per game, while Peterson was first in rushing yards and averaged 92.8 rushing yards per game. He will again be needed next season to keep the offense going, but will probably continue to lose some work to Jerick McKinnon, who has been outstanding in limited work. But I almost see McKinnon's ability as a plus. The Vikings need offense to get them to the goal line, where much of Peterson's value comes from, and McKinnon adds a receiving dimension that Peterson just doesn't have.