After tearing his ACL and MCL against the Washington Redskins last Christmas Eve, there have been mixed reports about when AP will take the field again. Of course, Peterson thinks he'll be ready for Week 1 and maybe even some training camp. Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman and the Minnesota front office are taking more of a "cautious optimism" approach. On the other extreme, there's even talk about placing Peterson on the PUP list, which means he would be unavailable for the first six weeks of the season.
As the 2012 season draws near, millions of fans are worried about their team. If AP doesn't return early in the season or if he isn't 100% when he does come back, their year could be doomed before it even starts. The level of success for a transcendent player like Peterson can make or break a team.
And I suppose Vikings fans are sort of concerned too.
Yes, it's July, and it's time to start thinking about America's favorite pastime--fantasy football. For the past several years, Peterson has been a no-brainer first round pick in every fantasy draft. It's a lot different this year, especially if you have him in a keeper league.
There are enough ifs surrounding AP to wear out the 'I' and 'F' keys on a laptop. If he plays in Week 1 does that mean he hurried back? If he returns right away will Toby Gerhart take away a lot of his carries? If he doesn't play for the first few weeks is he worth stashing away on your bench and hoping you survive without him? If someone else in your league has him do you trade for him early in the season while you can get a good deal?
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to any of those questions, and there probably won't be until right around (or after) draft time. Here's what some of the fantasy experts currently have to say:
- ESPN's Christopher Harris still has Peterson ranked 7th overall in his keeper rankings, but he's the 5th-ranked running back.
- FFToolBox.com has him as the 6th-ranked keeper RB.
- Yahoo! has AP at #18 on their player rankings.
- WalterFootball.com has him all the way down at 22nd--and that's just in their running back rankings!
For more on Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings, check out The Daily Norseman. More news and analysis on the NFL in general can be found at SB Nation's NFL hub.