Old Blood Pumping in New Orleans

After another devastating injury, Adrian Peterson is leaving his longtime home of Minnesota, and headed down south to join the New Orleans Saints.  A lot of questions and controversy have surrounded Peterson in the last few years of his career.  These questions include: Can the man stay healthy?  Can he still produce at a super-star level at the age of 32 after another knee injury?  Will bad press and controversy come with him, or have his dark days finally passed? 

AP’s career is nothing short of spectacular with over 1,000 yards and double digit touchdowns in each season he played all 16 games.  Think what you want about AP, no one can deny he has been the most dominate running back in the game over the last decade. So, what can Peterson bring to The Big Easy?

It’s impossible to predict an injury in the NFL.  Injury prone players can have a safe year where they avoid missing time, while a healthy player who hasn’t missed a game, can tear an ACL untouched by any other player.  Given Adrian Peterson’s track record of being able to bounce back after an injury, or a season layoff, it is a no brainer to give him a chance to prove he can do it again.

As far as possible production from Peterson, we all remember the horrible ACL injury suffered at the end of the season in 2011, preventing him from playing the entire 2012 season.  We also all remember his return in 2013, nearly breaking the all-time NFL rushing record by racking up 2,097 yards with 12 touchdowns.  There is no doubt in my mind that Peterson is capable of coming back from an injury unscathed and able to run the ball like an elite player.

After his controversy in 2014, he returned in 2016 to run for 1,043 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Not quite the production that Peterson brought in the past, but still a solid season behind a struggling and below average Vikings offensive line.

Last season, the Saints had a very big gap in their pass-to-run ratio at 63% passing, compared to 37% rushing.  Looking into their past seasons, it is more of the same.  Quarterback Drew Brees keeps getting older, yet keeps getting improving too.  With his completion percentage since his tenure with the Saints hovering around 70% and passing yards never falling short of 4,400 yards, this is the guy in New Orleans, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  This is Drew Brees’ team and it will be that way until the day he retires.

Perhaps Peterson, in the twilight years of his career, has come to terms with being a huge threat on a team that attacks primarily through the air.  If Peterson is ok with a smaller role than he is used too, he should fit in well with the Saints, because between himself, Brees, and the ever improving Mark Ingram, his personal statistics are sure to suffer greatly.

From a fantasy perspective this can make drafting AP in the first round a very risky move.  Not knowing exactly the role he will play on the Saints offense, I would be leery of taking him in an early round of the draft…or ANY round of the draft for that matter.  Let him fall to some other jabroni in your league that is foolish enough to use a high round draft pick on AP. Let me just reiterate the same line from my previous article about LeGarrette Blount when it comes to AP, “forget this relic ever existed.

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