If you were scorned by drafting Adrian Peterson last year, you were certainly not alone.
Any league in which he wasn’t drafted in the top five is not a league worth playing in. But the year off, along with the perceptions, should actually do your team more good than ever.
There’s probably at least one member who will refuse to draft him on principle alone. But you’re not the one signing his paychecks. He will sign yours, though, if you play in money leagues.
Minnesota also added the best run blocking tackle in the draft, T.J. Clemmings, and even with some concerns around a foot injury of his, it’s likely that he adds a whole lot of return to Peterson.
Peterson should be a top three back even if he falls short of expectations. But there’s another lesson to be learned there.
If you, like me, drafted him in the first round, you lost a whole lot after week two. But you had some help if you drafted running backs far more than any other position. It’s always been a philosophy of mine to take them early and often, and the reasoning is simple.
These men run into walls of big guys for a living, with little regard for their own safety. This, as we know, inevitably becomes recipe for injuries. It’s going to happen. There’s no way around it.
If I remember correctly, I took a running back in the first two rounds, a receiver (Keenan Allen) in the third, another receiver (DeSean Jackson) in the fourth, and more running backs in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Though I spent four of my first sixth picks on running backs, it didn’t end there. I added another four (the max in that league) through the draft, and didn’t miss nearly as much as I could have.
My 16th rounder wasn’t a kicker, it was Ahmad Bradshaw, who performed as a high-end RB2 through the season, especially in PPR leagues. Had I chosen a different route, my season would have ended quickly.
I had two RB2’s to stay afloat through the season: Bradshaw, and Lamar Miller, with Tre Mason and a few others to keep options available.
To be fair, I failed to make the playoffs in that league, a money league between friends, that pays $1,500 to the winner. I missed by one game, which Julio Jones was at fault. At least that’s what I tell myself.
My team outscored any other by a collective 180 points through three weeks — in the second playoff week, my team scored the highest of any team that season, 228 points, the next best scoring 164 points.
This is all due to an element of my draft strategy that I discuss in another article.