Adrian Peterson deserves respect for his playing career and deserves to end up in the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, however, we’re seeing the end of a great, storied career right before our eyes. Before being traded for a ham sandwich by the Saints to the Cardinals, he was unceremoniously dumped by the Vikings after getting hurt just three games into last season. He’s been up-and-down this season with the Cardinals and gets the Houston Texans this week. Should you slot him into your fantasy football lineups or wait an extra week to get him in there?
Adrian Peterson spent the first four games of the season getting just 29 touches total before the Cardinals gave him 26 touches in one game. It’s been a deluge of touches for the older-than-dirt running back, as the 26 touches aren’t even the most he’s gotten in a game this year (31 against the 49ers). Overall, he’s spent four games with the Saints and four games with the Cardinals. In his four games with the Cardinals, he’s averaged 24 carries per game. He totaled just three more than that in four games with the Saints. In short, he’s had a ton of opportunity to produce. His production, though? You can’t count on that. His only touchdown came in his first game with the Cardinals. His yardage total in his four Arizona games has been 134, wow! Then 33. Oh, no. Then 167 yards! That’s incredible! Then 42 yards. That’s rough. What makes matters worse is that he didn’t even get the goal line carry last Thursday against Seattle, that went to Andre Ellington.
It’s hard to figure out what Adrian Peterson will do, but he is capable of playing down to his competition. He had huge games against Tampa Bay and San Francisco, who are both in the top half in fantasy points allowed to running backs, but he also could barely get going against the #4 team against RBs (L.A. Rams). He was smashed in his one strong matchup this year. Seattle allows the fifth-fewest points to running backs, and he mustered just 42 yards against them. It’s safe to say at this point in his career, with Drew Stanton (or Blaine Gabbert) in front of him, he won’t be breaking through any matchups.
This week he gets a doozy of a matchup with the Texans. He’ll get plenty of volume, but the Texans allow the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year, allowing just.3.55 yards per carry and ceding only one rushing touchdown to RBs so far. Outside of two fluky Charcandrick West receiving touchdowns, only Todd Gurley, Leonard Fournette and Kareem Hunt mustered a double-digit fantasy day against them. There was a time where AP could be considered their echelon, but that time has passed. Pass on AP this weekend unless you are exceptionally desperate, given that he is a touchdown-dependent low-end RB2 at best.