The Washington Redskins lost prized rookie Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL last week, leaving a gaping hole at running back. After trying out several veterans over the past few days, they decided to sign Adrian Peterson to a one-year deal. While Washington was publicly stating they were fine at the position, this signing makes it crystal clear that really wasn’t the case. The addition of Peterson is an interesting one and it affects a whole host of players in terms of their dynasty value. Let’s explore them one-by-one.
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There was a time where Peterson was the most feared player in fantasy football. Over his first eight seasons, he averaged 4,77 yards per carry and scored 99 rushing touchdowns for the Vikings, becoming one of the most dominant running backs of all-time. Over the last two seasons, however, his yards per carry has declined to just 3.11 and he’s scored just twice while bouncing around from Minnesota to New Orleans and finally to Arizona. In addition, his yards from scrimmage has decreased from 107.5 to just 52.2 in the process. While we saw some glimpses of the old Peterson last year as he posted two games of over 130 rushing yards, we also saw him clearly struggle by failing to record 30 yards in three games, despite averaging over 15 carries in each of those contests.
So, now what?
Peterson’s commitment to his own health has been legendary. Despite being 33, he’s reportedly in great shape and ready to contribute for a team with an offensive line clearly better than the one he ran behind in Arizona. In theory, he’s landed in a good situation to carve out short-term value and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him have some solid games. However, expecting vintage Peterson would likely be a mistake. The best guess at this point is Peterson will handle most early down work (unless someone beats him out or demands a time share) before giving way to Chris Thompson on passing downs. In short, he should be able to score a few touchdowns and have an occasional big game but I’d be selling hard if I had him on my roster and wasn’t a contending team – this will likely be your last chance to do just that as his ADP you see below is sure to rise a bit in the next couple of weeks. Peterson is worth a roster spot on a contending team as we see just how things will play out in Washington. Just remember, Father Time is still undefeated.
The addition of Peterson really shouldn’t affect Guice’s dynasty value. He’s sliding a touch because of the injury but there’s really little doubt he’s the future of the franchise at the position. If anything, this could be a great time to buy low on Guice.
If there’s a player whose value could be impacted by this the most, it’s likely Perine. He’s currently nursing an ankle injury that will keep him out a week or so but the signing of Peterson clearly shows the Redskins were not comfortable with Perine as their primary running back. After a mostly miserable rookie season that saw him fail to grab the position for himself, the drafting of Guice and now the signing of Peterson, you could say Perine’s dynasty value is hanging by a thread. He’d actually benefit from a trade at this point.
Thompson should still be the most effective running back for Washington in fantasy and reality next season. An underrated fantasy performer, Thompson simply makes the most of limited touches and seems to break a big play in nearly every game. Peterson doesn’t stand in the way of him returning to form and being a factor in dynasty leagues this year, as long as he’s truly healthy.
Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Byron Marshall, RBs WAS
Kelley was looking like a bit of a sleeper this year after dropping some weight and showing well in practice. I’ll be watching the Redskins news closely over the next few weeks as Kelley could still split early down work with Peterson. Still, having Peterson on the team is going to limit his sleeper appeal. As for Marshall, this signing is a tough break after he was already going to be down for the better part of the next month with an ankle injury. As of now, it’s become tougher to see a path to dynasty relevance for Marshall or Bibbs.
Orleans Darkwa and Jamaal Charles, RBs FA
There are inevitably going to be more running back injuries that could have a team look at signing one of these two. As of now, it looks like they’ll have to wait. Neither are good roster options in dynasty leagues at the moment. As a side note, can you imagine how good a team would have been with Charles and Peterson together back in 2012? Again, Father Time is just killing it.