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Reasons Peterson is not the No.1 fantasy pick

Adrian Peterson was only the No.3 running back in fantasy scoring last season.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - While almost everyone, including me, seems to agree that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson should be the No.1 pick in this year's NFL fantasy drafts (RapidDraft ADP 1.4), I'm going to try and make an argument as to why he shouldn't be the top selection.

1) Peterson (279 points) was only the No.3 running back in fantasy scoring last season behind DeAngelo Williams (320 pts) and Michael Turner (301 pts).

2) When the Vikings failed to convince Brett Favre to play this season, it once again will force Peterson to run against eight-man fronts because no one is worried by Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels. A result of that defensive strategy was that Peterson's yards-per-carry dropped from 5.6 in 2007 to 4.8 last season as teams ganged up against the Vikings' only threat.

3) The Vikings' offensive line will be weaker in 2009 because six-time All-Pro center Matt Birk signed a three-year deal with Baltimore in the offseason.

4) Rookie first-round draft choice Percy Harvin (No.22) is going to steal a few carries from Peterson as he finds a home as an all-purpose scoring threat in Minnesota.

5) Peterson is a one-dimensional running back - he doesn't catch the ball. Over the past two seasons, Peterson has averaged just 20 receptions per year for 197 yards which drops his value in PPR leagues. The team will continue to throw the ball in other directions - to Chester Taylor (45-399-2) or to Harvin out of the backfield ( 2008 Florida statistics - 40 receptions for 644 yards, seven TDs and 70 rushes for 659 yards, 10 TDs).

6) In his last five years of playing football, Peterson has missed at least two games in three seasons. Whether he can play an entire 16-game schedule for a second consecutive year in doubtful, not just for Peterson, but for any heavily used running back.

For these reasons, you have to seriously question whether Peterson is your No.1 choice or whether you should look elsewhere.

Adrian Peterson Five-Year Statistics
YearTeamGmRuAttRuYdsAveTDRecRecYdsAveTD
2004Oklahoma1333919255.7155122.40
2005Oklahoma1122111045.0149505.50
2006Oklahoma718810125.4121013613.61
2007Minnesota1423813415.6121926814.11
2008Minnesota1636317604.810211256.00
Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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