The Minnesota Vikings are taking on the Houston Texans in Week 16 with a ton of playoff implications on the line for the Purple People Eaters. There are also going to be plenty of fantasy owners hoping to bring home a championship with their hopes riding on their superstar RB, Adrian Peterson.
Peterson certainly hasn’t disappointed owners in 2012, running for a ridiculous 1,812 yards and 11 touchdowns on 289 attempts. He’s 293 yards away from Eric Dickerson’s 28-year-old single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards, and you can be sure that All Day is trying to break it.
This record chase is great for Vikings fans and even better for his fantasy owners, as the upcoming matchup against the Texans is going to be anything but easy for Peterson.
Houston possesses a stout run defense, which is ranked in the top five of the league and allows just over 93 yards per game. They have faced some elite RBs and conquered—a list that includes Maurice Jones-Drew (60 yards), Ray Rice (42 yards) and Matt Forte (39 yards).
While Peterson has been absolutely unstoppable as of late—rushing for over 200 yards in two of his last three outings—he has to keep going in order to average the 147 yards per contest needed to break the record.
It’s a good thing the Texans rush defense has petered off in their past two contests, giving up 124 yards to the Colts in Week 15 and 130 yards to the Patriots the Monday night prior—two teams not exactly known for their dangerous running games.
Considering how vulnerable that unit has looked recently, Peterson’s resurgence, his chance to break the record and Minnesota’s chance to earn a wild-card playoff spot in the NFC, we predict a monster game for the 27-year-old back.
When the Vikings travel to Houston on Sunday afternoon, we project Peterson to carry 26 times for 174 yards and two touchdowns. For PPR owners, expect an additional two catches for 12 yards.
Those are solid numbers that put Peterson well on pace to pass Dickerson and should help fantasy owners capture a championship, validating the faith they had in the RB coming off a devastating ACL injury in 2012.