Adrian Peterson Is a Must-Own Fantasy Football Running Back During the Playoffs

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIIJanuary 4, 2013

Adrian Peterson has run for 409 yards against the Green Bay Packers this season.
Adrian Peterson has run for 409 yards against the Green Bay Packers this season.Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Unless you’re playing contrarian to the notion of securing the best running back in the NFL—and fantasy football—for your playoff fantasy roster, Adrian Peterson is worth whatever it takes to acquire his services in the fantasy realm.

There are three reasons why one might be reluctant to invest in Peterson this postseason: a prohibitive price in salary cap-type setups, the Minnesota Vikings’ chances to win against the Green Bay Packers on the road and Clay Matthews’ determination to hold the star rusher under 200 yards.

So…maybe there are two reasons.

Irrespective of matchup, Peterson is the most valuable running back in fantasy football. Minnesota has handed him the football 24 or more times in each of his last four games. Only once did he not respond with 150-plus rushing yards. Over the season’s last month—all four contests were Vikings victories—All Day totaled 114 carries for 651 yards and four touchdowns.

His matchup, though quite stingy toward running backs throughout the rest of the NFL, has not been a road block for Peterson this year. If anything, Green Bay has accented his dominance in the 2012 regular season. Two of his top three rushing performances came against the Packers defense: 210 yards in Week 13 and 199 yards in Week 17.

He also scored a touchdown in both games, almost as if Green Bay’s primary focus was not to prevent the MVP candidate from gashing its defense on a regular basis. That, of course, would be absolutely ridiculous.

For fantasy formats that reward keeping a player from week to week, Peterson’s upside is even greater. It’s a tall task to win a playoff game at Lambeau field, but if the Vikings can pull it off, they’ll have a date with the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC divisional round.

Atlanta’s run defense is far from elite. Again, matchup isn’t necessarily an important consideration with regard to a talented player as determined and accomplished as Peterson. But an especially favorable matchup certainly doesn’t hurt—especially in the playoffs, when any game could be a team’s last until September.

Peterson is just as good a bet as Arian Foster and the Houston Texans in terms of entrusting the fantasy RB to make it to the second round. Foster’s Texans are limping into the postseason with a home game this weekend. Minnesota, on the other hand, is surging and just beat the Packers less than a week prior to its playoff road matchup.

It would not be wise to simply write the Vikings off before they get a chance to do it again—which is why Peterson remains an elite fantasy option even in the postseason.


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