The next few reviews are running backs who will be sharing time this season. Right now, they are not expected to be the starting running back for their teams, but should still see a number of plays. As part of a dreaded "running back by committee" (RBBC), they are some of the most frustrating players in fantasy football.
The fact that Adrian Peterson (Minnesota, 7th overall) was drafted by the Vikings just breaks my fantasy football heart. Peterson was the consensus Best Running Back In The Draft, a guy that was expected to step right in as a premier rusher in the league. If he had been drafted by the Bills or the Packers, he would've been a Top 20 fantasy running back and the type of stud that can anchor a fantasy squad.
Instead.....sigh.....he was drafted by the Vikings. The same Vikings who needed a quarterback (but passed on Brady Quinn) and who needed a wide receiver (but passed on Dwayne Bowe and Robert Meachem) decided that they were going to with Tarvaris Jackson and Travis Taylor instead. So they drafted Peterson. Even though the Vikings already have a perfectly good fantasy running back in Chester Taylor. Well thank you very little Minnesota. I wish they had forgotten to bring the draft card up to the podium in time again.
Two's a crowd: Vikings Backup RB Adrian Peterson
Right now, Chester Taylor is number one on the Vikings depth chart and Peterson is going to be backing him up. That could change between now and your fantasy draft in any number of ways of course. Even if nothing changes, it doesn't mean a complete disaster for Peterson. Taylor seemed to wear out towards the end of the season, missing Week 14 and totaling only 118 yards in the final games. Peterson will see carries in every game.
Assuming the Vikings go with a running back by committee utilizing both Taylor and Peterson, Peterson should see between 12 and 18 carries per game and will probably get the short-yardage carries near the goal line. Laurence Maroney was in a similar situation last year sharing time with Corey Dillon and Maroney's totals are a good guide to how Peterson should do this season,. I expect about 800 yards and 8 touchdowns for Peterson in 2007. That would make Peterson a good #3 RB and a mid-to-late round pick depending on the size of your league. Yes, there's a huge upside if Taylor were to get hurt or traded, so you want to factor that into your draft plan. But don't draft Peterson based on the hype as if he were the sole running back in Minnesota. A lot of fantasy players will draft Peterson too early because of that possibility.