Arian Foster vs. Adrian Peterson
My favorite fantasy football debate is who to take with the No. 1 pick. Last year it was Chris Johnson vs. Adrian Peterson. My personal favorite was back in 2005. That was the year it was between Shaun Alexander, LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson. Those guys were something special. Those days of 1,600-plus yards and 20-plus touchdowns for a running back are long gone.
Or are they?
This year presents a new challenge: Arian Foster vs. Adrian Peterson. Some may even argue for Chris Johnson and Ray Rice. A few homer Eagles fans could even push for the inclusion of LeSean McCoy in PPR leagues. Each year it seems a new back thrusts himself into the discussion and Foster certainly did that after his 2010 season. He put together 1,616 rushing yards, 66 receptions for 604 receiving yards and 18 total TDs. Huge numbers. But no back has led fantasy football in scoring for two consecutive seasons since LaDainian Tomlinson did it back in 2006 and 2007. Since then we’ve had DeAngelo Williams in 2008, Chris Johnson in 2009 and now Foster is looking to repeat.
Peterson, despite being the beast that he is, has always been the groomsman, never the groom. But does he deserve to be the No. 1 pick? Well that depends on how you look at it.
Foster has been battling a hush-hush hamstring injury all preseason. Will he play? Won’t he play? Tweets of MRIs. It’s been crazy. Fantasy owners scrambled to pick up Houston Texans backup RB Ben Tate. The full extent of the injury is still unknown but from my experience, where there is smoke, there is fire. Hamstring injuries flare up easy.
With the No. 1 pick, I want the most surefire player the NFL has to offer. Although injuries can happen to any running back in today’s game, regardless of potential durability issues, Peterson has proven to be very durable and very productive. He has four straight season with at least 1,609 total yards and 10 TDs. No other back offer anything like that. Sure, he could wear down. Heck, he may get injured before I hit submit and publish this article. That’s football.
Peterson does have his draw backs. Donovan McNabb is the quarterback and he’s not what he used to be. The Vikings don’t have much at receiver outside of Percy Harvin. There’s going to be a lot of pressure put on Peterson to perform. If McNabb can keep defenses honest, Peterson should cruise to yet another big year.
The bottom line though is that both players are a smart bet. Fantasy leagues aren’t won with first round picks so take the player you’re most comfortable with and build a championship squad around him.