Adrian Peterson is reportedly set to sign with the Detroit Lions, and that’s bad news for fantasy football owners. D’Andre Swift was one of the first rookies off the board by ADP, and Kerryon Johnson was a sneaky-good start for the first few weeks of the season. With Peterson in town, let’s break down his fantasy value and how his presence affects D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson.
Adrian Peterson, D’Andre Swift, Kerryon Johnson Fantasy Football Fallout
Adrian Peterson Projection
Peterson is one of the best running backs to ever play the game, but he’s no longer capable of being anything more than a low-ceiling flex play. The one-time MVP was a 10th-round pick by ADP when he was in Washington and projected for over 200 carries. If you weren’t interested then, you shouldn’t be interested now.
At this point in his career, Peterson is one of those players that only exists to ruin the fantasy value of others. While he’s obviously not the player he once was, he’s still a solid running back and will steal early-down and goal line carries from Johnson and Swift. There is a silver lining here, however, as he’s not going to impact the passing work. Peterson hasn’t seen more than 26 targets since 2015, and that’s not about to change this year.
Ultimately, Peterson will probably see roughly 125-150 touches while splitting snaps with Johnson and Swift. This is obviously bad news for both of their fantasy outlooks, but which one is more affected by this signing?
Kerryon Johnson or D’Andre Swift
Even if Adrian Peterson wasn’t around, D’Andre Swift would not have been a featured part of this offense to begin the season. The rookie second-round pick suffered a leg injury in camp and only returned to practice less than a week ago.
Even under the best conditions, making the leap from college to the pros is hard to do. This becomes even harder without a preseason, and harder still when you miss over a week of practice with an injury. Head coach Matt Patricia already said that Swift will start the season on the bench and slowly get worked in as the season progressed. Adding Peterson shouldn’t dramatically affect his early-season production, although it puts a clear cap on his late-season upside.
Kerryon Johnson, meanwhile, goes from late-round steal to clear afterthought. Johnson was typically available in the ninth round of drafts and could’ve been a great value. At least in the early part of the season, he would’ve had complete control of his backfield on what should be a high-scoring team.
Adrian Peterson completely eliminates that upside. Chances are, Peterson and Johnson will split early-down work, while Johnson and Swift handle third-down duties. If you’re going to own anyone in this backfield, Kerryon Johnson is probably the guy to own at current ADP. After all, he’s the only one that projects to have a rushing and receiving role early in the year. However, the best course of action is probably to avoid this backfield altogether.
Embed from Getty Images