When the Madman tells you Adrian Peterson is the Bane of our existence, we mean it quite literally. AP, All-Day, whatever you want to call the new Cardinals running back, he has caused the Madman grief repeatedly over the course of several years.
First, we declared him a huge bust in 2012, coming off a late-season ACL/MCL injury the year before. This was an injury that, at the time, had a track record for roughly a 12-month recovery. He returned in 2012, started Week 1, and proceeded to amass a league-leading 2,047 yards one of seven rushers in the history of the NFL to eclipse 2,000 yards. Plus, we declared he was unworthy of a third-round pick heading into that season. So, the Madman got a healthy serving of egg on the face.
So, maybe Peterson is a blind spot.
Certainly, based on his most recent work 1.9 yards per carry in three games last season with the Vikings, 81 yards on 27 carries in four games with the Saints this season, and his age, 32 (an age at which few RBs are productive, much less are reborn) we admit we were safely skeptical, even outright sarcastic, about a possible resurgence.
As a point of character: You are nothing if you cant admit when youre wrong.
We were wrong. AP looked phenomenal while gathering a shocking amount of volume in his first game with the Cardinals 134 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. But it goes beyond stats. The dude looked great. He had the cuts, the vision, the elusiveness. He had all the things we remember about the great Adrian Peterson from a few years ago.
Now, lets not go crazy. He had something to prove to the naysayers. He had a gameflow that worked heavily in his favor the Cardinals built a big lead early against the Buccaneers. And without extensive action over the past year-plus, it can be expected that he will tire later in the season.
But who cares! If you drafted him and kept him, suddenly you have a useable impact player. If you grabbed him off waivers at some point, you have found a cheap gem. And if somehow, some way, he still is available (which is unlikely), empty your free agent budget, use your precious waiver claim.
Heres a preview of what is to come: Next week, the Rams, who allow the second-most fantasy points to RBs (and that is before factoring in Week 6 which included a long TD run by Leonard Fournette). After a bye, the 49ers, who are third-worst against RBs.
Then it gets tougher, and like we said, we expect late-season regression. So ride him next week, sit on him through the bye, use him in Week 9, then trade him before your leagues deadline.
Yeah, we were wrong about his potential. But we have a better idea now of how to react to the bane of our existence.