Adrian Peterson has done essentially nothing to warrant a starting spot in your fantasy lineups for Week 6. In fact, the Washington Redskins RB was likely not rostered in the majority of leagues entering last weekend. However, a coaching change partnered up with a mouth-watering matchup has piqued the interest of fantasy football owners.
Has father time finally caught up to 34 year old running back? Or will a change in Washington’s offensive philosophy rejuvenate the future Hall of Famer? Let’s take a look.
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Adrian Peterson’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Miami Dolphins
Adrian Peterson, the one-time must-start fantasy stud, has been a shell of himself thus far in 2019. Peterson has averaged a putrid 2.7 yards per carry on 40 carries this season, a far cry from his 4.2 average just one season ago. Despite the loss of starting running back Derrius Guice, AP has not seen a drastic uptick in usage over the last month or so. In fact, Washington has practically abandoned the run altogether. Since Guice went down in Week 1, Peterson, the team’s current starting running back, has averaged just 10 carries a game, while pass catching back Chris Thompson has touted the rock an average of 4.25 times per game.
So why are we even having this discussion? Peterson shouldn’t be rostered, let alone in your starting lineup based on these numbers. However, we must examine Peterson’s fantasy outlook through a new lens following the Redskins firing of head coach Jay Gruden this past Monday.
Current Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan is now also the current interim head coach. What more could a running back ask for than having a head man with a true passion for the trenches calling the shots? Callahan doubled down on that previous notion this week with the call for a more dominant run game.
“I’d like to get our run game going, I think that’s important because everything else is complementary off it — the run action, passes and protections off of it complement your running game. If we can play two-down football and go from second down to first down, that would be huge.”
Callahan also touched on the importance of a running back of Peterson’s skill set to be involved early and often within the offense.
“I think a running back needs to get into a rhythm, and we’ve got to find a run rhythm.“ Callahan continued “I can’t guarantee or promise that’ll happen, but that’s the goal to find a rhythm where we can get these backs rolling and going.”
Apparently, Peterson is awfully excited about the prospect of seeing a larger workload this week.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m hyped about it. You look at the first four weeks I played, it was like 11, 12, 10, seven carries. It was totally the opposite of what we did last year when we were more successful as a team.”
Peterson certainly has a point, as he’s just one season removed from eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing mark while ranking within the top eight in rushing yards across the league.
Peterson may not recapture his magic from a season ago, but Week 6 vs. the Miami Dolphins would be the best place to give it a try. No defense has allowed more fantasy points to the running back position than the ‘Phins this season, with an absurd average of 35.83 points surrendered on a per-game basis. Interestingly enough, they’ve given up these numbers while allowing just one running back all year to eclipse more than three receptions in a given game. Great news for Peterson, who’s never been known as much of a threat out of the backfield throughout his career.
Should You Start or Sit Adrian Peterson in Week 6?
Callahan could be all talk and no action come game time, but I’m buying into what he’s selling. Peterson always takes a bump in PPR leagues, but in terms of standard scoring formats, I have Peterson entrenched as an RB3 on Sunday. However, don’t be surprised if he produces RB2-like numbers when all is said and done.