LaDainian Tomlinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, a difference-making player, who at his peak defined an era of fantasy football when he was reliably and consistently the pinnacle of fantasy athletes. In today’s NFL the every-down, stud running back is more of a rarity than the ubiquitous committee approach which most teams employ. Even the most recent reliable stud Adrian Peterson is losing traction at this point in his career.
There were high hopes going into this season, with his transplant to New Orleans to share a backfield with downfield threat Drew Brees, but through two weeks Peterson’s role in the offense has been minimal and he’s been underwhelming with the opportunities he has been given. In two games, Peterson has only rushed 14 times for a disappointing 44 yards and zero catches. Peterson himself has been uncharacteristically vocal about wanting more touches, but the backfield in New Orleans is crowded and the offensive line is falling apart. Both Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara seem to be ahead of Peterson in snap counts and both have looked more impressive with their opportunities so far.
With Peterson not seeming to fit well with the New Orleans offense, there has been trade chatter. In spite of reports that New Orleans is not interested in dealing Peterson, fans and fantasy owners are less than thrilled about the last great superstar running back evolving into a seldom-used role player behind a porous offensive line. If we’re going to speculate over the day-to-day operations of NFL franchises, we might as well speculate wildly! These are the top five speculative destinations for an Adrian Peterson trade and resurgence.
Terrance West is a poor excuse for a feature back, but the Ravens don’t have a lot of other options. There are only three names on the Ravens’ depth chart at running back, which means that if anything injury related happens to West, Baltimore would feature a committee of Javorius Allen and Alex Collins. The Ravens could desperately use some more depth at running back and Peterson already knows that he plays well in purple.
LeSean McCoy is the reigning stud back in Buffalo, one of the few remaining offenses still featuring one 20+ carries a game superstar back. In spite of the Buffalo coaching staff’s faith in Shady, injuries have been an issue for McCoy when carrying the brunt of his team’s workload. Peterson would make a frighteningly efficient counterbalance to McCoy, Peterson running between the tackles and McCoy catching passes and exploiting outside rushing opportunities. Not to mention the headaches they could cause defensive coordinators running a split-back iteration of the wildcat with McCoy, Peterson and Tyrod Taylor all in the backfield.
Eddie Lacy is a disappointment and Jimmy Graham is injured again, things aren’t looking great for the Post-Lynch Seahawks offense. Thomas Rawls hasn’t done much to be proud of and though Chris Carson has looked very good so far, AP could provide a great veteran presence in that scattered backfield—not to mention complete the most formidable read-option tandem in football with Russell Wilson.
New York Giants
Not much has been going right for the New York offense so far, the offensive line has allowed Eli Manning to be abused by even base pass rushes and the running game has been nearly nonexistent (except for back-foot throws over blitzing linebackers into hasty screens) and they desperately need someone to rely on other than Eli. Brandon Marshall has been having his own problems fitting in with the Giants’ offense and might help fill a need in New Orleans until Willie Snead returns from suspension.
In week 1 the Cardinals lost their featured stud back and consensus number one fantasy football pick David Johnson for two to three months. They have been scrambling to cobble together a decent committee of ball carriers ever since. Re-signing Chris Johnson was the first step in trying to replenish their backfield, but with an overstocked defensive secondary, Arizona has the most disposable pieces to trade for a reliable superstar running back like Peterson.