The Loss of Teddy Bridgewater Could Lead to Adrian Peterson Fantasy Gains

(Photo by Bleacher Report)

With fans and media members going crazy over Teddy Bridgewater's torn ACL additionally causing the dislocation of his knee, forgotten in all of this is Adrian Peterson. With the exception of 2014, Peterson has been the team's MVP ever since 2010.

With the media's inexcusable tendency to overrate quarterbacks based on team victories, it is possible that it overstated the Minnesota Vikings' chances of going to the Super Bowl. The thinking was that they have a quarterback, “all that talent,” and great free agency acquisitions. 

What they forgot, however, was that Adrian Peterson only played one game in 2014, the only season where Bridgewater was an impactful quarterback. The team was 6-6 with him after it started 1-2 with Matt Cassel and lost a game with Christian Ponder. Much of Bridgewater's success came from the shotgun formation, and complementing him for it was Jerick McKinnon, then rookie running back out of Georgia Southern.

With Adrian Peterson's inability to run from that formation, the Vikings concentrate heavily on the I-formation and pro-style sets from under center, hence debilitating Bridgewater from taking a breakout second-year step.

Ultimately, the Vikings had done with Adrian Peterson with him always done over the past 47 games, hand it off to him. During that stretch, he has averaged 20.7 rushes per game and 5.0 yards per carry, and based on last year alone; one could make the argument that he was almost as worthy of winning the Most Valuable Player Award as Cam Newton.

With the third-year quarterback, Bridgewater, out for the season, nothing new will happen for Peterson as he will have to take the burden off his fellow quarterbacks, all of whom have been below the level of Brett Favre in 2009.

From 2012 till 2015, Peterson has averaged 118.1 scrimmage yards per game, 104.7 of which came on the ground. In 70% of the games he played, he scored at least one rushing touchdown and only fumbled in only 1.6 percent of his carries.

Nonetheless, we must emphasize about him missing 15 games in 2014 due to matters related to personal conduct. Still, missing that near season gave him extra freshness and made his production look even better it looks like he has produced over a three-year period.

In terms of fantasy football, you will be safe as his 2015 average (15.3) fell just short of his three-year average of 16.6, per Pro Football Reference. Please note that declines could happen as Peterson has had an average change in fantasy points per game of -0.43 for all seasons of at least twelve games. Except, there is a bright side to this. His average change in points is better in his last four near full seasons (-0.47) than his first four (-0.66). What is brighter is all of this is happening when we know that running backs get worse as they get older.