What is running back Adrian Peterson’s fantasy football outlook as he takes the reigns from Derrick Henry in Tennessee? With news coming down that Titans RB and league-leading rusher Henry will be out for a while with a foot injury, speculations began to mount about who will fill the void in the team’s ground game. It’s important to consider what this rushing attack in Tennessee might look like and if any of the options will be fantasy-viable.
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Derrick Henry’s injury could sideline him for the rest of the season
When Henry left yesterday’s game, he was seen working with trainers with his cleat off. He then returned to the game and finished the performance, logging a full workload of 28 carries.
Apparently, the injury was worse than originally expected. Henry has a Jones fracture in his foot and is having surgery to repair it on Tuesday morning. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the expected timeline for recovery is eight weeks.
Even if Henry can return for the NFL playoffs — should the Titans make it — it looks as though his season is over for fantasy football purposes.
The injury brings an end to one of the greatest stretches by a running back in NFL history. Henry compiled 3,175 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns in the last 25 consecutive games.
What should we expect from Adrian Peterson?
Head coach Mike Vrabel hinted today about how other teams use a committee approach to their rushing attack, which is horrible news for fantasy managers expecting someone to walk in and see a dominant workload as Henry saw. The current running back depth chart isn’t great in Tennessee. Henry is now out, and RB2 Darrynton Evans is on injured reserve.
After adding Peterson, Jeremy McNichols is currently the next man up, with Dontrelle Hilliard the only other option behind him. Even with the Peterson signing, it’s hard to imagine the Titans don’t add anyone else, especially given Peterson’s age (36). I wouldn’t be surprised to see them bring another RB into the fold, maybe even Todd Gurley.
How has Peterson done in recent years?
As recently as two years ago, the 36-year-old running back averaged 4.3 yards per carry with Washington. Peterson is, by all accounts, one of the greatest running backs of all time. Still, he is certainly past his prime. Nevertheless, he has shown an ability to churn out some yards in recent years.
It might seem uninspiring to rely on the veteran back, and I expect the workload to be split, but no team has run the ball more than Tennessee this year. In eight games, they have run the ball 260 times (32.5 per game).
Even if he splits carries and Ryan Tannehill drops back to pass more frequently, Peterson could still be in line for double-digit attempts and goal-line work, making him a capable flex — or even RB2 — option. That’s right, folks. Adrian Peterson is, once again, fantasy-viable.