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Fantasy Football: Big Easy? Adrian Peterson to the Saints Would be Big Headache

There's a report that Adrian Peterson will sign with the Saints. Jamey Eisenberg says that would be a bad move for Peterson and Mark Ingram when it comes to their Fantasy value.

Editor's Note: This article first appeared on CBS Fantasy and was written by Jamey Eisenberg.

There was a time when adding a player like Adrian Peterson would make everyone excited, especially Fantasy owners. But that time has passed.

The NFL Network reported Monday that the Saints and Peterson are "closing in on a deal" that would pay him $3 million for this season. We'll see if it actually happens, but this could be a problem for Fantasy owners.

It's an odd fit for a team that already has a No. 1 running back in Mark Ingram, who is expected to remain the starter in New Orleans. And Peterson's skill set doesn't seem to fit with the Saints since he's limited as a receiver out of the backfield.

Peterson is also 32 and coming off a season in 2016 with Minnesota where he was limited to three games, mostly because of a torn meniscus in his right knee. He's not someone I plan on drafting in the majority of leagues.

http://www.scout.com/player/29643-adrian-peterson?s=532

He's one of the best running backs in NFL history, but we don't get Fantasy points for historical stats. While he was great in 2015 with 327 carries for 1,485 yards (4.5-yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns and 30 catches for 222 yards, it will be hard for him to get back to that level in a part-time role.

Even if Peterson manages to supplant Ingram as the starter, he still has to prove he can stay healthy and regain his form from two seasons ago with a new team at an advanced age. No thanks.

Most likely, the Saints are hoping Peterson can replace Tim Hightower as the No. 2 running back behind Ingram. Hightower, who signed as a free agent in San Francisco this offseason, had 133 carries for 548 yards (4.1-yards per carry) and four touchdowns and 22 catches for 200 yards and one touchdown for New Orleans last year.

That still left Ingram in the lead role with 205 carries for 1,043 yards (5.1-yards per carry) and six touchdowns and 46 catches for 319 yards and four touchdowns. Ingram finished as the No. 10 Fantasy running back in standard leagues, and he's been good for Fantasy owners in each of the past three seasons. 

He was the No. 15 running back in standard formats in 2015 and 2014, and he's averaged at least 4.3-yards per carry in each of the past four years. And he has 96 receptions over the past two seasons, which is important in this offense and valuable to quarterback Drew Brees.

http://www.scout.com/player/98462-mark-ingram?s=532

We know Saints coach Sean Payton has clashed with Ingram in the past, including last year in Week 15 at Arizona when Ingram was taken off the field from a touchdown opportunity in favor of Hightower. That led to Ingram yelling at Payton, which was caught on camera.

The following week, a motivated Ingram had an amazing game with 18 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay, so hopefully he feels the same way now that Peterson could be added to the roster. Ingram is still the best Fantasy running back in New Orleans.

Before the news of Peterson signing with the Saints, Ingram was someone Fantasy owners were targeting in Round 3. His value is lower now, but not by much. I'll still draft Ingram in Round 4, and he's a steal if he's there in Round 5 or later.

Peterson should be considered a late-round pick, but let someone else in your league reach for him on Draft Day. He might be good in a part-time role. Or, most likely, he could look like a 32-year-old running back whose best days are behind him.

One fun note, however, is the Saints play at the Vikings in Week 1 on Monday night. That could lead to a feel-good moment for Peterson in his return home to play his former team. But we're not expecting many good moments for Peterson in 2017 if he does end up in New Orleans.


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