Going into the 2014-15 NFL season, Adrian Peterson was guaranteed to be one of the top 5 picks in most Fantasy Football leagues. Adrian Peterson is the only running back in a long time who has been able to sustain an elite level of play for almost 7 years. There was a little skepticism about drafting Adrian Peterson over some other high-profile running backs because AP is now 29 years old and had a slightly down year last year compared to his 2012 season. In 2012, Adrian Peterson had one the greatest seasons of any NFL player ever by racking up 2,097 yards and averaging 6 yards per carry. It is hard not to take the risk of drafting a guy with such phenomenal capabilities as soon as possible.
Adrian Peterson started the 2014-15 NFL season to a pretty decent start, in ESPN’s Fantasy Football leagues he scored 11.3 points by rushing for a respectable 75 yards. AP was many Fantasy Football owners first overall pick and a few days after a decent performance the news broke of Adrian Peterson being arrested for child abuse. Now, this can be a very conflicting situation for many Fantasy Football owners because this is a heinous crime that AP is being charged with but the way the NFL has been mishandling such situations as of recent there was a chance AP wouldn’t be punished by the league. So, what priority: your morals or winning? It could be hard for some people to root for a man who abusive children just to fatten their pockets. Shortly after the reports came out, the Minnesota Vikings deactivated AP for week 2 but Fantasy Football owners had to fight the temptation of releasing Adrian Peterson from their teams because Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, had yet to give his judgment.
Week 3 was now approaching, still no word from Goodell and there were rumors of Adrian Peterson possibly playing against the New Orleans Saints. Those rumors were confirmed after the Vikings were annihilated by the New England Patriots and Vikings general manager, Rick Spielman, called a press conference announcing the reinstatement of Adrian Peterson to the team. Moments later, Vikings owner, Zygi Wilf released a statement on the Vikings’ website saying: “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support Adrian’s fulfillment of his legal responsibilities throughout this process”. Fantasy Football owners everywhere rejoiced!
Oh, but wait, what is more important to the Vikings: money or wins?
Sponsors started releasing statements left-and-right against the Vikings’ decision to reinstate Adrian Peterson with the team in the midst of these child abuse charges. Fantasy Football owners should have been running to the waiver wire because there was no way Adrian Peterson was playing now. Best case scenario you pick-up a Trent Richardson (I hope no one picked up Jonathan Dwyer during all of this). After two days of uproars by sponsors, fans, and Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton, the Minnesota Vikings put Adrian Peterson on the never-before-heard-of Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List. Being placed on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List removes AP from all team activities while he is being charged with child abuse.
This has almost been as much of a stressful couple of weeks for Fantasy Football owners as it has been embarrassing for the NFL. Fantasy Football owners are used to dealing with players battling injuries like: Doug Martin and Roddy White, but Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Jonathan Dwyer are bringing on a new type of stress and uncertainty. Fantasy Football owners could have been relieved of some stress if the NFL weren’t so hesitant on making decisions. I would be surprised if Roger Goodell lasts another year as commissioner of the NFL, but that’s a subject for another day.