Adrian Peterson is on his way to the Arizona Cardinals, so what’s the fantasy football fallout from the move?
It was easy to see Adrian Peterson turning out to be a bad fit with the New Orleans Saints. His lack of versatility put him clearly third in the running back pecking order behind Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, and rendered a once-elite running back useless to fantasy football owners.
So the idea of the Saints seriously looking to trade Peterson wasn’t surprising, and a move came to fruition Tuesday, when they sent him to the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional draft pick.
With some moving parts to consider, what’s the fantasy impact of Peterson going to Arizona?
Saints running backs
On the heels of his performance in Week 4, with 96 total yards (71 receiving), 10 catches and a receiving touchdown against the Dolphins in London, Kamara should have been a hot waiver wire addition even going into a Week 5 bye, and he’s owned in 68 percent of Yahoo! leagues and close to 61 percent of ESPN leagues right now.
His role has been prominent in the passing game, with 20 receptions on 28 targets, and Kamara is now in line for a greater role as a rusher (15 carries in four games). The rookie out of Tennessee looks like a sure-fire RB2 in PPR leagues going forward, with only a slight downgrade in standard scoring.
Ingram has been solid all around through four games, with 42 carries for 170 yards and 15 receptions for 125 yards. He had 28 carries for 101 yards in Week 3 and Week 4 combined, with 14 carries in each game. That’s a positive trend, which will likely continue with Peterson out the door.
Ingram is the 31st-ranked running back in ESPN PPR scoring right now. That feels like a good indication of his value going forward, too. He’s in the RB3/flex range with RB2 potential if a matchup is good.
Cardinals running backs
Arizona has the league’s worst rushing attack by a significant margin, measured by both yards per carry (2.6) and yards per game (51.8). It seems unlikely a 32-year-old running back with clearly diminished talent and no versatility will improve those numbers significantly behind a bad offensive line, but Peterson should at least see more action than he saw with the Saints.
Peterson was surely dropped in fantasy leagues far and wide, and he’s currently owned in just 41 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 47.5 percent of ESPN leagues. But he’s now got something resembling a fantasy pulse again heading to a new team, which is enough to make him worth a roster spot in leagues with 12 or more teams.
Andre Ellington has essentially been given the passing game role vacated by David Johnson in recent weeks. He has 18 receptions (for 151 yards) on 24 targets over the last two games, and 23 catches on 32 targets over the last three games. Peterson is obviously no threat to that role, so Ellington remains a good option in PPR leagues. He’s also still worth adding if he’s available in your league (56 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues, 50.2 percent owned in ESPN leagues).
If you somehow still care about Chris “CJ2K” Johnson, he was cut to make room on the Cardinals roster for Peterson.