by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously, we use the term “struggle” loosely here, but here’s an interesting statistic courtesy of Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (click here for the post):
“Peterson averaged 6.9 yards per carry with Felton on the field and 4.6 yards per carry with him off the field last year, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He ran from a two-back set on 235 of his 348 carries, and Felton was the other man in the backfield for 201 of those carries.”
Jerome Felton, who was a Pro Bowl fullback in 2012, is set to miss the first three games of the season due to suspension. Obviously his absence will have an impact on Peterson’s production, but time will tell if the difference is as big as it was a year ago.
Unless Peterson really comes out and struggles in the first week, he’s not likely going to be moved from the top spot in the rankings. He should continue to produce at an elite level, with or without his lead blocker, but maybe it could be just slightly below what we may have otherwise expected. Is anyone really going to worry about Peterson averaging around 5 yards per carry? It’s all a matter of perception and with Peterson, at this point, anything below unbelievable numbers are viewed as unacceptable.
It’s an interesting note, but hardly anything that is going to alter fantasy alignments.
Just for reference, the first three games come against:
- Detroit Lions (273 yards, 1 TD in ’12)
- Chicago Bears (262 yards, 2 TD in ’12)
- Cleveland Browns (didn’t face in ’12)