We all learn from our mistakes, right? Well, the same is true for fantasy football. It’s how you become a better player. I made some strategic and player evaluation mistakes last year in 2012. I would like to address them.
Let’s just get this first, big (HUGE?) one out of the way:
#1 – Adrian Peterson.
What a beast. I did not think that he would have anywhere near the type of season that he had last year, but it was down right historic.
The second-most rushing yards in a single NFL season: 2,097 yards. That’s good for an average of 131.1 yards per game. Add on the 217 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns overall and, well…Just. Plain. Wow. What a fantasy season! Of course, this all came following a tear of both AP’s ACL and MCL at the end of the previous season.
From a fantasy points perspective, just taking his total per game yardage average and translating that into standard fantasy points, that’s an average of 14 points per week. That’s not even including points for touchdowns.
Unfortunately, I was advocating avoiding him in drafts, based on tendencies I saw in mock drafts. His ADP was pretty erratic last year and I believe it was largely due to his name value. A perennial fantasy football superstar, even with a horrific injury, he was consistently being over and under-drafted.
Basically, in every mock draft I did, I saw AP off the board somewhere between round one and round four. I really did not know how to accurately gauge his value last year. I took him in plenty of mock drafts, but those were mock drafts. When it came down to the real deal, I wanted a sure thing with my cornerstone draft picks.
In the end, for me, Adrian “All Day” Peterson was just too much of a risk to take in my first three rounds. I wasn’t willing to risk a starting running back position going to the dogs because of how much pull Adrian Peterson’s name recognition inflated his draft day value last year. I felt more comfortable letting someone else overdraft him and take the chance he wasn’t going to return draft day value.
For those who took a chance, it paid off handsomely…no matter where you drafted him. I was left kicking myself all season long.
How Will I Learn From This?
Honestly? I don’t think I will learn much more than what we all know now: Don’t doubt Adrian Peterson. I always have and always will like bounce-back candidates to an extent (post-injury or not) so this cautionary tale will only affirm my decisions to take a good long look at a fantasy stud with a falling ADP. Of course, there’s always a tipping point when the uncertainty outweighs the potential reward, but heck, I took a chance on Maurice Jones-Drew in 2011, reaped the rewards and won my league. Unfortunately in 2012, I doubted Adrian Peterson.