FANTASY PLAYS: Adrian Peterson's value never higher than now

October 17, 2017

Adrian Peterson's fantasy value will never be higher than it is right now after his Arizona Cardinals debut.

There's a good possibility that fantasy players who have him didn't put him in their Week 6 lineups to earn points off his 134 yards and two touchdowns. There's also a good possibility that if you have him, you can sell high after his 26-touch performance.

Peterson certainly has the potential to be a top 15 running back. He's probably better suited as a second running back or a solid flex player in standard leagues. If you're set at the running back position and don't need Peterson you should trade him to someone who does so you can improve your team. If you do need him, ride the wave, but understand that David Johnson could return as early as November. Johnson returning would crush any value Peterson has.

For now, Peterson has a fantastic matchup this week against the Los Angeles Rams, who are allowing 139 rushing yards per game, and the most fantasy points to running backs. Arizona has a bye after that.

With the Peterson trade there are some running backs who have seen their fortunes change. Mark Ingram can now be considered a top 12 running back, and he showed his potential last week when he ran for 114 yards and scored two touchdowns. His stock rises, but Andre Ellington's falls. Ellington had a league-high 40 targets among running backs heading into Week 6, and he only had one target with Peterson in the lineup and ended up with a big fat zero in fantasy. No reason to start Ellington, and probably only worth hanging on to him for one more week to see if he'll be used again.

Julio Jones owners are fed up. He's not 100 percent and has no touchdowns in five games. Jones has topped 70 receiving yards in three of his last four games, but he only has one red-zone target. The lack of red-zone production is a problem and something that the Falcons said they would address this season. Atlanta is a team that typically likes to run the ball inside the red zone. Last week, Jones was out-targeted by Austin Hooper. Don't expect that to continue. Buy low on Jones now before he plays the New England Patriots, who are allowing the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers.

The same can be said for Matt Ryan, who has six touchdowns and six interceptions on the year. Ryan had four 300 yard passing games in his first six games last season. He hasn't had one this season since Week 1. Atlanta wasn't going to be able to top last year's record-setting offense, but they are better than what they are showing. Ryan and Jones are going to figure it out, and their stock is unlikely to be as low as it is right now. If you lost Aaron Rodgers, you may want to try look into what it'll cost to get Ryan if there's nothing available on the waiver wire.

Amari Cooper is still a buy low candidate as well. His five catches last week were one more than he had through Weeks 3-5. Cooper has done pretty much nothing since Week 1, but it was encouraging to see Derek Carr healthy last week. At this point, it shouldn't cost much to get Cooper and he still has the potential to be a top 20 wideout. His fantasy playoff schedule is also nice (KC, DAL, PHI).