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Fantasy: Peterson presents a fantasy dilemma for 12th Man
This week, NFL and Fantasy superstar Adrian Peterson comes to CenturyLink Field. It’s been an amazing season for the Vikings signature player, as he has recovered from major knee injuries suffered last December to regain most of his better form in 2012. Peterson’s highly successful and quick comeback from ACL and MCL tears has been unprecedented and admirable. He is the second-highest scoring running back in NFL.com standard Fantasy Football leagues, with 113.40 points.
This will be a marquee matchup with Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, who is seventh at RB in NFL.com standard leagues with 102.10 points. Peterson will also have to deal with the Seattle crowd, but the 12th Man denizens who play Fantasy Football now have to ask themselves a very challenging question : Do I bench Peterson because he is facing the Seahawks?
It’s been a question that has haunted some Fantasy Football players since the game became a mainstream craze. Do you bench players who face your favorite team? You can’t root for a player who is going against your ballclub. Or can you?
Here’s the comprehensive and sensible answer: You cannot bench Peterson, because if you drafted him, he may be the best player on your Fantasy team, and it’s a widely known unofficial rule that you never bench your superstars. But you don’t have to root for him. The reality is, benching Peterson hurts your Fantasy team, and won’t control his statistical output, either. You still pull hard for your team to win, and realize that when Minnesota does move the ball, it will be through Peterson, and you have to live with that as a fan while knowing there is a reward to your Fantasy team.
So the best case scenario is to root for that Seahawks win as always, and when the Vikings do possibly score, concede that it will be through Peterson if it benefits your Fantasy team. If the Seahawks conceivably win 17-7, for example, you’ll make out well on both ends as a fan and Fantasy player if that one Vikings TD is credited to Peterson. Of course, your allegiance comes first, and if Peterson gets stuffed on a goal line stand with the game on the line, take the Fantasy hit and hope your other players pick up the statistical slack. Ultimately, realizing that reserving Peterson and rooting against him will not help your Fantasy team or lessen the chances of a Seahawks win should help you make the right call.
Lynch has become a matchup-proof (meaning you start him against any defense) and is a must-start in any format, we know that by now. Yet Russell Wilson is a good option as well if you need to replace Tom Brady, who is on a bye. The Vikings rank 20th in the NFL in pass defense, and Wilson has played his best ball at home this year, with six TD passes and no interceptions in three starts.
The Seahawk who is a truly nifty start, though, is Sidney Rice, who faces his former team this week. Whenever players face their old ball clubs, Fantasy owners must take note. Players always get fired up to line up against their old buddies or burn their past employers. Brandon Lloyd scored twice against the Rams last week, as one example. So plug in Rice as a WR3 with a lot of confidence in your leagues this week.
Looking around the rest of the league for Fantasy options, we begin at QB with Cam Newton, who threw for over 300 yards at Chicago last week. That’s a positive sign, and he faces a much weaker Redskins pass defense this week. Josh Freeman is playing with a lot of confidence and is a very good option as he travels to Oakland.
At running back, Willis McGahee is playing very well, and should continue to roll up good numbers against Cincinnati. Reggie Bush could have one of his better games this year at Indianapolis. Rashad Jennings should get a lot of work as the Jaguars attempt to play ball control against Detroit.
Vincent Jackson should be a top WR option against the Raiders, and this is a week to expect Andre Johnson to flash his better form against the Buffalo Bills. James Jones and Randall Cobb will continue to be top starts with Greg Jennings out and Jordy Nelson dealing with a hamstring injury. Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are very friendly options against the Saints on Monday Night Football.
Take a flier on Washington’s Logan Paulsen if you need some tight end help. Defensively, continue to use Miami, which will play well at Indianapolis, and consider the Broncos, which should be aggressive and opportunistic against the Bengals.
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