Adrian Peterson is back with Washington and will contribute to a potentially crowded backfield. He's worth drafting with a late-round pick in all leagues. Peterson should be a reserve for Washington since the team has Derrius Guice and Bryce Love returning from injury, as well as the addition of Peyton Barber, J.D. McKissic and rookie Antonio Gibson. Most likely, Peterson will be No. 2 on the depth chart behind Guice, but you should also expect Gibson or McKissic to play on passing downs. In 2019, Peterson was serviceable for Washington and Fantasy managers with seven games with at least 12 PPR points, including four of those performances in his final five outings. If everyone is healthy this year, Peterson's touches will be limited, as is his Fantasy value. He could emerge as the best running back in Washington again, but 35-year-old rushers aren't players to covet on Draft Day.
Peterson said Wednesday that he hopes to play football for four more years, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports. The 35-year-old doesn't necessarily expect to stick around the NFL for that long, but he also isn't ruling out the possibility of doing so. Peterson is entering the second season of a two-year contract with Washington that contains $2.5 million in non-guaranteed compensation. There hasn't been any discussion of him missing out on a roster spot, but it's fair to wonder how things might shake out in a backfield that also includes Derrius Guice, Antonio Gibson, Bryce Love, J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber. Assuming he sticks around, Peterson would be the best bet for early down carries if Guice were to suffer another injury.
Washington announced Wednesday that it exercised Peterson's $2.5 million team option for the 2020 season. Washington can still clear out cap space if Peterson is released at a later date, but it makes sense to keep him around after Derrius Guice managed just five regular-season appearances through his first two years in the NFL. Elsewhere in the Washington backfield, Chris Thompson is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, while 2019 fourth-round pick Bryce Love (knee) is expected to compete for a role. Peterson will turn 35 in March.
Peterson carried the ball 13 times for 78 yards in Sunday's 47-16 loss to the Cowboys. He also caught one of four targets for zero yards. Peterson showed he was still a capable lead back late in the season after Derrius Guice (knee) got hurt once again, amassing 355 rushing yards and four TDs over the last five games. The future Hall of Famer has one year left on his current contract with Washington that carries a reasonable $3 million cap hit, but whether Peterson returns to the club or has to look for a job elsewhere in the offseason will depend on who gets hired as the new head coach, as well as the health of both Guice and 2019 fourth-round pick Bryce Love (knee).
Peterson (toe) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's game in Dallas. Peterson was held out of practice Thursday before returning as a full participant Friday. He's seen 31 carries and five targets in two games since Derrius Guice (knee) was placed back on injured reserve, dominating playing time on early downs while Chris Thompson has handled the majority of the passing-down work.
Peterson's absence from practice Thursday was attributed to a toe injury on the Redskins' official practice report. Despite Peterson's appearance on the report, all indications are that he was receiving a maintenance day Thursday and isn't any real danger of sitting out the Week 17 game in Dallas. The 34-year-old is in line to lead Washington's rushing attack in the season finale and has a good chance to reach the 1,000-yard scrimmage threshold for the 10th time in his 13-year career. He'll enter Sunday just 38 yards shy of the benchmark.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|5||10/11||Los Angeles Rams||18||18.00|
|6||10/18||@New York Giants||17||17.75|
|9||11/08||New York Giants||17||17.75|
|14||12/13||@San Francisco 49ers||3||12.16|
|3 Year Avg||206||823||5||16||140||0||122|