Months ago, this would have been a no brainer. Even with Adrian Peterson having another solid year, it seemed very apparent that Johnson would be almost everyone’s number one overall pick. However, with the holdout situation lasting longer and longer, would you take Johnson with the number one pick?
Being a Johnson owner last year, I am very aware of the ridiculous points put up by speedy Gonzalez nearly every game. His big play ability makes him a huge threat in any league giving bonuses for long TD’s. Also, his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will add easy points to point per reception leagues.
However, fantasy football is all about consistency. Big points are nice, but if you are unsure whether Johnson will be starting the season, or even playing, it’s tough to draft him with the number one selection. Personally, I wouldn’t be drafting Johnson if I had the first choice. These two sides are way too far away from an agreement to risk the first pick on an uncertainty.
Let’s do a small comparison on the two players. Last year, Johnson eclipsed the 2,000 yard mark for only the sixth time in the history of the NFL. Peterson, 1,389 yards. Carries? Johnson – 358. Peterson – 315. It’s very unlikely that Johnson will see that many carries this year, especially with the holdout situation. Also, the Vikings will likely return to the ground game more this year as they fell into spurts of being a pass first offense last year. Peterson scored four more times on the ground, yet, failed to score any receiving scores.
The curse of 400 has been noted throughout the fantasy season, as Johnson was the 35th most in NFL history, according to ESPN.com. Eclipsing 400 touches in a single season is a lot of time carrying the pigskin. Which only leads to injuries, fatigue, and in Johnson’s case, maybe a little bit of arrogance. Peterson has been consistent over the last few years and was down in touches last year, which I expect to produce a monster year for AD.
My number one pick? Peterson all day. While his fumbling can create a small problem, he has worked hard over the offseason to improve on it, and likely will have some quarterback named Brett Favre (pronounced Far-ve) returning.