The New Orleans Saints pulled a surprising move on Tuesday, adding Adrian Peterson to their roster as they signed the free agent to a two-year deal.
Peterson joins Mark Ingram as the only other back with starting potential on the roster.
The move is a clear hit to Ingram’s value but it really depends on how Sean Payton plans on using the runners.
Ingram had 1,043 yards rushing last season with Tim Hightower adding 548. Hightower is now a 49er and it’s yet to be determined how Peterson will be used, though Payton has said he’d “complement” Ingram.
Ingram carried the ball 205 times with Hightower rushing 133 times last season. Six other Saints accounted for 64 carries. You could easily see all of those rushes go to Peterson this upcoming season.
This may end up being a 50/50 split in the end, which isn’t good for fantasy.
NFL teams see the value in having two running backs play in a significant amount of plays.
One thing is clear. You can’t select either of these guys in early rounds, unless it becomes apparent that one will take the lead role. Ingram was already going late in the second round. Push him even further down, though he has the slight edge over Peterson at this point. Stay tuned.
Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.
Each week this space will be dedicated to whom you should start or sit for your coming fantasy matchups.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins — The Browns have given up at least 270 yards passing, 80 yards rushing and 25 points in every game this season. Cousins has had two good games in a row and should keep it rolling Sunday.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers — He failed to throw a touchdown pass last weekend, but he gets to face the Saints’ woeful defense. In fact, Rivers should be good to go for two straight weeks since he faces the Raiders in Week 5.
Theo Riddick and/or Dwayne Washington, RB, Lions — They’ll face a Bears defense that gave up 140 yards to Ezekiel Elliott and three rushing touchdowns to three other Cowboys on Sunday night. There’s running room enough for both Lions to be productive.
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints — Owners breathed a sigh of relief last weekend when he finally found the end zone. He faces the Chargers’ defense, which is 26th-worst in points allowed to running backs.
Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks — Though he faces a tough matchup in the Jets, he’s the main man right now, with Thomas Rawls out because of an injury. Volume of carries alone could make him worth the start.
Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs — You’ll have to keep an eye on this one before kickoff. Jamaal Charles is listed as questionable, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Charles was expected to make his debut Sunday night. If he’s out or limited, Ware gets to face a Steelers defense that is 28th in points allowed to running backs.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts — He’s likely to continue to play well against a Jaguars defense that has given up six touchdown passes and ranks 21st in points allowed to wideouts.
Travis Benjamin, WR, Chargers — He and Rivers should connect well against the Saints, who are 24th in points allowed to wide receivers.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns — He’s been doing it all for Cleveland, and he should continue to make an impact against the Redskins, who struggle against wideouts.
Zach Miller, TE, Bears — He had good numbers in a losing effort last week, and he gets to face the Lions, who are last in points allowed to tight ends.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Jets — The Jets’ play-caller was spectacularly bad last week against the Chiefs, throwing six picks. Facing the Seahawks is not going to help him get back into a groove.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants — He faces a Vikings defense that has five interceptions, 15 sacks and five forced fumbles this season. Minnesota’s great against the run, and if the Giants’ offense is one-dimensional, then Manning will suffer for it.
Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders — Unfortunately he’s not the workhorse owners were thinking he’d be, as some carries go to Jalen Richard or DeAndre Washington. Will he score a TD for a fourth straight week? Probably not.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, Jets — With Eric Decker out, he’s the No. 2 wideout on the team, but he faces a tough Seahawks pass defense.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Steelers — Don’t be asleep at the wheel. Le’Veon Bell is back, so put Williams on your bench.
Tajae Sharpe, WR, Titans — He let me down last week in a good matchup, despite getting plenty of targets, so he’ll have to earn my trust again. He probably won’t do that this week against the Texans.
Full disclosure, I went 0-2 in my leagues this week. It’s not the kind of start you want to see out of your trusted fantasy guru. In fantasy football there is the right play and there’s the winning play. They’re not always one and the same.
In one league I faced Drew Brees and Spencer Ware. Brees was the second-highest scoring quarterback, behind Andrew Luck, while Ware was the second highest scoring running back in Week 1.
In another league, the Office Football League here at the Statesman, I went up against DeAngelo Williams, the highest scoring running back in Week 1, in addition to Brandin Cooks and Antonio Brown. Cooks was the highest scoring receiver of the week while Brown was third best. Congratulations to Kirk Bohls on his near record-setting performance (191 points!) in the OFL.
Losing both of these games had me originally thinking about making some pickups or changing my lineup. Call me crazy, but I don’t think I’m going to touch a thing in one of these leagues.
Here’s my lineup from Week 1 in the OFL (standard + 6-points for TD passes, one point per two receptions):
QB: Jameis Winston
RB: David Johnson
RB: Ryan Mathews
WR: Mike Evans
WR: Brandon Marshall
TE: Antonio Gates
Flex: Demaryius Thomas
K: Dan Bailey
Bench: Philip Rivers, DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles, Laquon Treadwell, Tyler Boyd, Tajae Sharpe, Michael Thomas, Tyler Eifert.
There’s a lot of youth on my bench in this keeper league, but I don’t see replacing what I’ve got in my lineup. Maybe I could go with DeMarco Murray instead of Thomas at my flex, but is the top receiver in Denver really going to be held to 48 yards again? Benching Marshall seems like a bad move as well since he was targeted a decent amount of times (8) on his way to just 32 yards receiving.
In the other league I’m in I may actually end up tinkering a little bit.
Here’s that league’s lineup (standard + 6-points for TD passes):
QB: Derek Carr
RB: David Johnson
RB: Mark Ingram
WR: Dez Bryant
WR: Jordy Nelson
WR: Jeremy Maclin
Flex: Christine Michael
K: Chris Boswell
Bench: Melvin Gordon, Ben Roethlisberger, Tyler Lockett, Sterling Shepard.
I went with Michael in response to him getting the start over a recovering Thomas Rawls. Rawls did end up playing, however, and had just two fewer touches than Michael. I had to see Gordon produce well before I started him in my lineup. He did great in Week 1, though he had fewer touches than Danny Woodhead, so I’ll probably give him a shot in Week 2. I also like Sterling Shepard’s matchup with the Saints so I may sit Maclin this week.
Dez Bryant had a week to forget, but you’d think the coaching staff would make sure he gets a lot more targets in Week 2.
Let me know what you think @AAS_Cat. Would you tinker with either lineup?