Adrian Peterson signing undercuts Mark Ingram's fantasy value
The fantasy football waters just got a bit murkier for the 2017 NFL season following news on Tuesday morning that Adrian Peterson agreed to a two-year, $7 million deal with the Saints. Yes, those Saints who already have incumbent early-down back and borderline RB1 Mark Ingram on the roster.
Tuesday’s signing ties a bow on the seemingly never-ending Peterson saga that began back Feb. 28 when the Vikings did not pick up the veteran running back’s 2017 option, making him a free agent. The move to the Saints is certainly a head-scratcher for fantasy purposes, but also comes at a strange time just two days before the NFL draft begins. This year’s crop of new players is loaded with depth at the running back position.
For fantasy purposes, don’t expect the 300-carry Peterson of old in 2017. The Saints found success using a committee approach with Mark Ingram touching the ball 251 times and Tim Hightower seeing 155 touches last year. Peterson figures to see more work in what has the potential to be a 50-50 split with Ingram on early downs.
Given the offensive projections for New Orleans, that would put both players in the 175-carry range. Keep in mind that the Saints have used Ingram as a receiver somewhat extensively over the last two seasons. He’s seen 109 targets and racked up 96 catches. Peterson, on the other hand, has not proven to be a strong receiving asset at the pro level. He’s only twice topped 50 targets since 2007.
Ingram’s role in the passing isn’t likely to change, which means he’ll have slightly higher fantasy value than Peterson entering the 2017 season. That being said, Ingram now moves from a borderline RB1 to more of a back-end RB2. Peterson projects as a top-36 option, making him a risk/reward RB3.