Archive for the Chester Taylor Category


In Preparation for the Fantasy Playoff Push, Target Handcuffs Now

A popular draft strategy employed by many fantasy owners is to handcuff stud running backs with their heir-apparents.

Not one of those owners?

Join the club.

While some owners made a point to pair the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles or Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy during fantasy drafts this summer, others decided it best to utilize a different drafting technique altogether. There are pros and cons to each approach, but it really comes down to the personal preferences of fantasy owners.

This story is not going to go in-depth on which draft strategy is better or worse. That is a discussion for the offseason.

But for those in the not-reaching-for-a-stud’s-backup camp, the avoidance of such players during drafts is not a season-long commitment. In fact, a savvy Tomlinson, Westbrook or other stud-owner would try and target the appropriate handcuffs at some point during the regular season.

Especially if said owner is in the midst of a playoff push.

With midseason in fantasy football leagues right around the corner, now is a good time for owners without a stud’s backup to start targeting some of these players. If you own the stud starter for any of these handcuffs, start toying with the idea of acquiring the appropriate handcuff for the fantasy football playoff push.

If for no other reason, the security of owning these players could continue a strong playoff push by a fantasy owner. Injuries suffered to fantasy starters after midseason could be critical blows to owners without the depth to cope with such a loss.

 

Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings
For all of the Adrian Peterson owners out there.

Adrian Peterson is human. The sooner fantasy owners realize this, the better prepared they will be if something were to happen to him. Sure, the ankle injury he sustained last weekend does not appear to be serious. But at some point, with all the touches this guy gets on a weekly basis, something could happen to him. And it could be serious.

 

Leon Washington, RB, Jets
For all of the Thomas Jones owners out there.

Although Thomas Jones fails to relinquish his starting job to Washington, sooner or later it is going to happen. The Jets are going to get Washington more and more involved in the offense and see if he is capable of carrying the load. It has to happen sometime and it could be by the end of this season if things keep going south for the Jets.

 

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants
For all of the Brandon Jacobs owners out there.

Bradshaw may be the better running back in the Giants backfield right now. At some point, Jacobs has to bounce back this season he is just too talented not to get better. But the more Bradshaw steals away from Jacobs now, the more balls the Giants will give him down the line. Besides, Jacobs has not always been a beacon of health.

 

Mike Bell, RB, Saints
For all of the Pierre Thomas owners out there.

Pierre Thomas is not technically a stud yet, especially on an offense that loves to spread the wealth. However, the starting running back in New Orleans has proven to be a very lucrative position. Thomas owners need to own Bell, who has proven to be a capable player in this offense and a preferred option near the goal line.

 

Glen Coffee, RB, 49ers
For all of the Frank Gore owners out there.

OK, the numbers Coffee put up filling in for Gore the last few weeks were not great. But San Francisco kept giving him the ball, almost regardless of the end result. So if Gore goes down again, who do you think is going to get the call?

 

Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers
For all of the LaDainian Tomlinson owners out there.

The Chargers took Tomlinson out of the game on third-and-goal against Denver in a crucial situation on Monday night. Darren Sproles replaced him and proceeded to get stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Why Norv Turner thinks Sproles is better suited to punch in a tough touchdown in crunch time may never be known, but the fact that the coaching staff has apparently lost some confidence in LT should say it all to Tomlinson’s owners.

 

Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins
For all of the Ronnie Brown owners out there.

Brown is playing too well to be replaced by Williams straight up. The only way Williams has significant value to a Brown owner is if something injury-related were to befall Brown. Better to get that insurance now rather than later, when the cost would be much higher.

 

LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
For all of the Brian Westbrook owners out there.

In Westbrook’s absence earlier this season, McCoy showed that he is capable of handling the lead role in the Eagles’ offense. One thing fantasy owners fear about Westy every year is the potential for missed action. This time of year, it is more important than ever to have the proper insurance in case of an ill-timed injury.

 

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers
For all of the DeAngelo Williams owners out there.

Trading for Stewart may be fairly unlikely for Williams’ owners because Stewart carries so much of his own value with or without the presence of Williams. So if a Williams owners really wants to get his/her hands on JStew, prepare to pony up a pretty penny.

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NFL Football Picks: 2009 Minnesota Vikings Predictions

The last year for the Vikings was a successful one in terms of making the playoffs and having a good record. They finished 10-6 and made the playoffs.

However, once they got there, it was apparent that they weren’t equipped to make a run, as they lost to the Eagles in the first round. Although they had a solid defense and a great rushing attack, their passing game left something to be desired.

Did they do enough in the offseason to get the job done this time around? As far as free football picks go, expect the Vikings to make a run this season deep into the playoffs.

The Good News:

The biggest news of the offseason was obviously Brett Favre. Right up until the last minute, no one was sure if he’d play for them or not.

As it turns out, he rode in on his white horse and was immediately handed the keys to the team. While it might seem irresponsible at a glance, it is really the only option for the Vikings.

Jackson has proven that he’s not going to be anything special, and Sage Rosenfels is basically a career backup. Favre is a surefire Hall-of-Famer, and he will instantly upgrade the passing attack in Minny.

In addition to Favre, they have what many people believe is the best player in the NFL in Adrian Peterson. Peterson led the league in rushing last year and his explosiveness makes him a threat to score at any point. Combined with Favre, they should have a pretty solid offense.

On the other side of the ball, the defense will dominate again. Last year, they were the No. 1 team against the run, and they had a fierce pass rush.

With Jared Allen and the Williams brothers on the defensive line, they should again be formidable. If I’m an offensive coordinator, I know the Vikings’ defense is going to present some headaches.

The Bad News:

This also falls in the good news column, but Brett Favre could be a big distraction for the Vikes. Last year, it was a media circus in New York and Favre failed to get them to the playoffs. Many Jets’ players have said that Favre was not a good teammate and even got dressed in a separate locker room.

This preseason, the media have already reported that there is a “schism” in the locker room surrounding Favre. Many people believe that Jackson should be the starting quarterback and don’t like the fact that Favre skipped all of camp. He then comes in late and just gets everything handed to him. This could present a problem at some point in the year.

Outlook:

If you’re looking for free NFL football picks, expect the Vikings to win their division this year. They should even be able to work their way through the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl if Favre can stay healthy. If he goes down, it might be another up and down year for the Vikings.

Make sure you check out Vernon Croy`s NFL Football Picks this season.

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2009 Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Football Preview

This article, and more previews, can be seen on Tab’s new fantasy football home, Top Fantasy Football.

Just like in Chicago, Minneapolis is selling jerseys for their new quarterback faster than they can put the letters and numbers on the jersey.

Both teams, and their cities, are excited about adding a quarterback with a big arm, but there are headaches from each quarterback’s past that both franchises have their public relations teams handling every day.

The similarities end there, though. Jay Cutler’s a nice, 25-year old quarterback with his entire career ahead of him still. Brett Favre is already one of the greatest of all time.

The addition of Favre is a fascinating issue to work through, both as a fan and as a fantasy owner. The implications of the two-year, $25 million contract on such a talented team could run ripple effects throughout a fantasy draft, both positively and negatively. For the Vikings, though, it’s up to Brad Childress and his staff to make everything work together to win games.


Quarterback
: Brett Favre

2008 Numbers: 343-522 (65.7 percent)  3,472 yards  22 TDs  22 INTs

2009 Projections: 277-450 (61.5 percent)  3,100 yards  19 TDs  13 INTs

Thoughts:

This is a really, really tough situation to predict across the board for fantasy this season. The Vikings could go one of two directions: they could either get their money’s worth by letting Favre throw the ball 30-40 times a game with the talented receivers he has, or they could stay a running team with Adrian Peterson carrying the mail most of the offensive plays.

If the Vikings take the ball out of Peterson’s hands, they’re foolish. He’s their meal ticket, the bread winner of the franchise and should stay that way. Favre should be treated as the older, rented quarterback that he is and should be asked to, dare I say it, “manage the game” instead of being the headliner.

With Peterson in Minnesota, unless he gets hurt, the Vikings should continue pounding the ball all Sunday, every Sunday. That should bring Favre’s numbers back to the middle of the quarterback pool.

Considerations:

How healthy is Favre? Can he stay healthy? Will he be okay playing a supporting role to Peterson? Will the coaching staff be able to resist the temptation to let Favre be the Brett Favre fans have watched making plays for the last two decades? And can Favre avoid making the critical mistake?


Running Back
: Adrian Peterson

2008 Numbers: Rushing – 363 att  1,760 yards 4.8 yds/carry     Receiving – 21 rec  125 yards    10 total TDs

2009 Projections: Rushing – 340 att  1,700 yards  5.0 yds/carry     Receiving – 15 rec  100 yards    12 total TDs

Thoughts:

Cut and paste everything I said about Favre here. If the Vikings know what’s good for them, you shouldn’t see a drop off in Peterson’s production and he should continue to be among the top fantasy running backs in the game.

Based on the preseason, there hasn’t been an indication that Peterson shouldn’t be consistent with his historical averages. In fact, if anything you should see his yards per carry go up (from almost five?) because teams won’t be able to load up the box as much because of respect for Favre.

Considerations:

Remember to be fully aware of your league’s scoring when considering a running back as early as Peterson generally comes off the board (top five overall picks). Many leagues on ESPN and Yahoo are scoring receptions, but not rushing attempts.

If that’s the case, you will want to consider that when thinking about Peterson, who isn’t a factor in the passing game. He’ll get you yards, and he’ll get you touchdowns, but there might be points left on the table with another back if receptions score.

One other point to consider is that Peterson puts the ball on the ground; he coughed the ball up nine times last year, losing four of the fumbles.


Wide Receiver
: Bernard Berrian

2008 Numbers: 48 rec  964 yards   7 TDs

2009 Projections: 75 rec  1,050 yards   6 total TDs

Thoughts:

Berrian had a nice 2008 season, catching balls from Tavaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte. He averaged over 20 yards per reception and his seven quiet touchdowns were a surprising total for an offense that was so dominated by the running attack.

Because of Favre’s presense in Minnesota, Berrian should be a more significant factor on a weekly basis in the game plan. His reception total should go up, but, as I mentioned in my noted for Peterson, the respect for Favre’s arm will back up the secondary and there won’t be as much open turf around Berrian.

Considerations:

Favre has always been a big believer in tight ends in the red zone, and Percy Harvin’s athletic ability will make him a popular target as well. So while Berrian should see more of the ball and an increase in gross yardage, his touchdowns could decrease.


Tight End
: Visanthe Shiancoe  SLEEPER

2008 Numbers: 42 rec  596 yards  7 TDs

2009 Projections:  85 rec  850 yards  9 TDs

Thoughts:

Favre has always found his tight ends, and Shiancoe’s athletic ability should ake him just as popular. Shiancoe came on late in the season and put up nice numbers, putting up very similar stats to Chicago’s Greg Olsen. This year, just like Olsen, he should see a pleasant jump in his scoring and he should be a nice sleeper to get you catches and touchdowns with decent yards as well.

Considerations:

Last year, Peterson was stuffed on six of 18 attempts inside their opponent’s 10 yard line. That should, in theory, make Shiancoe a popular red zone option. And Favre has historically looked for tight ends in the red zone, which builds the case for him to get more touchdowns. But fewer defenders in the box because of Favre, coupled with additional respect for Shiancoe’s abilities, should help Peterson get into the end zone more often.


Wide Receiver
: Percy Harvin

2008 Numbers: n/a – Rookie

2009 Projections: 35 rec  400 yards   1,300 return yards   3 total TDs

Thoughts:

Harvin projects as a Devin Hester Light, used in a number of formations and handling the ball in any number of ways to simply get him, with the ball, into space. He could develop into a dangerous punt and kickoff returner, and could probably be counted on more for special teams touchdowns in his rookie year than receiving touchdowns.

Considerations:

He’s a rookie, on a running offense. He’s also listed at 192 pounds, which I’ll believe when I’m the mayor of New York. Like Hester, it won’t be easy for the Vikings to find ways to get Harvin the ball, but they won’t have to because of Peterson. He’ll get what he can, but will always be a threat to take it to the house.


Running Back
: Chester Taylor

2008 Numbers: Rushing – 101 att  399 yards 4.0 yds/carry     Receiving – 45 rec  399 yards    6 total TDs

2009 Projections: Rushing – 125 att  440 yards  3.5 yds/carry     Receiving – 35 rec  440 yards    6 total TDs

Thoughts:

Taylor gets the hand-me-down yards from Peterson, but his versatility in the receiving game might make him a good late round pick in a deep league. The respect for Favre’s arm, and willingness to go deep, should raise Taylor’s yards per catch by pulling the secondary off the line of scrimmage.

Considerations:

He’s Adrian Peterson’s backup.


Defense/Special Teams

2008 Numbers: 20.8 ppg  45 sacks  12 INTs 0 Def TD   1,642 total return yards  1 return TDs

2009 Projections:  22.9 ppg  37 sacks  14 INTs  0 Def TDs   1,800 return yards  2 return TDs

Thoughts:

They have one of the best tackling corners in the game in Antoine Winfield and one of the best pass rushers in Jared Allen. They’ll continue to hold down opponents’ running games, and the addition of Harvin could get additional yardage and another touchdown on special teams this year.

Considerations:

The division around the Vikings improved. Jay Cutler is in Chicago, and he’s more mobile than Kyle Orton is in his best dreams. The sacks won’t come as easily, but the interceptions could increase. The upgraded talent might see opponents scoring more on the Vikings as well.

2009 Schedule

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Vikings! Quick, Grab Michael Vick!

Brett Favre has made a decision. 

He will not play for the Vikings this season. 

In a breaking AP article, Favre was reported as having called Vikings coach Brad Childress to inform him of his decision. He stated that the reason for his decision was that he did not believe that his body could stand up to another NFL season. 

The response by the Vikings should be swift.

If you want to at least repeat the success of last season, you must get a quarterback that can make a few big plays. 

Tarvaris Jackson simply makes too many mistakes. Sage Rosenfels has never been the answer… anywhere.

Vick will obviously not be available until October, and even after he comes back he may not be able to function as a capable NFL quarterback in a West Coast offense. 

What Vick does bring to the table is that he has experience in both regular season games that matter and has won a big playoff game. He did so while playing in an Atlanta system that implemented a strong running game and made use of his big arm for play action and vertical passing. 

Atlanta would later move to a system that featured a shorter passing game, which was intended to make reads easier for Vick. It didn’t work. 

Vick has shown throughout his history that he will probably never be the type of quarterback that completes more than 60 percent of his passes, makes the perfect read, and consistently delivers the short pass to the running back or tight end on the check-down. 

What he can do though, is escape pressure. He can also throw a great deep ball. Usually, he can do both at the same time.

If the Minnesota running game can continue to be as strong as it has been, Vick could be exactly what this team needs. Not only can he deliver the ball once the safeties move up, but he can also advance the football with his feet.

Having Vick would force opposing defenses to slow their pursuit when the ball goes to Adrian Peterson. Along with Bernard Berrian, this team would be loaded with the kind of speed that can break a game wide open.

Michael Vick may not be considered the quarterback of the future anymore. He probably isn’t a long term answer for the Vikings either. However, by focusing on the skills and abilities that he naturally has, a talented Vikings team could find itself in a much better situation than it has been recently, hoping that an old veteran from Mississippi will answer their prayers.

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Minnesota Vikings: Would the Contract-Year Players Be Worth Trading?

Let me start out by saying that I love some of the players discussed in this article. It’s tough for us fans to part with some of our favorite players.

With players such as Chestor Taylor, Ray Edwards, and Tarvaris Jackson entering contract years, it’s hard to believe that the Vikings will be able to keep any combination of them.

Chestor Taylor wants to start in the NFL. He doesn’t care to be the second back to Adrian Peterson and believes he still has some good years left in him.

Tarvaris Jackson has been a brilliant quarterback at times, but more often than not, he’s terrible. He struggles to hit the easy shots down the field and consistently overthrows his targets.

Ray Edwards predicted he would break the single-season sack record in 2008. He was playing with three Pro Bowl lineman and was entering his third season in the league.

He only came up about 18 sacks short of breaking the record, but it was a close race…

Of the three main players, only one has a legitimate shot of re-signing with the team and that man is Ray Edwards.

Jackson has already stated that if the Vikings sign Favre, he wants to be traded. He has progressively gotten better every season and doesn’t think he needs to sit and watch anymore.

Taylor just wants to be the main guy on the field.

There isn’t really going to be a market for Ray Edwards unless he records 14 sacks next season. I think he’s stuck with the Vikings.

So what do we do with a player that has prematurely demanded to be traded and another that has expressed deep interest to start?

There will be a market for both Jackson and Taylor in 2010. Even if Jackson starts, he has progressed under Brad Childress. It doesn’t seem like much, but he has.

Taylor has proven he can still carry the load at the tender age of 30. He’ll likely command four years and $16 million somewhere else.

The Vikings shouldn’t even consider giving a backup $4 million a year. They need depth in more areas.

I don’t think there’s even the slightest chance that Taylor will be on the roster one year from now.

Brian Robison adds great depth to the defensive end position. After that, there isn’t much to look at.

Robison is ready to start in the NFL and if given the chance, could prove to be a valuable asset in the near future.

Is trading away Ray Edwards this season worth the risk in favor of Robison?

I like both ends, but if something were to happen to either one, the Vikings would be starved for depth.

There isn’t much at the running back position, but undrafted free agent Ian Johnson has shown great promise as the third running back.

After all, it’s because of Johnson that Adrian Peterson failed to win a bowl game in his senior season at Oklahoma.

I think Johnson could take over for Taylor, but I don’t think it’s this year.

Jackson’s status is up in the air. He would command some trade value right now. With Sage Rosenfels and John David Booty, the Vikings have as good a quarterback group as they have had since the Culpepper era.

Well, I guess that’s not saying much.

Jackson could be expendable, but trading him could be a fatal mistake.

There aren’t a lot of places the Vikings need to improve. It’s hard to say what they would get for any combination of these players.

The team lacks depth in some key areas, but all three contract-year players have valuable starting experience.

Is trading away any of the three before the start of the season worth the risk?

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2009 NFL Team Rankings: 7-13

7. Minnesota Vikings– after a debate between the Vikes the Bears and the Pack I decided the Vikes because of.

Adrian Peterson- Do I really have to go on?

Defense– Against the run I shouldn’t even have to say anything but against the pass they weren’t the best but either way their offense should more than make up for it with a lethal and highly underrated wide receiving corps

There are some questions about QB but they should do good enough to manage the game.

11-5 with a wild card playoff berth

8. Green bay Packers- Yes the NFC North is going to have 2 playoff teams this year. I’ll show you why

Aaron Rodgers– In his first full year as a starter he threw for 4000+ yards with 28 TD’s 

Ryan Grant– He finally took the full load and got 1200+ yards but only 4 TD’s

WR’s- Greg Jennings was a great WR last year but Donald Driver is getting up there in age.

9. New York Giants- Some people will say I am overrating them and some may say I am underrating them but I put them at number 9 because of

Eli Manning- Say what you want about him being overrated but he does what a quarterback does and he wins games.

Brandon Jacobs– Again say what you want about him losing Derrick Ward but he does what a running back does and he gets you touchdowns. In fact he got 15 in 13 games last year.

9-7 while missing out on the playoffs narrowly

10. Houston Texans– I have them as one of 4 bounce back teams for this year and I have them taking the crown of the AFC south. Let me break it down for you.

Matt Schuab– When this guy is healthy you are really not going to fare well. 3000+ yards when missing 6 games? he averaged more than 300 yards per game that’s enough said.

Andre Johnson– He is just a complete beast he led the league in everything but TD’s. He is better than or identical than the “magical” Larry Fitzgerald.

Steve Slaton– He put up 1282 yards in his ROOKIE season which is very impressive. He also benefits from teams having to double team Andre Johnson while Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter have to be covered also.

11-5 with a wild card berth losing to the Chargers in the wild card

11. Baltimore Ravens– After a great 2008 Joe Flacco is looking to avoid the sophomore slump. Why will he? Because of this.

Running attack– Individually this running group just sucks. When put together these 3 people can really bring some numbers. Ray Rice,Willis McGahee, and Leron McLain are good together because McGahee is injury prone.

Defense– Many say this defense carried the team and I would be fine with that as long as they can use their strength to get to the promised land. This defense is top 5 for sure and will be for the next few years.

The WR’s are the Ravens biggest weakness but Flacco is in a run first offense so he will not be asked to put up great numbers.

10-6 with a wild card berth

12. Indianapolis Colts– The Indianapolis Colts have had many greats this decades and still have many but they are now on the decline of a great decade. They will still make the playoffs because of-

Peyton Manning– The official definition of consistent is Peyton Manning. He has never thrown for less than 4000 yards since his rookie season. But that will change this year where he will drop to 3850 yards. Did I also mention he was MVP last year?

WR’s– They have Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzales and Dallas Clark as their TE. Reggie Wayne is highly underrated and one of the best. Anthony Gonzales is going to have a breakout year and Dallas Clark is a great TE.

Their biggest weakness is RB. Joseph Addai has been a dissapointment so far execpt for 2007. Donald Brown shows potential but Joseph is only 25 and will get the work load.

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Why the Vikings Are in Danger of Overworking Adrian Peterson

Several months ago, I wrote an article, “The Workhorse Running Back: A Dying Trend in the NFL.”

 

This piece highlighted the importance of utilizing a two or even three-back system to extend a running back’s career, as the Panthers did with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams last season, or the Ravens with Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, and LeRon McClain.

 

Memo to the Vikings: Take note of this.

 

Adrian Peterson is good.

 

He’s very good.

 

In fact, he is on pace to be one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League.

 

His first two years were Hall of Fame worthy. He started in the Pro Bowl as a rookie, earned All-Pro honors in both seasons, and finished in the top two in the league in rushing yards both seasons.

 

He’s already drawn comparisons to the great ones—Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, and so on. It’s too early to project a whole career for AP, but he looks to have a bright future ahead based on the two seasons we as football fans have seen from him.

 

Only three running backs have every rushed for more yards in their first two seasons than Peterson. Only 12 backs have ever rushed for more touchdowns. And only 11 backs have carried the ball as many times as Peterson.

 

That’s a red flag right there.

 

No. 1 way to ruin a running back’s career: overuse him.

 

Look at Terrell Davis. Earl Campbell. Larry Johnson.

 

These guys were the best of the best, but couldn’t take the pounding from being the feature back—or the only back—for their team. All had prematurely short careers.

 

After averaging 374 touches per year in his first four seasons, Terrell Davis got injured and never again was the full-time starter.

 

Was it worth it to Denver fans?

 

Sure.

 

They got two Super Bowl titles and a Super Bowl MVP performance from Davis. And he was arguably the best running back in the game for about three years.

 

But it would have been nice for Davis to play more than four full seasons in the NFL.

 

Campbell averaged 351 carries per season in each of his first four years in the pros before injuries limited him to just 207 carries per year in his final four seasons.

 

And Larry Johnson averaged 386 carries per season after taking over the starting duties for the Chiefs, including an NFL-record 416 carries in 2006. In the two years since, he has averaged fewer than 200 carries per season, after missing 12 games due to injury.

 

In fact, there have been 26 instances in football history in which a running back has topped 370 carries in a single season.

 

Of those 26 times, the running back has suffered an injury the following season nine times. 35 percent of the time.

 

That’s a pretty big risk to the Vikings.

 

Of the five times a running back has topped 400 carries in a season, two of the five runners have gotten hurt the following season. Those two—Larry Johnson and Jamal Anderson—combined for just 177 carries in their following year.

 

Teams should be wary of giving their star running backs that many carries, especially a team like Minnesota that possesses a talented backup runner—Chester Taylor—capable of filling in as the full-time back.

 

Peterson is a special back—the kind you want to protect. Running backs don’t have long careers, but the Vikings want to be able to still rely on him in five or six years.

 

370 carries doesn’t guarantee an injury. In fact, most of the time the running back DOESN’T get hurt the next year.

 

Eric Dickerson—a physical freak of nature—is the only back in history with four seasons to his resume of 370-plus carries. And he never got hurt in any of the succeeding years.

 

But why take the chance?

 

Even if the back manages to stay healthy, there is a pretty good chance he will see a significant decrease in his yards per carry.

 

Ricky Williams was used 383 times by the Dolphins in 2002, gaining a league-best 1,853 rushing yards on 4.6 yards per carry.

 

The following year, he took the pounding from 392 carries, and didn’t miss a game.

 

But he paid the price. His yards dropped to 1,372 and his yards per carry average dropped over a full yard, down to 3.5 per rush.

 

Same with Eddie George.

 

George carried the rock 403 times for the Titans in 2000, helping the team to the playoffs. He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, but totaled 1,509 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns.

 

The next season, George again played all 16 games and carried the ball 315 times. He failed to even top 1,000 yards however, averaging just a paltry 2.96 yards per carry.

 

In his final three seasons, George never again topped 3.4 yards per carry.

 

I have no ties to the Vikings. All they are to me is competition for the NFC title, but I would like to see a fair fight.

 

Ideally, I think Peterson should get 320 carries and 40 receptions, with Taylor handling around 125 carries and 30 receptions.

 

It’s tempting to want to overwork a star. Especially when it gets your team that elusive Super Bowl trophy.

 

And maybe Peterson will turn out to be that once-in-a-lifetime back like Dickerson or Barry Sanders, who just doesn’t get hurt.

 

But I wouldn’t take my chances.

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