Fantasy football: Adrian Peterson proves why you don’t sit studs early

Joey Baskerville

I had my doubts just like everybody else.

I can’t tell you how many drafts I’ve been a part of, relieved I wasn’t faced with the option of taking Adrian Peterson (MIN) in the second round.

ACL and MCL tears, along with a torn meniscus are no joke. Unless you’re AP, I guess.

Peterson ran for 84 yards on 17 carries (4.9 average) and collected two touchdowns not even a full nine months after tearing both knee ligaments last Christmas Eve. Let that last sentence marinate for a little bit.

AP tied for the third-leading fantasy running back in Week 1 (tied for 10th with seven other players overall) with 20 points in standard leagues, which wouldn’t be surprising if we had all just realized Peterson is a cyborg.

There’s a real chance, depending on how you drafted your team this summer, that you ended up with Peterson for a bargain and makes your lineup even stronger. But there’s a larger point to this section of the column.

As long as your top-tier players are active and listed as the starter at their respective position, you have to start them this early in the season.

Three to four weeks in, when things may be a bit more cloudy, then you may want to make the switch. But the last thing you want is to miss the opportunity when they score big because you panicked early.

You’ll thank me later.

Great to see Peyton Manning back

It’s as if Peyton Manning (DEN) never really left. Last Sunday night, Manning was surgical and finished with 20 points in standard leagues.

I won’t go as far as to say it was a vintage performance, partly because just two years ago, Manning was still playing at a high level. He’s still not 100 percent, but it sure as heck is hard to tell sitting on the couch watching the game.

Last season it felt as though someone was missing from the week-to-week craziness from the NFL slate of games, it was clearly Peyton Manning making smart defenses look dumb.

Can’t Wait! Waiver Wire Pickups

So about those top scorers last week. Unless you’re in a league with limited roster spots or few teams, you probably won’t have a shot at CJ Spiller (BUF), so I’m leaving him off the list.

If you happen to be in one of those leagues, or someone dropped him for whatever reason, pick up Spiller now.

Like right now. There’s no telling when or if Fred Jackson (BUF) will return as the starter for the Buffalo Bills.

Alfred Morris (WAS) should be your top waiver priority, as Washington coach Mike Shanahan has named Morris the starter. For now.

QB: Mark Sanchez (NYJ), Kevin Kolb (ARI)

RB: Alfred Morris (WAS)

WR: Kevin Ogletree (DAL), Jeremy Kerley (NYJ), Randall Cobb (GB)

Breakin’ Bread List

Thursday night football is forced upon us again, which means anyone injured will have limited recovery time, which makes figuring our whether or not a certain player will play/start all the more a pain.

Kind of like what’s going on with Greg Jennings (GB). Jennings has a groin injury and the Green Bay Packers take on Chicago on Thursday.

He missed practice Tuesday. So while I’d probably have Jennings on this list for the week, I can’t give you much of anything with limited info.

Anyway, here’s who I do have from the Chicago-Green Bay game, along with the rest of my top scorers for Week 2.

QB: Tom Brady (NE) vs. Arizona, Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs. Chicago

RB: Arian Foster (HOU) at Jacksonville, Matt Forte (CHI) at Green Bay

WR: Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) at New England, Brandon Marshall (CHI) at Green Bay

The Purple Drank list — presented by Chris Johnson (TEN)

Chris Johnson was supposed to come back and light it up. You know, get back to being CJ2K? Or maybe close to his average.

And don’t get started with the whole “Tennessee was playing from behind most of the game” excuse. There’s no excuse for 11 carries for four years.

Only thing that stopped Johnson from getting a goose egg was the Titans involving him in the passing game.

Johnson was clearly Purple Dranktastic (it’s a made up word, sue me) last week.

QB: Brandon Weeden (CLE) at Cincinnati, Russell Wilson (SEA) vs. Dallas

RB: Chris Johnson (TEN) at San Diego, Beanie Wells (ARI) at New England

WR: Justin Blackmon (JAC) vs. Houston, Vincent Jackson (TB) at NY Giants

Don’t sleep on my sleepers

QB: Blanie Gabbert (JAC) vs. Houston, Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) vs. Kansas City

RB: Mikel Leshoure (DET) at San Francisco, Jonathan Dwyer (PIT) vs. NY Jets

WR: Brandon LaFell (CAR) vs. New Orleans, Alshon Jeffery (CHI) at Green Bay

Joey Baskerville (@jmark79) writes his column every Wednesday during the NFL season. Reach him at