Fantasy Football: Adrian Peterson still top running back

When it comes to fantasy football, one running back has dominated for much of the last decade, and that man is Adrian Peterson.

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Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings has long been considered the top running back in fantasy football, and, even at 31 years of age, he still possesses the skills and knowledge to shoulder the load. There are a couple of young, talented players at the position that certainly deserve consideration on draft day, but make no mistake about it, All Day still reigns supreme.

From a production standpoint, you'll be hard-pressed to find a player that has the ability of Peterson. He's a rare breed, as he is one of the few available running backs that are capable of performing at a high level in nearly every scoring and draft format.

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He has the ability to catch passes out of the backfield (238 career receptions), turn what should be a small gain into a home run (4.9 career yards per carry), and is more than adequate at crossing the goal line (97 career rushing touchdowns). Simply put, he's an old-fashioned running back capable of getting the job done, regardless of the situation at hand.

After missing nearly the entire season in 2014, Peterson returned to prominence in 2015, finishing as the league's top rusher. He was one of only two running backs to eclipse the 1,400-yard mark, ending with 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year. It was the eighth time in his career that he managed to record ten or more touchdowns on the ground -- the only season he didn't was in 2014, when he only competed in one game.

His impressive touchdown total was vintage Peterson, and the same can be said about his large workload. It was the fourth time in his career that he averaged over 20 carries per game. Minnesota's bell cow running back carried the ball 20.4 times a game in 2015, averaging 4.5 yards per rush.

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In all, the Vikings handed him the ball 327 times last season, a daunting task for most halfbacks in today's NFL. He was the only player in the league to have more than 300 attempts on the year -- Tampa Bay's Doug Martin was the only player within fifty carries of him, finishing with 288 carries to his credit.

2015 was the fourth time that he accumulated greater than 300 carries in a season, previously doing so in 2008, 2009, and 2012. Some people may find his high mileage discouraging, but I'm not one of those people.

In most cases, I would turn my nose up at a 31-year-old running back with 2,300+ career carries, but not in the case of Peterson.

He has shown no signs of slowing down and appears to have plenty left in the tank in terms of stamina, strength, and overall ability as a runner. I don't foresee him altering his rushing style this season, and I firmly believe that the team will rely on him to carry a bulk of the offensive load on his back.

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Although it's late in his career, I still view Adrian Peterson as the best running back in fantasy football. There's a chance that his numbers decline, but, more likely than not, he'll still finish with greater than 1,200 yards (which he's done seven times), and ten or more touchdowns (which he's done eight times).

He's one of the best running backs to ever suit up, and, until proven otherwise, he should be treated as so.

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