RotoViz May Hate Adrian Peterson, But I Would Still Take Him at 1.01. Here’s Why…
What good are opinions if you’re not willing to act on them?
I probably could have titled this post “Here’s why I’m a pussy and would still take AP first overall” except that I don’t think I’m willing to admit my pussy-ness to myself just yet. But I actually would draft Adrian Peterson first overall even though I think the RB Sim Score’s projection of him raises important questions about his 2013. The reason I would still take AP first is because to not do so would be to just piss away the value of that first overall pick. It’s likely that 11 of the guys in your league will covet Adrian Peterson. That means that after you select him he should continue to have value until he does something to alter that value.
After taking AP, I would probably immediately start shopping him in trade offers looking for any deal where I get back a running back I already like plus some additional value. The best case scenario is that you get the RB you would have otherwise chosen (maybe Doug Martin), along with a trade sweetener like an upside WR4 or so. Slightly worse than that would be a deal where you get back the RB you otherwise would have chosen along with some player of marginal value, like Danny Woodhead. And then most likely if you can’t make either of those deals, you could just swap straight up for the player that you really wanted. But even in a worse case scenario (you keep AP), you get a guy that ran for 2,000 yards and whose value is unlikely to crater overnight. That means you can continue to shop him even going into the season.
I do think one thing that we’ve been collectively underrating for the Vikings is the potential that their offense could be better this year. I haven’t spent a bunch of time looking at this because I don’t really want to own any of their pieces, but I think it’s possible. There’s a decent chance that Christian Ponder isn’t horrible (I’m not saying he’s good either) and that they can probably replace the screen game they had with Percy Harvin by doing the same thing with Cordarrelle Patterson. I don’t think they should do that, but they could if they wanted to. Both Patterson and Harvin excel at the part of the game that is instinctive, which is to say that they would both prefer that you just give them the ball and then let them run. But the Vikings also have Greg Jennings and he could end up being the one piece they didn’t have last year – a guy that can actually run routes. I’m not saying that any of my theories that the Vikings could have an improved offense in 2013 figure prominently into my thinking on Peterson, but I could see them being a little better on offense in 2013.
When I re-read my post above, I think it really comes down to the idea that while I put some stock in the Sim Score projections, value is a little more complicated than that. The ability to transact after the draft gives Peterson value that exceeds his Sim Score projection. If you’re in a league where you don’t expect a lot of trading, then I suppose that the calculation changes slightly. However, AP should be liquid in terms of trade value in almost every single league given that he’s dominating the first overall pick.