Adrian Peterson calls himself 'hesitant,' but fantasy value still high

Al Bello

The Vikings running back said his limitations have been more mental than physical. We break down the fantasy implications.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been battling a hamstring injury for a few weeks, leaving him "hesitant running the ball," according to Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins. Peterson said his limitations dealing with the injury have been more mental than physical.

Peterson, the consensus No. 1 player in fantasy entering the season, has underperformed slightly this year. Despite that, he still has 511 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 2013, leaving him on pace for 1,632 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns.

Fantasy impact: Peterson estimated his injury came "about five weeks ago," which would put it around Week 2 or 3. Either way, it came before his 140-yard, two-touchdown outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4, so it couldn't have been that limiting.

What really has been holding Peterson back on occasion this season is the team around him. The Vikings have run Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman out at quarterback, and their struggles, combined with nothing great out of the receiving game, have had teams doing everything they can to stop Peterson, Minnesota's one true weapon.

The Vikings' coaches have been hearing about their Peterson-related play-calling all week since Monday's game, when they only gave Peterson 13 rushes, so expect them to respond Sunday. Peterson will still be fine, and is still a high-end RB1.

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