Adrian Peterson was the top scorer in all of fantasy football last year. An incredible accomplishment considering the fact that it was his first year coming back from a horrific knee injury. Those that took a chance on the Minnesota Vikings star in their fantasy football leagues were rewarded heavily, most did not even have to cough up a first round draft choice for the game’s MVP. Talk about a bargain.
With the popularity of fantasy football among NFL fans, and the huge rewards Peterson gave all who owned him a year ago, the support would be enough to make the star running back blush. Not quite, this year he has not quite lived up to his number one overall draft position. Sports is a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ industry, and fans have been quick to let AP know that his stats just aren’t cutting it.
This comes despite the fact that he is the second ranked running back in standard scoring leagues. Peterson just has not been superhuman during the Vikings 0-2 start. He has 193 yards and 2 touchdowns through the first two weeks of the year. Good production for any other back, but fans don’t expect the usual statline from a top fantasy football pick.
When asked by the USA Today’s Chris Strauss what it was like to be the most popular player in fantasy football, Peterson resplied:
“I don’t wanna say it’s so worksome, but it gets worksome. You’ve got so many different personalities out there. You’ve got people that’s cheering you on and people that beat you down because you didn’t score a touchdown or get this amount of yards. So, it’s cool but then again it’s a headache as well. It’s more of a headache if you let it bother you, which I don’t.”
He also detailed some of his personal experiences with fantasy football players.
“I’ve heard some crazy responses. Not just through Twitter but just in person, like wow. Did I just get threatened to rush for 100 yards? You would think it be more so the people that didn’t get you, but it’s the ones that have you. I’m not just going about myself, I’m kind of talking in general about other people having criticized the player they pick as well. It’s brutal for some guys. Then next week when you throw for 300 or 400 yards, you’re the baddest thing smokin’. But that’s just the way of the world.”
Adrian’s comments may seem crazy and farfetched to the casual sports fan, but they fall right in line with what Ray Rice tweeted after leaving the Ravens game with an injury in week two.
I was a fan of fantasy football until today so many spiteful and hateful words I still love you all God Bless great win today #Ravens
— Ray Rice (@RayRice27) September 15, 2013
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck also said that fantasy football is “not so great for the players who have to hear [about] it” earlier in the week.
Sports fans have always been crazy, but perhaps fantasy football gives some a sense of ownership that they really don’t have over players. Making a vulgar or inappropriate social media comment isn’t that big of a shock, people do that all over the internet, but if they are willing to say it to the face of the player who gave them a disappointing stat line, that’s crossing a line.
As someone who loves fantasy football, it is disappointing to see that the actions of other players have caused Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and many other NFL players, to fall out of love with the fantasy game. It’s just a game folks, try talking smack to the friends in your league. That’s more fun anyway. Unless you can’t win, then try getting a better team.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express