Adrian Peterson Fantasy Outlook Downgrades Kerryon Johnson After Signing With Lions

Jason Schandl
Adrian Peterson's fantasy outlook is weak, but his signing with the Lions does downgrade Kerryon Johnson.
Adrian Peterson's fantasy outlook is weak, but his signing with the Lions does downgrade Kerryon Johnson. / Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
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It didn't take Adrian Peterson long to find a new home after being released by the Washington Football Team. The 35-year-old RB inked a one-year contract with the Detroit Lions on the final Sunday before the 2020 NFL season.

Peterson won't offer any fantasy football value as a Lion, but the signing does downgrade Kerryon Johnson's 2020 fantasy outlook.

Adrian Peterson Fantasy Outlook

Peterson looked surprisingly solid carrying the rock in Washington after appearing to be totally washed up in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Even still, he's largely been a one-dimensional producer. In 2019 he had 211 carries to just 23 targets.

He joins a Lions backfield that is already very crowded, with Johnson and D'Andre Swift clearly favored as the top options, and that's going to make significant volume hard to come by — especially because AP is really only competing for early-down work.

The role Peterson will likely take over is Bo Scarbrough's — serving as a third option at RB, and possibly getting some short-yardage work. It wouldn't be surprising if he gets used more than the team planned on using Scarbrough, however.

Kerryon Johnson Fantasy Outlook

The Lions continuing to add RBs is more bad news for Johnson. He's another guy who doesn't get a ton of receiving work (113 carries to 15 targets in 2019), so even a modest number of carries for Peterson is going to cut into Kerryon's work.

The team also just doesn't seem to have much faith in Johnson. Since drafting him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Lions signed C.J. Anderson (and gave him 11 carries in Week 1) in 2019, drafted D'Andre Swift in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft and have now signed Peterson. If the team isn't committed to getting Johnson significant volume, he's just not likely to offer much fantasy value on a weekly basis.

D'Andre Swift Fantasy Outlook

The rookie Swift is probably the player least effected by the Peterson signing. Swift's value and potential upside is already dependent on his earning volume ahead of Johnson, and the explosive 21-year-old is going to be a highly boom-or-bust producer unless he earns the lead back role, which isn't likely to happen until at least a few weeks into the season.

Since Peterson profiles much the same way as Johnson and Scarbrough, not Swift, this doesn't really change the situation for Swift.

The Lions clearly have a type, signing Peterson after bringing in C.J. Anderson in 2019 and LeGarrette Blount in 2018.

AP Doesn't have much fantasy football value, and managers who drafted Swift shouldn't be too worried, but this is definitely a worrying sign for Johnson.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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