Gerhart could open season as Vikings’ starter even if Adrian Peterson is healthy

Adrian Peterson is doing extremely well in his recovery from a torn ACL suffered in December and while he may begin Training Camp on the PUP, he is now expected to be ready to go for week 1. However, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, it is “a given” that the Vikings will limit Peterson’s early season workload and goes as far as to say that backup Toby Gerhart will carry the load early on.

Gerhart is certainly a capable back. He was a 2nd round pick in 2010 and he rushed for 431 yards and 1 touchdown on 85 carries in 5 starts last season. The Vikings would be smart to ease Peterson back into action, especially since they’re probably not going anywhere this year regardless. They still owe Peterson a lot of money over the next few years and, when healthy, he’s one of the most dynamic playmakers in the game. The last thing this troubled franchise needs is something to happen to him to effect him into 2013 and beyond. Stay away from Peterson in the first 2 rounds of fantasy drafts and if you do draft him at any point, make sure to handcuff him to Gerhart. Gerhart, meanwhile, is the definition of a mid round upside pick at his current ADP in the 9th round.

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