Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 15 November 2009

Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson?

Adrian Peterson came into the season rated the top running back in the NFL by many, and certainly most people's favourite choice in the fantasy football drafts. And he delievered in week 1 when he ran for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 34-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns. This evening's victory over the Detroit Lions was only the 3rd time he'd broke the 100 yard rushing barrier this season as he helped the Minnesota Vikings to an 8-1 record with 2 touchdowns. 143 yards against Baltimore in week 6 looked impressive, but he failed to produce anything significant in both victories over the Green Bay Packers. Peterson is averaging 5.1 yards per rush and has caught 21 passes for 199 yards and fumbled four times this season.

Chris Johnson was the only positive thing for Tennessee in their opening 6 games that all ended in defeat. But he's been a big part in their last 3 victories too and starting to get more and more appreciation amongst the leaders elite running backs, this evening becomming the first running back to go over 1,000 yards this evening when he rushed for 132 yards on 26 carries and 2 yards. Johnson also caught 9 passes for 100 yards, being a great option for Vince Young to dump the ball off too, or on screen plays. That's his 4th straight 100+ yard running game which included 124 yards in a 59-0 defeat in New England, and becoming the first player to rush for over 100 yards against the San Francisco 49ers last week (Peterson had 85 yards on 19 carries against them in week 3). Johnson is averaging an incredible 6.4 yards per carry (8 touchdowns) and has caught 30 passes for 262 yards and 1 touchdown, with 1 fumble.

Both of these players are amongst the mid-season MVP candidates, although some quarterbacks would argue that. The statistics are in Chris Johnson's favour, but the Titans record of 3-6 won't work in his favour unless they can magically turn their season around and make the playoffs. But Chris Johnson really is Tennessee's one-man offence, with few others having much of an impact. The Minnesota Vikings have other weapons on their offence, with the acqusation of Brett Favre in the summer putting them amongst the Superbowl favourites, and his favourite target, Sidney Rice amongst the receiving leaders.

Peterson is both a quick, agile and powerful running back that is capable of winning games for Minnesota with his capability to make a big play at any time, and forcing defences to stack the box, allowing their receivers more space for Brett Favre to find them in. Johnson's speed is a lethal weapon as he too has the ability to make a big play at any time, both rushing and receiving. He was a big part of the Titans last season when they ranked number 1 at the end of the regular season, before the Titans went out in the playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens, failing to get much going on offence after Chris Johnson left the game in the first half with a controversial ankle injury incident.

Who would you want in your team? I know I'd be grateful to have either in my fantasy team...

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