'Very good chance' Vikings RB Toby Gerhart will have to carry load early on
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'Very good chance' Vikings RB Toby Gerhart will have to carry load early on

We've heard all about how Adrian Peterson @AdrianPeterson is beating Percy Harvin in sprints and expecting to be ready come week 1. But the reality is, he is a physical runner who will be less than nine months removed from a major knee injury when the 2012 regular season begins. So you can understand if the Minnesota Vikings play it cautious when speaking on Peterson's availability. To that point, head coach Leslie Frazier said this about backup running back Toby Gerhart on Thursday. "[T]here's a very good chance he's going to have to really carry the load early on."
Gerhart averaged more than 100 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns in three late-season starts while Peterson nursed an ankle injury last year. Then on Dec. 24, the game in which Peterson suffered a torn ACL, a torn MCL, and meniscus damage, Gerhart ran for 109 yards on 11 carries.

Fantasy Analysis:

Peterson is the 14th running back off the board, 37th overall, according to MockDraftCentral.com's latest ADP chart. That's too rich for my taste. At that slot, people are basically expecting Peterson to return to his old self after two or three weeks. But considering the nature of the injury and Peterson's hard running style, that's very optimistic. That early in the draft, I want my picks to have as few concerns as possible. I won't be drafting Peterson unless his stock takes a big tumble, but do think Gerhart is a nice bargain at his current ADP of 112.

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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