Seriously, we’re all Vikings all the time with our sleepers around here apparently. I touched upon Kyle Rudolph a bit ago as a 2012 sleeper and now I turn to a man whose nickname I will force you to like until I see it tweeted ad finitum. Folks, I’m here to talk to you about Minnesota’s Valhalla Warrior, Toby Gerhart.
Now before we start this little post off, let me hear it. But, but, but…Adrian Peterson! There, there, I could tell by the three buts and lack of proper sentence structure you’re emotionally charged by this issue. I know, I know your AP’s back and this post is in trouble. Well, actually it’s not. This sleeper post is of the variety where you should try and have your cake and eat it too. I’m not saying I think AP is out for the year. Far from it. In fact, I have him at a decent spot in my 2012 fantasy football rankings to prove that I plan on seeing him back on the field eventually. The key word in that last sentence was ‘eventually’ like how your wife will ‘eventually’ forgive you for planning a drunken camp trip with your buddies on your anniversary weekend. The cool thing is, my eventually will probably happen sooner than yours as I see him getting back in the fold by the 5th or 6th game of the season. Alright, so where in that type of statement is Toby a sleeper you ask? Follow me on a magical journey to the next paragraph to find out.
Looking back on the Vikings’ season last year, there wasn’t much good to come out of it. Adrian was on, then off, then back on the injury list last year with the finishing blow putting the start to his 2012 campaign in serious doubt. To compound those woes, their rookie quarterback Christian Ponder got thrown to the wolves mid-way through game 6 and never really got comfortable in the pocket. Well, namely because there was not much of a pocket to speak of for him while he was out there. With how the season ended, it’s no wonder very few noticed what Toby did in the trenches in AP’s stead. In the four and a half games that Peterson couldn’t play, Toby amassed 97 total touches good for 484 yards and – ok this isn’t that special – two total touchdowns. But lets put that in perspective. That was only from 4 1/2 games. If we do a little fancy fantasy football math, we realize he was on pace for 1720 all purpose yards and about 7 touchdowns given a 16 game season. Yes, now you understand a bit more, I can tell. To make him even more appealing, the Vikings face off against the Lions and the Colts in weeks 4 and 2, respectively, to start the year. Those two teams were in the bottom ten in terms of rushing yards allowed. For a running back that should start the year as a clear cut #1 in his offense, you have a great way to start the year until AP is ready to play. Plus, let’s also face facts: we truly don’t know when or if Adrian will be back. If the Vikings season goes south in a hurry, maybe they keep him off the field so that he’s fully healed and ready to go for 2013. If that tragic scenario were to happen, you just drafted a possible RB2 in the 10th round. Of course, you drafted jack-all if you took AP in the second round in that scenario but let’s not talk about the negatives here. This is a sleeper post; dream with me! Right now, the Fantasy Pros CheatSheetWizard tells me over 60 analysts think he’s gonna be worse than New York Giants back up David Wilson as the 44th running back off the board. That’s enough to make any Viking go berserk, even if it’s only for four or five games.
2012 Projections: 810 rushing yards, 30 receptions, 240 receiving yards and 7 total touchdowns