Peterson, as he seemingly does every other offseason, has vowed to become a better pass-catcher. But what is more relevant in regards to his playing time is whether he will be able to adapt to the shotgun spread attack that better suits third-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Peterson struggled running out of the shotgun early last season, so the Vikings started calling more under-center plays. They figure to go back to a more shotgun-centric offense this season, which means Peterson will have to make the most of his shotgun carries. He will finally get a chance to take some in contract drills during training camp.
Peterson remains the man in Minnesota, but McKinnon, his uber-athletic backup, reminded the Vikings late last season that he can make plays, too. Barring an injury to Peterson, McKinnon does not figure to get more than 75-100 carries this season. But if he has improved enough in pass protection, the Vikings will be able to unleash him in passing situations, when he can put his elite quickness to use.
Norv Turner is no dummy. If Peterson continues to struggle in the shotgun, Turner will adjust the offense to fit his strengths. Peterson finished the 2015 season as the #2 RB in both standard and PPR formats. It was a historically bad season for the position, so with the same point totals he would have finished in the #5-#6 range in 2013 or 2014. Peterson is entering his age 31 seasons, but is showing no signs of slowing down, registering a 4.5 YPC last year. He’s a solid pick, especially in standard formats, but it’s doubtful that he’ll finish #2 or higher in PPR formats again in 2016.