Week 15 fantasy pickups include Toby Gerhart, Jordan Todman, Da’Rick Rogers

dennis-pitta-ravensFor those of you who have made it to this point, congratulations. By now almost all fantasy football leagues have begun their playoffs. If you’re still in the hunt, you still need to be working the waiver wire. There were a ton of injuries across the NFL last weekend, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. We’re here to help. Here are your Week 15 fantasy pickups.

Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings: Adrian Peterson received good news this week in that he reportedly avoided any fractures or structural damage with his foot injury. However, he has been wearing a walking boot. The Vikings are 3-9-1 and out of the playoff hunt. They’re not going to risk Peterson suffering a serious injury, so he’s questionable at best for this weekend’s game against the Eagles. Gerhart would handle the bulk of the carries in AP’s absence and could make for a solid spot start.

Jordan Todman, RB, Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a hamstring injury last Thursday night against the Texans. While he says the injury is nothing serious, hamstring tweaks can be problematic for running backs. Todman carried the ball seven times for just 14 yards when MJD went down against Houston, but he could be in for more work against Buffalo’s 26th-ranked rush defense this weekend. It’s a tasty matchup and Todman would make for an intriguing start if Jones-Drew is unable to go.

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Toby Gerhart once borrowed a car from Adrian Peterson, got it stuck in the snow

When Toby Gerhart was a rookie in 2010, he joined a backfield that was spearheaded by arguably the most talented running back in the NFL. That can be an intimidating situation to come into, but from the sound of it Adrian Peterson tried to make the Stanford standout feel right at home. In fact, Peterson even let Gerhart borrow a set of wheels once. Maybe he shouldn’t have.

When talking to Chris and Ben on XTRA Sports Radio in San Diego earlier this week, Gerhart told a story about how he got Peterson’s sports car stuck in the snow.

“I didn’t have a car up here just yet and so I was borrowing one of Adrian’s cars,” Gerhart recalled according to Sports Radio Interviews. “It was this little sports car. And I didn’t even realize it snowed until I opened the garage, and I was like, ‘Oh no, I’m in trouble.’ I decided I didn’t want to drive. I tried to call a couple guys — nobody answered. And I was a rookie, I was scared to be late to meetings so I was like, ‘All right, I gotta just try to go for it.’ And I was slipping and sliding the whole way and couldn’t make it up the last little hill into the facility.”

That sounds like a situation rookies probably wake up in a cold sweat just thinking about before their first season with a team. Talk about embarrassing. Stories like this help explain why veterans choose to do stuff like this, this, this and this to rookies. Even if they cut them some slack, they’d probably just screw up anyway.

Pat Williams Picks on Toby Gerhart During First Day of Camp

Oh boy, the race baiters are going to have a ball with this story. On his first day of training camp with the Vikings in Mankato, Minnesota, running back Toby Gerhart got a “welcome to the NFL” hit from defensive lineman Pat Williams. The impression based on reports is that Williams went out of his way during a pads and shorts drill to level Gerhart with the “biggest hit” of the morning Saturday. Williams is making it clear that his hit was intentional as pointed out by Pro Football Talk:

“I don’t care who it is, man,” Williams said. “This ain’t college no more. They’re grown mans out there. (Expletive.) Paying these college boys like they already played before, so (expletive), we just show ‘em. This is a different breed out there. This is grown men. It ain’t boys no more. But they pay ‘em like they done played in the NFL now.”

Clearly Williams harbors more animosity towards rookies than your typical veteran and isn’t afraid of showing it. One has to wonder where this attitude comes from. I’m guessing 75% of Williams’ anger towards Gerhart is a rookie thing, 20% is because Gerhart got paid and was a day late to camp, and maybe 5% is because Gerhart is a white running back.

Gerhart is joining an extremely exclusive club, and by exclusive I mean limited. The list of successful white running backs in the NFL includes two names: John Riggins and Craig James. Maybe some players, Pat Williams included, will be out to prove Toby Gerhart that he’s out of place. Perhaps that was part of the motivation behind this “welcome to the NFL” hit, and I’m guessing Gerhart realizes there could be plenty more of this to come.

Pat Williams welcomes Toby Gerhart to the NFL [Pro Football Talk]
Pat Williams delivers hit, words to put Toby Gerhart in his place [1500ESPN]