Coming off his single game rushing yards record on Sunday, the hype surrounding Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has reached a fever pitch.
Perhaps the most remarkable story coming at the water cooler where fantasy sports owners have been talking up Peterson, who was drafted in most leagues as an early-to mid-third round pick.
To find out just how much Peterson could be worth to fantasy owners in real hard cash, I called up Greg Ambrosius, the editor of Fantasy Sports Magazine. Greg told me he believed that 40 percent of people who will win their leagues this year will win because they have Peterson on their team (30 percent by the way because of Brady, he thinks). How much is that worth? Try $600 million in real money, if you consider that about $1.5 billion will be won in fantasy football leagues this year.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars are riding on Peterson’s performance on the field,” Ambrosius said. “It’s looking like he’s going to be the best pick since Curtis Martin in 1995.”
Next, we’ll look at jersey sales. Reebok, the makers of NFL jerseys, have been churning out Vikings #28 jerseys as fast as they can. Sources are telling me that since week three of the season, Peterson has outshipped Brady Quinn Cleveland Browns jerseys by a 2-to-1 margin and Jamarcus Russell Oakland Raiders jerseys by a 4-to-1 margin.
Peterson, who reached his highest jersey ranking at No. 15 on Oct. 24, hit No. 11 yesterday in total sales, and if he keeps playing the way he does, he’ll be in the top 10 in a couple of weeks.
FYI--here's the Quick Top 10 jersey list snapshot: 1. LaDainian Tomlinson, 2. Reggie Bush, 3. Brian Urlacher, 4. Peyton Manning, 5. Brett Favre, 6. Troy Polamalu, 7. Vince Young, 8. Tom Brady, 9. Randy Moss, 10. Brady Quinn.
Obviously, there’s not enough Peterson jerseys at some stores in some places in the country because on eBay last night between the hours of 5 p.m. and midnight E.T., 49 Peterson jerseys were sold--an unusually high number.
EBay is obviously a good metric of hype. For example, on Sunday, the day of his record, more Peterson items sold than any other day (1,582 items) and for the highest average price ($54.57 per item).