Three and out: If Peterson’s back, drop Gerhart

Peterson on track to start?: After missing the past three games, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) returned to practice Wednesday, making it a stronger possibility that he will start Sunday against the Saints. New Orleans is in the bottom half of the league against opposing fantasy RBs. But that doesn’t matter because, well, it’s Adrian Peterson. If he’s playing, you’re starting him, no questions asked. However, it will have a big impact on Toby Gerhart, who posted solid fantasy totals in Peterson’s absence. If you were one of the fortunate owners riding the Gerhart gravy train over the past few weeks, we’ve now reached the end of the line. If you don’t have Peterson to plug back into that spot, it’s time to hit the waiver wire for a new option.

Orton could start for Chiefs: The Tyler Palko Experiment is officially over. Chiefs interim coach Romeo Crennel says either Kyle Orton or Ricky Stanzi will be the team’s starting quarterback this week against the Packers. It’s a statement that will likely have some fantasy owners tied in knots. If Orton goes, Dwayne Bowe is a lot more appealing against a defense that has given up the third-most fantasy points to WRs. If Kansas City is forced to put Stanzi under center, that value floats away like so many Palko overthrows. The rookie from Iowa has yet to take a live snap in a regular-season NFL game and struggled throughout the preseason. Keep an eye on this situation as it develops.

Roethlisberger still day to day: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) likely won’t see many practice reps leading to Monday night’s game against the 49ers, but coach Mike Tomlin still expects his veteran to start. With Roethlisberger’s history, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him tough it out this week. But if you’re playing for a berth in your league’s championship game, starting Big Ben against a defense that is allowing fewer than 14 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks is a huge risk — especially if you have other options with better matchups on the bench.

– Marcas Grant

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