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Fantasy football: Last chance to pick up Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson may or may not be back in 2014. Regardless, this could be your last week to take a gamble on him in your fantasy football league.

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Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

On Tuesday, it became a possibility that Adrian Peterson will return to the NFL in 2014. The timetable for Peterson's return to the field is now in the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. His reinstatement is overflowing with rumors and speculation at the moment, and of course it's difficult to truly know what Goodell will decide.

There was a time where is seemed as if Peterson had no shot of returning to the Minnesota Vikings in 2014. All of a sudden, Vikings players are waiting to welcome back their future Hall of Fame running back during the regular season. For those that drafted Adrian Peterson in their fantasy football leagues, there may be no homecoming. More than 60 percent of fantasy owners dropped Peterson over the past five weeks. For many fantasy leagues, Peterson is now at the mercy of the waiver wire, and his availability is shrinking by the minute. The question is: Should you pick him up?

It seems like a no-brainer. Peterson is one of the most valuable fantasy assets in virtually every scoring format. However, when you really start to consider the circumstances, there are a few drawbacks to consider. First of all, the obvious concern is when Peterson will return. We really don't know. He's missed eight games so far this season, albeit with pay. One would think that Goodell would find time to meet with Peterson on Minnesota's bye week and work toward a decision before Week 11. The other concern is the fact that Peterson may have to get back into game shape. We've seen Peterson overcome worse obstacles than some time off the field, but it's difficult the envision him completely picking up where he left off.

The deciding factor in all of this is: What do you really have to lose? Waiver priority? Is there a name out there that's more deserving of your waiver priority?

If Peterson is available in your league, it's probably best to make the waiver claim. If you don't, someone else will. If Peterson doesn't return in 2014, who will blame you for taking the chance? Your fantasy playoffs are likely right around the corner. It's decisions like this that could help boost your team when it counts the most.

Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a one-week fantasy football "Double Up" league this weekend. It's $10 to join and nearly half the field doubles their money. League starts Sunday 1 PM ET and ends on Monday night. Here's the link.