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Way-too-early fantasy football Mock Draft: Peterson No. 1

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez/Landov

Coming off an ACL tear, Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards during an MVP-caliber season.

Adrian Peterson might have finished just nine yards shy of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, but he earned another significant honor this season ... and it has nothing to do with the NFL playoffs.

Peterson is going to be the No. 1 pick in fantasy football in 2013, assuming (knock on wood), he doesn't get injured next week in the postseason.

Heck, scratch that. Peterson could blow out his knee again and still be the top pick next year. After all, he's already proven capable of overcoming a major knee reconstruction to rush for a near-record 2,097 in a calendar year.

There is no way to make the case for anyone else as the top pick. Peterson reminded everyone this season that in fantasy circles, he is the man.

For the final Fantasy Football Fast Forward of 2012, we're mapping out what the first seven rounds of next season's draft would look like if the draft were held today. Free agency, trades, postseason hype, coaching changes, injuries and the draft will all impact eventual pre-draft rankings, but this is where things stand as the regular season concludes. But by all means, debate away. There's nothing better to do for the next eight-plus months anyway.

We'll leave it at that and guarantee this won't actually be how things shake out. It was an interesting exercise, though, and it can help fantasy players determine any early keeper decisions they might be forced to make.

And on that note, enjoy the long, cold winter. Fantasy baseball just doesn't capture our imaginations the same way football can.

Eric Mack writes fantasy for SI.com. Track his weekly starts and sits every Thursday, his last-minute Cheat Sheet on Sunday mornings and his Fantasy Fast Forward on Sunday nights. You find also him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice or challenging him to a head-to-head fantasy game @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).

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