Saw a report yesterday of an upcoming "Battle of the Running Backs" between Adrian Peterson and LeVeon Bell. It's telling that I didn't have any idea what the context of this battle would be: Running? Jumping? In fact, it's boxing. Because that makes sense.

Apparently, celebrity boxing is big these days. Reading the story at this link, it seems we can largely credit or blame YouTube personality Jake Paul for this trend, which has included former running back Frank Gore and various other music and social media personalities whose names I won't bore you with.

Neither Peterson nor Bell has officially retired, but neither is anyone beating down their door with job offers (and this event won't change that). One would think both have made enough money over the course of their careers that neither needs to participate in this exhibition, but maybe they're doing it for fun and it will be about as real as pro wrestling used to be -- I don't know. In any case, it's happening, and some will enjoy it.

Peterson is a no-doubt Hall of Famer; Bell probably not. He basically had three great seasons. But looking at the respective peaks of their careers, it's a little closer in fantasy terms.

Collectively, the duo had 14 top-20 fantasy seasons (PPR scoring), including nine for Peterson and five for Bell. But Bell had three of the six best campaigns, including No. 1 -- 2,215 total yards for Pittsburgh in 2014. Peterson's best was just behind that, his 2,000-yard rushing season back in 2012. Bell's edge came from catching more than twice as many passes (83-40), which critics of PPR can use to strengthen their case if they wish. In any case, Bell's three best seasons are pretty similar to Peterson. At their peak (and Peterson's was considerably longer), both were awesome.

Table shows the top-20 seasons for each player, sorted by fantasy ranking.

2014LeVeon Bell29013614.78385411370.51
2012Adrian Peterson34820976.04021713351.41
2009Adrian Peterson31413834.44343618332.92
2017LeVeon Bell32112914.08565511345.62
2015Adrian Peterson32714854.53022211266.72
2016LeVeon Bell26112684.9756169319.43
2007Adrian Peterson23813415.61926813257.95
2010Adrian Peterson28312984.63634113277.95
2008Adrian Peterson36317604.92112510269.59
2013Adrian Peterson27912664.52917111238.710
2013LeVeon Bell2448603.5453998218.915
2011Adrian Peterson2089704.71813913206.915
2019LeVeon Bell2457893.2664614217.016
2018Adrian Peterson25110424.2202088193.019

Both players rather quietly played for two teams last season. Bell had 131 scrimmage yards and 3 TDs, Peterson 42 and 2. I'm not sure either player will surface in 2022, especially Peterson (who's 37); Bell is 30. But this exhibition makes an NFL return seem a little less likely.

--Andy Richardson