5 Reasons to Draft David Wilson in Your Fantasy Football League

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystAugust 1, 2012

5 Reasons to Draft David Wilson in Your Fantasy Football League

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    The New York Giants were the champions of the National Football League in 2011, riding a magical playoff run to a win in Super Bowl XLVI despite a rushing attack that ranked dead last in the NFL during the regular season.

    The Giants took steps to address their backfield in the offseason, bidding adieu to bruiser Brandon Jacobs and adding David Wilson of Virginia Tech with the last pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.

    Here are a fistful of reasons why you should do the same in your fantasy draft.

    Just not in the first round. That would be silly.

1. Wilson Was a Monster for the Hokies Last Year

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    The New York Giants are notorious for drafting value over need—a practice that has served the franchise well over the years.

    It's not hard at all to see why they thought there was value to be had in Wilson.

    The 5'9", 205-pounder had an incredible season at Virginia Tech last year, racking up over 1,700 rushing yards and averaging nearly six yards a carry.

    The Giants, meanwhile, averaged 3.5 yards a carry during the regular season in 2011—worst in the league.

2. First-Round Picks Don't Usually Sit on Their Hands

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    There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking if a running back is selected in the first round, that back sees a fair amount of action as a rookie.

    Granted, Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints and C.J. Spiller of the Buffalo Bills were both viewed as disappointments as rookies, but each of those players battled injuries for much of their inaugural seasons.

    However, each of the three first-round running backs prior to that (San Diego's Ryan Mathews, Detroit's Jahvid Best and Denver's Knowshon Moreno) all not only saw significant action as rookies but were productive.

    Each player of that trio topped 700 total yards and six touchdowns as rookies, and all three backs finished their first NFL season as at least a fantasy RB3 in leagues that award a point for receptions.

3. Ahmad Bradshaw Wasn't Exactly a World-Beater Last Year

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    David Wilson will open the season behind starter Ahmad Bradshaw on the Giants' depth chart, but there's no guarantee that Wilson will stay there.

    Bradshaw was a major disappointment for the Giants last year, failing to amass 1,000 total yards, missing four games and averaging a career-low 3.9 yards per carry.

    The Giants inked Bradshaw to a four-year, $18 million contract last August, but that's not the sort of deal than an NFL team is married to.

    The 26-year-old has also already undergone treatment this year for the chronic foot problems that have plagued Bradshaw throughout his career.

    At the very least, the Giants will probably mix in a healthy dose of Wilson in an effort to keep Bradshaw healthy, and, depending on how quickly Wilson acclimates to the NFL, we could see a changing of the guard in Big Blue's backfield sooner rather than later.

4. If You Draft Bradshaw You'd Better Grab the Handcuff

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    Given Bradshaw's down year in 2011 and nagging foot injuries, it's somewhat surprising to see him being selected near the top 15 running backs early in the fourth round of fantasy drafts, but that's where his average draft position sits right now according to MyFantasyLeague.com.

    It just goes to show that even in today's age of first-round quarterbacks and tight ends, running backs still carry a premium, as the same teams drafting Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers with their first choice still need two starters in the backfield.

    If you're one of those teams that eschews the running back spot early and then comes back to Bradshaw, it's vital that you also add Wilson as an insurance policy, even if that policy comes at an eighth-round premium.

    Otherwise that first-round gamble and your fourth-round bell cow could both blow up in your face.

5. Be the Squirrel

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    You can never have too many running backs in fantasy football.

    C'mon, say it with me.

    You can never have too many running backs in fantasy football.

    No position is more picked in drafts, scoured for more on the waiver wire or hit harder by injuries every year than running backs.

    Sure, some of your league-mates may snicker when you hoard the position like a squirrel hoards nuts, making wiseacre comments like "you know you can only start two".

    However, at some point during the season, one of those same owners is going to come looking to you for help when their RB2 tears his ACL, and at that point guess what?

    It's a seller's market, and it's a good day to be a squirrel.