Earlier this summer, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said of Wilson (via the NY Daily News): “I don’t know if we’ve had a guy as explosive, regardless of the position, here. I don’t know if we’ve seen quite the darting, the explosiveness in short bursts that we’ve seen with him. That’s kind of exciting to see.”
Not lacking confidence in himself, Wilson described himself as a cross between Ray Rice and Arian Foster.
"I think I'm a mix of Arian Foster and Ray Rice with the way he breaks tackles and Arian Foster sometimes makes something out of nothing and I'm always trying to get that extra yard when I'm on the field," Wilson said (via the Newark Star-Ledger).
As a junior at Virginia Tech last year, Wilson set the school's single-season rushing record with 1,709 yards on 290 carries. While those numbers are impressive, Wilson will need to improve his ball security as he fumbled seven times last year. If there is one thing that Tom Coughlin, or any coach for that matter, can't tolerate, it's fumbles.
Compared to last year's production, the Giants need to get more out of their running game than what they received last year.
The Giants ranked last in the NFL in rushing yards (1,427) and last in yards per carry (3.5). In addition, they had only two 100-yard games, one of which was by Brandon Jacobs, who departed via free agency.
Ahmad Bradshaw is the team's starting running back and due to receive the majority of touches. That said, there should be enough touches to go around for Wilson to be productive from a fantasy perspective as well assuming good health for both backs.
Of course, that's no lock for Bradshaw.
It's not that Bradshaw isn't tough, because he is, but he always seems to be banged up or dealing with foot issues. In other words, Wilson is only one Ahmad Bradshaw injury away from showcasing his home run ability from a much more prominent role.
In his first preseason game, Wilson showed his explosiveness as he carried the ball seven times for 43 yards including a nice 26-yard run. If he continues to impress in the preseason and/or regular season, Wilson, their first-round pick, will carve out an even larger role for himself as the season progresses.
Playing in an offense that put up close to 5,000 passing yards last year, opposing defenses won't have the opportunity to stack the box to slow Wilson and starter Ahmad Bradshaw. As a home run threat, there is a good chance that Wilson will break off quite a few long runs.
(Strength of) Schedule
Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed to running backs last year by all of the Giants' opponents this year, Wilson and the Giants' RBs have the 15th-most favorable schedule from a fantasy perspective.
In addition, they also have the second-least favorable schedule in the fantasy postseason (Weeks 14-16). If your team makes it to your league's championship game and you have Wilson, you'll have to face the stingy Ravens run defense.
In Yahoo! leagues, Wilson is currently the 42nd running back off the board based on average draft position (ADP) and is going in the 13th round. Wilson should get enough work to exceed his current draft position even if Bradshaw avoids the injury bug with tremendous upside if Bradshaw doesn't.
With Bradshaw and Wilson being only 26 and 21 years old, respectively, both backs should figure prominently in their ground attack going forward as long as Bradshaw sees it to the end of his contract, which expires in 2015. That said, I really like Wilson's upside and think he provides fantasy owners with greater relative value between the two backs.
Projection: (Rushing) 785 Yards, 5 TDs; (Receiving) 15 Receptions, 110 Yards, 1 TD
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