Ahmad Bradshaw: Giants RB's Potential to Wreak Havoc Makes Him a Must-Start

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2012

Sep 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) gives a stiff arm to Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Dallas Cowboys defeat the New York Giants by a score of 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw is back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to The Star-Ledger's Jenny Vrentas.

Therefore, with only six NFL running backs averaging at least 100 yards per game, Bradshaw is a must-start for fantasy owners in Week 4. 

Bradshaw suffered a sprained neck in Week 2 vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but is back to help New York overcome division rival Philadelphia on the road Sunday night.

His potential to wreak havoc out of the backfield is what makes him a must-start fantasy performer. 

Although Bradshaw's injury provided the platform for backup RB Andre Brown to prove himself in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers, he will still see enough touches in his first game back to make a difference in the outcome. The veteran was averaging 4.3 yards per rush before going down two weeks ago.

In addition to Bradshaw's solid play, the Giants will have an added advantage taking on a mediocre Eagles' rush defense, which is allowing more than 100 yards per game on the ground this season. 

Philadelphia is surrendering four yards per rush attempt this season, which will provide both Brown and Bradshaw with plenty of opportunities to make fantasy owners smile.

After all, one of Bradshaw's biggest strengths is his nose for the end zone. From 2009 to 2011, he carried the ball 610 times for the Giants, scoring 24 rushing touchdowns over those three seasons. That's an average of one score per every 25 attempts. Not too shabby for a RB who averaged just over 200 carries per season over the last three years. Bradshaw averaged a touchdown for every 19 carries in 2011.

Also, Philadelphia's defense will be aiming to slow the scorching Eli Manning through the air, thus opening up gaping running lanes on the ground for Bradshaw to exploit in his first game back from injury. The hit to his neck shouldn't effect his speed or burst through the hole this weekend either.

If Bradshaw were coming off a leg or foot injury, I would be much more skeptical of him returning to form so quickly. For Tom Coughlin to name him the starter less than two weeks after going down says a lot about the coaching staff's confidence in his ability to perform in Sunday's matchup.

Ahmad Bradshaw has loads of fantasy potential each and every time he suits up. Week 4 will be no different, and that's why the Giants RB is a must-start vs. the Eagles. 

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