Ahmad Bradshaw: Giants RB a Sell-High Despite Career-Best Day vs. Browns

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 07:   Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants breaks the tackle of  John Hughes #93 of the Cleveland Browns during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 7, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Oftentimes one brilliant performance is all it takes for at top-notch fantasy running back to reclaim his dominance and soar back into the good graces with owners.

In other instances, it's a one-week blip on the radar that gives owners a perfect opportunity to sell high on an underperforming player. 

After weeks of frustrating fantasy owners with inconsistent performances and injury issues, New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw gave owners that sell-high opportunity on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Behind a top-notch performance from the offensive line, Bradshaw rushed for a career high 200 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. His dominance spurred the Giants' 41-27 victory and likely sent fantasy owners back out of their panic bunker. 

Unfortunately, don't look for Bradshaw's Week 5 brilliance to become a consistent phenomenon. While the Giants running back is undoubtedly a starter going forward, here is a look at a few reasons why you need to get rid of Bradshaw while you still can. 


His Value Will Never Be Higher

Let's start off with the most obvious point: When a player has a 200-yard rushing game, his value artificially soars.

One week flips the script 180 degrees from Bradshaw being considered a potential draft bust all the way back into possible breakout status.

When selling the Giants running back to perspective trade partners, it's not that hard to warp the statistics. Despite missing the better part of two games, Bradshaw now ranks 14th in the NFL in rushing yards and has the fourth-best yards per carry average (5.1) of any rusher with 50 or more carries. 

Those are completely true statistics that are wholly misleading. Nevertheless, fantasy football was not made for people to be fair, but to find advantages and values that others may not see and to take advantage.

All it takes is a little skewing of the statistics and you can probably convince an opposing owner that Bradshaw is a possible RB1 down the stretch. 


Difficult Upcoming Schedule

Though nearly every owner will have trepidation about starting Bradshaw against the San Francisco 49ers next week, the rest of the Giants' upcoming slate is not exactly a picnic, either.

Each of New York's next four opponents rank in the top half of the NFL in run defense, and the worst among those is the Dallas Cowboys, whose running stats are artificially inflated due to the team excelling against the pass.

For mid-level running backs, schedule means just about everything. 

What's more, these contests should be closer than last week's drubbing of Cleveland. Bradshaw's 30 carries last week were just the second time all season a running back went over the 20-carry mark, and it's apparent that the Giants prefer the pass in close games.


Recent History Says the Performance Was a Fluke

Not even the world's most clinically insane person would expect Bradshaw to rush for 200 or more yards per game.

From that perspective the performance was obviously a fluke. However, here's a more telling statistic: Week 5 was the first time since Oct. 16, 2011 that Bradshaw went over the 100 total yards mark. 

Despite being just 26 years old, it's become readily apparent over the past year-and-a-half that Bradshaw is a second-tier running back. That means top-notch performances will come few and far between as he mostly sticks in that 8-to-14 point range every week, depending on whether he gets into the end zone. 

Considering the overall dearth of consistency at the running back position, that's an admirable performance. However, with his value soaring and a difficult schedule on the way, it might be best to part ways with Bradshaw while you can still get starter value in return.