After missing practice for a third straight day, the New York Giants have officially ruled out running back Ahmad Bradshaw for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons according to ESPN.com. That means rookie running back David Wilson in now a must-start in Week 15 for fantasy football owners.
The 2012 first-round pick of the Giants will get the start in Bradshaw's place, which is good news for fantasy football owners. Even if Bradshaw had played, he likely would have been limited, meaning some sort of timeshare between him and Wilson, which would have hurt the fantasy value of both players.
Now that we know Bradshaw is going to be out for sure, Wilson's Week 15 value takes a big jump. He will be the main ball-carrier for the Giants and should get somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 touches as they pay a visit to the Georgia Dome for a rematch of last year's wild-card game.
The former Virginia Tech star was having an uneventful rookie season thanks to an early-season fumble that got him in head coach Tom Coughlin's dog house. But last week, he broke out, rushing for 100 yards on 13 carries and scoring two touchdowns against New Orleans, one coming on a kickoff return.
Dog house no more!
Before the Saints game, Wilson had rushed for just 111 yards and one touchdown. Yet, with Bradshaw out and another solid matchup this week against a Falcons defense that allows the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, the rookie has suddenly become a must-start in fantasy leagues regardless of scoring format.
Atlanta has allowed 11 rushing touchdowns to running backs, 4.46 yards per carry and over 100 rushing yards per game. Therefore, the matchup is solid and the potential for upside is great with Wilson, who has shown that he is an explosive play waiting to happen.
Now I'm not saying Wilson is going to be an RB1 this week, but more than 100 total yards and a touchdown is a reasonable expectation. He should also have some added value as a receiver this week, so he will be a great RB2 and should be in your lineup in all leagues.
Good luck this week in the semifinals of the fantasy football playoffs and may the fantasy gods be with you.