An early fumble landed David Wilson in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. Wilson did not fumble the rest of the season, but he managed to get just 71 rushing attempts on the season. Ahmad Bradshaw went to the Indianapolis Colts, opening the door for Wilson, who was the Giants' first-round pick out of Virginia Tech last year. Will Wilson take that opportunity and run with it?
Wilson has definitely shown some serious explosiveness. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry. His four touchdowns came from 40, six, 52 and 14 yards out. He also took a kickoff 97 yards to the house. Wilson led the NFL with 1,533 kickoff return yards. His 26.9 yards per return average ranked sixth in the league. He consistently got the job done in the return game.
Unfortunately, that consistency did not transfer over to the offensive side of the ball. Rotoworld’s Evan Silva did an amazing job breaking down Wilson’s rookie season. He concluded that 188 of Wilson’s 392 total yards came on seven plays. That’s a whopping 26.9 yards per play. On his other 68 touches, Wilson averaged 3.0 yards per play.
Wilson only had three games with double-digit carries. Without consistent carries, it’s hard to get established and into a groove that will allow you to consistently move the chains. In the three games with double-digit carries, he averaged 5.8 yards per carry. Even if you take away his longest run from each game (52, 25, 15), he still averaged 3.7 yards per carry. Wilson also had 26 of his 34 receiving yards in those games.
Now that it’s Wilson’s show, you can expect more of that.
Wilson will still need to do the bulk of his scoring on long runs, though. Andre Brown ran for eight touchdowns last year and will serve as the Giants’ goal-line back. At 6’0″ and 227 pounds, Brown is better suited for that pounding than the 5’9″, 205-pound Wilson.
Wilson is still the back you want to own out of the Giants backfield. One area that he’ll have to improve is his play in the passing game. He was targeted nine times last year and only caught four of them. Bradshaw and Brown combined for 35 receptions on 48 targets. Wilson will need to show improved pass protection to stay on the field more on third downs and increase his reception total.
Wilson has a ton of potential, but you’re going to have to take him fairly early to land him. Currently, his FantasyPros average draft position is 41, and he is also the 20th-ranked running back. I expect him to climb up the draft boards. I’ve bought in, ranking him 11th among running backs.
What are your expectations for Wilson in 2013?
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