Rueben Randle's Fantasy Value Increases Due to Shaky RB Situation for Giants
Rueben Randle had a great showing for the New York Giants in Week 1, and there is plenty of reason to believe this will continue throughout the season.
The second-year player out of LSU finished the game with five catches for 101 yards. While this was the third-best showing on the Giants after Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, it appears that there is plenty of production to go around.
Where will Rueben Randle rank among fantasy receivers in 2013?
In the loss, Eli Manning threw 42 passes and totaled 450 yards and four touchdowns. He also hurt his team with three interceptions, but this pass-heavy offense is something that could help all of the receivers on the roster.
Besides two scrambles by Manning, New York had only 12 rushing attempts on the day. While much of this had to do with the fact that the team was trailing for most of the game, it is also clear that head coach Tom Coughlin does not have much faith in the running attack.
When Andre Brown went down with a fractured leg that will hold him out until at least Week 10, it left the roster barren of experienced running backs. David Wilson, Da'Rel Scott and Michael Cox are the only healthy players on the roster at the position, and the three had a combined 383 yards in their careers.
Wilson was supposed to have a breakout year in his second season, but it appears he has found himself back in the team's dog house. Last year, the first-round pick fumbled on his second rushing attempt in Week 1. He did not get another carry in the game and only had 16 carries in the next nine weeks.
It is clear that Coughlin does not tolerate fumbles.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what Wilson did against the Cowboys when he lost the ball twice. The second of the two led to a Dallas touchdown, which in turn cost him his job, as noted by ESPN's Trey Wingo:
Ball security is job security. For David Wilson...it's deja vu all over again— trey wingo (@wingoz) September 9, 2013
Wilson did not touch the ball for the rest of the game. Scott did well in relief, but he can hardly be trusted as a starter.
If no running backs are capable of running the ball, this leaves passing as the only option. Based on what we have seen, the Giants are going to pass it a lot. This is good news for not only Cruz and Nicks, but it will benefit Randle as well.
The talented receiver showcased plenty of ability last year when he totaled 298 receiving yards and three touchdowns. When Nicks was unavailable against the Cleveland Browns, Randle came through with six catches for 82 yards.
He looked even better in the first game this season, which makes one believe that he will continue to have a big role going forward. NFL analyst Mike Clay believes the team is grooming him for a starting spot next year:
Every Rueben Randle catch makes impending free agent Hakeem Nicks more and more expendable. Randle will be a WR2 next year.— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) September 9, 2013
Until that happens, he will have plenty of opportunity to succeed as the No. 3 receiver this year. Considering Nicks has never played all 16 games in his four-year career, there should be plenty of chances for a bigger role if or when he gets hurt.
Randle is an extremely talented player with the ability to do well on what has become a pass-heavy team. He should be added in all fantasy leagues and is even worth a start in deeper ones.
If any injury occurs to either Nicks or Cruz during the course of the season, he instantly becomes a must-start player.
The potential is there for some big things in the future for the former LSU star.
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