There hasn't been a more disappointing team in the NFL through four weeks than the New York Giants. And there hasn't been a more disappointing running back in fantasy football so far this season than David Wilson.
However, a matchup with the NFL's worst defense (the Philadelphia Eagles) may be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling New York offense. Recent events suggest that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for Wilson's fantasy owners.
Make no mistake, Wilson was miserable in September.
The preseason leg injury suffered by Andre Brown thrust Wilson to the top of the New York depth chart and to the top of many fantasy breakout lists. However, two lost fumbles in the season opener landed him on the bench and crippled his confidence.
Since then, the New York ground game has been a hot mess, ranking 30th in the NFL at fewer than 60 yards per game.
Now, head coach Tom Coughlin appears ready to give Wilson another chance.
As Conor Orr of The Newark Star-Ledger reports, the Giants released tailback Da'Rel Scott on Tuesday. He had been playing in many passing situations for the Giants and played nearly as many snaps (27) in Week 4's loss to Kansas City as Wilson (29).
Scott also had a costly fumble. As a result, it appears that the very thing that got Wilson into trouble to open the season (putting the ball on the ground) may have opened the door for his redemption.
Scott's release leaves Brandon Jacobs, who has averaged all of one yard a carry this year, as Wilson's backup, with rookie Michael Cox rounding out the Giants' stable at tailback.
It's hardly unreasonable to think this portends a bump in touches for Wilson. That bump couldn't have come at a better time.
The Giants face an Eagles defense on Sunday that has allowed nearly 122 yards a game on the ground, good for 26th in the NFL. Philadelphia has also been a top-10 fantasy matchup for running backs in leagues that award a point for receptions.
Wilson will probably still cede some short-yardage work to Jacobs, but it appears that Wilson will be "the guy" against the Eagles between the 20s at least.
That's enough for at least one fantasy expert to predict big things for him this week:
A heavier workload may be all it takes for him to get back on track, especially if he trusts himself a bit more with the ball and lets his instincts take over.
After all, there's a reason why he was such a trendy breakout pick this summer. The former Virginia Tech star is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
It's understandable that fantasy owners feel the same way about starting Wilson as they do about filing their taxes or taking a trip to the orthodontist.
After all, a bigger workload for him doesn't fix the problems up front for the G-Men.
On Monday, this author stated that fantasy owners in a bye-week pinch should consider cutting the cord on Wilson.
However, that was Monday. This is Tuesday.
On Monday, Wilson was a floundering running back for a last-place team who was playing on fewer than half of his team's offensive snaps.
Now, he is a floundering running back on a last-place team who is set for a big spike in carries against one of the NFL's leakiest defenses.
At the end of the day, Wilson is a risk/reward fantasy RB2 in Week 5 and an excellent choice as a "flex" option.
It's not a call for the faint of heart. However, if Wilson makes the most of this second chance, the call could pay off big time for fantasy owners in dire need of some good news in 2013.
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