New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley made his early-season struggles a distant memory with a dominating Week 9 performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ridley had an absolute monster game, racking up 115 yards on 26 carries along with two touchdowns as his Patriots won in a shootout, 55-31.
Rotoworld's Adam Levitan noticed how much the Patriots' coaching staff leaned on him in the game:
Stevan Ridley beasting with 26 carries and 9 minutes left in the game. Most since he had 28 in Week 5 last year. Later, doghouse.— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) November 4, 2013
The Patriots went to Ridley early and often, but despite the noticeable amount of carries, his efficiency never wavered. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry and that's without a long run to his credit—his long wa 13 yards.
Is Stevan Ridley "back?"
Ever since breaking out in Week 6 against the New Orleans Saints, Ridley has rewarded his fantasy owners by surpassing the 50-yard mark and getting into the end zone in four straight games. In two of those contests, he recorded two TDs.
Ridley shook off a nagging injury earlier in the season and has looked like a brand new player ever since missing the Pats' Week 5 matchup with the Bengals.
Just as well, Tom Brady found success in the passing game, allowing New England to build a lead and rely on its feature back—something that hasn't happened much for the Patriots this year.
He could not have gotten off to a more stagnant start offensively, and his injury problems immediately raised red flags among fantasy GMs who drafted him high.
But if the last four weeks are any indication, Ridley's status as a No. 1 fantasy RB is back and more alive than it's ever been.