If you are a fan of Stevan Ridley returning to his 2012 form of 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns, you had to be as "sick" as he was for putting the ball on the ground this weekend, per the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian.
Actually, there is the potential it can help you. Ridley might be presumed to be back in the Bill Belichick doghouse and therefore fall into the latter rounds. He sure did in the Fantasy League of Experts (FLEX) PPR draft this weekend in New York City, getting picked all the way at the bottom in Round 10 as the 44th running back.
Ridley told Guregian:
It's too close to call (whether it was a fumble). Either way I need to avoid those plays in general. There’s nothing really else to be said about it ... I hated it and it was a sick feeling for a second. We looked at the play, and it is what it is, but either way, one out is too many. I'm not going to harp on that, I'm going to learn from it. ...
That’s what I'm still trying to figure out. Getting tackled by a few defenders, it's football, they're taught to go after the ball and attack it. It's just staying alert, being conscious of that and trying to get two hands on it. That's really all you can do. ...
When I go back and watch the play, and the ball is out again, Week 2, it kind of sucks. But it's football, man, and I can't get down about it. I can't harp about it. That's why you have preseason. I'm just going to keep on working and keep on pushing.
I just gotta learn from it and keep moving and not sulk on it. I will try not to have this issue and this be the topic the whole year this year because I think I can do a few other things that y’all can write about and hopefully have some good things to say. But either way, I've got to own up to it. That's what it was.
As we said in the introduction to the rankings slide, we need to get a complete look at how the New England Patriots are going to line up their backs. Belichick doesn't tend to display his whole hand, but we should read the clues.
Here is the deal, though:
- Rookie James White isn't a big power back at 195 pounds.
- Shane Vereen isn't either at 205. Vereen caught more passes last year (47) than he had rushing attempts (44). He is a receiving and passing-down back.
- The Pats are decidedly a power-running team now. LeGarrette Blount showed that down the stretch last year when Ridley was buried on the depth chart due to fumbling woes.
- The Pats are not going to put their early-down and goal-line stuff all on Brandon Bolden (5'11", 220 lbs).
Ridley can be the man at 5'11", 220 pounds. He needs to be the man with the ball in his hands, literally and figuratively.
As we reviewed comprehensively in Bleacher Report's RB Blueprint earlier this month, there are potentially dozens of late-round running backs you can stockpile on your bench for potentially huge rewards.
Here are three favorites (based on their potential relative to draft position):
- Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints—Might he finally be ready to take over as a feature back in a potent offense?
- Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers—A big, stud rookie in a run-heavy offense with a 31-year-old Frank Gore who has had a long injury history.
- Robert Turbin, Seattle Seahawks—As we wrote in B/R's Takeaways from Preseason Week 2 on Monday, he is still the No. 2 back over fantasy-favorite Christine Michael.