Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Dwayne Washington's Fantasy Outlook After Week 2

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2017

Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah (21) stiff arms New York Giants' Ross Cockrell (37) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions earned a 24-10 victory over the New York Giants on Monday night, but they weren't able to end a streak of rushing-yard misery fantasy football managers have surely noticed.

As Nate Atkins of MLive noted, the last time a Detroit running back reached 100 rushing yards in a game was 2013 when Reggie Bush accomplished the feat three times.

Ameer Abdullah came close Monday with 86 rushing yards, while Theo Riddick (20 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards) and Dwayne Washington (nine rushing yards) fell far short as secondary backs.

Here is a fantasy breakdown for each.

               

Ameer Abdullah

Despite the lack of a touchdown and just three receptions for 11 yards through the first two games of the 2017 season, there is fantasy upside with Abdullah.

It was clear he was Detroit's primary back for the second straight contest, as his 17 carries outpaced Riddick's nine and Washington's three Monday. The performance came after he tallied 15 carries in the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals while Washington had six and Riddick had one.

Opportunity is where fantasy points originate, and the Lions are giving the Nebraska product just that even though he played a mere two games in 2016 and scored just three total touchdowns as a rookie in 2015.

Abdullah hasn't been involved in the passing attack and the lack of touchdowns makes him too risky to deem a must-start in fantasy circles, but he is worth having around as a bench player based on the fact he is Detroit's primary running back at this point.

             

Theo Riddick and Dwayne Washington

Abdullah's ascension to the top running back role naturally cuts into the overall fantasy value of Riddick and Washington, but Riddick was never going to be a dominant 1,000-yard rusher this season.

The most rushing yards he has in a single season came last year when he posted 357 in the only campaign he even reached the 200-yard mark. However, that doesn't mean Riddick is without value because of how involved he has been in the Lions' passing game in recent years.

While he had just three catches Monday, he tallied six against Arizona in Week 1 and as many as 80 as recently as 2015. He also had 53 catches in just 10 games last year and is still a dangerous weapon in the flex in point-per-reception leagues even if Abdullah is seeing more carries.

As for Washington, there is no reason to play him in fantasy at this stage of the season and his career. The second-year back has just nine combined carries through two games in 2017 and isn't a threat in the passing attack with zero catches (and 10 all last season).

At best, he is an injury stash in case something happens to Abdullah or Riddick moving forward.

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