New England Patriots Stevan Ridley is the 14th ranked running back in this year’s 2013 fantasy draft standings. With an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 23, he’s likely to be taken sometime in the second or third round of most fantasy drafts.
Last season, Ridley rushed for 1,263 yards and a whopping 12 touchdowns. Averaging a solid 4.4 yards per attempt, Ridley proved why he deserves to be the starting running back in New England going forward.
The Patriots ranked 7th in rushing last season and with all the upheaval in the passing game, the team may need to really lean on their running game even more in 2013. Last season Ridley had 290 carries and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him attempt a similar amount next season.
The main concern for Ridley is the running backs behind him on the depth chart. With last year’s postseason-star Shane Vereen as the number two back, and veterans Leon Washington and LeGarrette Blount behind him, the team has a unique set of options. As coach Bill Belichick normally hadn’t created fantasy stud running backs before last season, it leaves some worried that he will take away some of Ridley’s carries in favor of other options.
However, Ridley’s strength, blocking, and ability to explode between tackles will make him the team’s best overall option. He will take a seat on most third down attempts, but should be able to rack up the yards otherwise. He’s also the Pats number one guy for goal line situations, and it would be not be a surprise to see him score double-digit touchdowns again next season.
Though he has competition among his own team, don’t be afraid to draft Ridley. There should be plenty of carries to go around, and the youngster will be given a majority of them. His resilience and determination will help him be a low-end number one or solid number two running back in 2013.