Friday, August 30, 2013
Projecting Wilson as Giants' workhorse
By Tom Carpenter
UPDATE: According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, a "Rough, early timeframe for Giants RB Andre Brown: 4-6 weeks, per source."
If that holds true, then he should avoid the short-term IR and return to action at some point in early-to-mid October. In the meantime, David Wilson will have the opportunity to prove he can handle a heavy workload and shine ...
New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is old school, so when David Wilson fumbled the ball at a critical point of his first NFL game in Week 1 last year, he went from fantasy sleeper to fantasy comatose. The rookie didn't attempt more than a handful of rushes until Andre Brown broke his leg in late November, but with veteran Ahmad Bradshaw in the mix, Wilson didn't have more than 15 rushing attempts in any of the final four games of the season.
Since the Giants' 2012 finale, Bradshaw joined the Indianapolis Colts and Brown refractured the same leg during Thursday's exhibition finale. It's not clear exactly how long Brown will be out, but any fractured leg bone typically requires at least 4-6 weeks of recovery. That means Wilson is in position to make a statement early on as a true workhorse.
Just how high is Wilson's fantasy ceiling now? Bradshaw, Brown and Wilson combined to rush 365 times for 1,758 yards (4.8 YPC) and 18 touchdowns last year. As a rookie in a limited role, Wilson managed to average 5.0 yards per carry, less than Brown's 5.3 average but considerably more than Bradshaw's 4.6 YPC. If the Giants maintain their pace of 25.6 rushing attempts per game, they lean on Wilson for 20 of those carries and he maintains his 5.0 YPC, the math is pretty simple: that's 100 yards per game. Toss in some receptions and a shot at double-digit touchdowns, and there is little doubt that Wilson has the opportunity to be a genuine fantasy stud.
Since he hasn't proved himself yet, there remains some risk in drafting him early, but once the established running backs are off the board, Wilson should arguably be the next one taken. Those in deep leagues might want to keep an eye on UMass rookie Michael Cox. He's a bit of an unknown -- drafted second to last -- but the 6-foot, 220-pound RB ran a 4.58 40, and it's not out of the question that he could play a short-yardage role or even snag some goal-line touches. However, he's in a roster battle with Ryan Torain and Da'Rel Scott; whoever comes out on top as Wilson's primary backup will be worth watching closely.