Saturday, October 12, 2013
Is there hope for Ridley?
By Tom Carpenter
Most expected Stevan Ridley to remain one of the more reliable fantasy stud running backs this season after racking up 1,263 yards and a dozen scores on the ground last year. It hasn't turned out that way, though, as he sports an embarrassing 3.7 yards-per-carry average for a total of just 174 yards and zero scores through four games. He missed last week's game due to a knee/thigh injury, but it appears that he will be back in the mix for Week 6's game versus the New Orleans Saints. What can we expect from him this week and beyond?
The Saints defense has been surprisingly good this season, allowing just two rushing scores to date, but they have allowed more than 100 yards on the ground per game, so there is hope for Ridley to get going in Week 6. They also have been vulnerable in the red zone, as they have allowed a touchdown on 61.5 percent of plays in their red zone this season, which ranks 21st in the NFL.
This plays to Ridley's strong suit, because all 12 of his touchdowns last season came in the red zone. Plus, despite the Pats' struggles in the red zone this season (six scores), they have been down there often. In fact, only four teams have had more than the Patriots' 52 red-zone snaps in 2013.
Ridley's overall fantasy value for the remainder of the season still will be limited in PPR leagues, because he is rarely targeted as a pass-catcher. However, he should get off the schneid when it comes to his biggest fantasy value: scoring touchdowns in the red zone. As for yardage, we may not see his YPC jump until Rob Gronkowski finally gets back on the field:
Ken DaubeFantasy hints from next-level data
"Gronkowski's blocking proficiency benefits Stevan Ridley & Co. as well. Last season, Ridley averaged 4.5 yards per carry when Gronkowski was on the field, and just 4.1 yards per carry when Gronkowski wasn't."