2013 Fantasy Football: David Wilson Will Be a Top 5 RB

By jordanhall
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

A fantasy football season, in its essence, comes down to moments. There are many small moments in time that ultimately decide whether you are hoisting that championship trophy, or one of your lame buddies is.

News is continually coming through the wire and things are always changing. Almost every day of the year teams are making roster changes. As for fantasy owners, the waiver wire always tempts us and trade offers come in. Our success comes down to moments, and how we react to the critical changes of the NFL season.

As crazy as it sounds, one of the biggest and most impactful moments of the 2013 fantasy football campaign has already occurred. Wednesday, the New York Giants released incumbent running back Ahmad Bradshaw and have decided to try their hand with second-year back, David Wilson.

While every fantasy writers and publications has already nailed down the definites, I think it will be more useful to look between the lines to find out exactly what we can expect from Wilson in 2013. Yes, he will definitely be the lead back in the Big Apple, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he gets 300 carries and 15 touchdowns.

Before we begin to examine Wilson’s talent and potential production, I think it is very important that we do not forget about the presence of Andre Brown. It remains to be seen what kind of work he will be ready for as he recovers from a broken leg. However, if Brown can regain his fitness, he could be a major player in the Giant backfield. He started 2012 as the primary backup and retained this role up until his season ended due to injury. Brown is a talented runner in his own right and has proven to be very effective on the goal line. Despite all of this, I am still all in on David Wilson.

I will come right out and say it now, despite his lack of experience, I think David Wilson will be a top five running back in 2013. All the pieces are now in place for him to have the monster season he is capable of. With Bradshaw out of the picture, it is his backfield, and I think he will do an outstanding job with it.

I have long said that Wilson is one of the most talented runners in the league. It’s obvious. Watching him on returns and how he can break runs, it’s clear to me that the kid has elite level talent. In 2012, Wilson averaged 5.0 yards per carry over his 71 attempts. That is a better per carry average than stars Ray Rice, Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy. While I think it is obvious that his yards per carry average will come down slightly as he takes over the full load, I don’t think it is enough to make anyone worry. I think 4.7 yards per attempt is realistic.

In 2012, Ahmad Bradshaw received 221 carries, Andre Brown 73 and Wilson 71. I think that it is realistic to give about 80 percent of Bradshaw’s carries to Wilson. He figures to be the starter and has every-down potential, so he’s a natural successor for the job. I think we should be looking at around 250 carries for Wilson in 2013. If he averages 4.7 yards per, he would finish close to 1,200 yards on the ground.

While 1,200 rushing yards is a very nice total, I think that Wilson will also supplement this by churning out a lot of points in the passing game. He has proven that he can be a great pass catcher and is extremely explosive in the open field. I fully expect Wilson to be among the running back leaders in receptions and receiving yards.

While everything may not logically add up to this unseasoned back climbing inside of the stacked top-10 fantasy running back conversation, sometimes you just have to go out on a limb and take a leap of faith. I love his talent and his opportunity, and I have a hunch that David Wilson is going to be worth the investment on draft day.

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