To Start or Not to Start Week 1: Ahmad Bradshaw
So, you decided to take Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw in the fantasy football draft, now did you? Well you’re a high fantasy risk taker, but you’re hoping the seventh year man will pay big dividends to your team. Now the problem is whether or not you should place him into your starting lineup for Week 1.
The choice is a tough call to make, but I’m here to aid you along in the decision making process, hopefully easing your stress level a little bit for the first week of the NFL season.
It’s not a secret that Bradshaw had his fair share of problems while on the New York Giants. The back never could quite come to terms with his head coach Tom Coughlin, as the two were seen bickering on the sidelines multiple times. After parting ways with the Giants and joining the Colts, his relationship with his new head coach Chuck Pagano could lead to a few less heated arguments.
Another well-known fact about Bradshaw that has many fantasy players steering away from him, is his nagging injury problems. He has undergone three surgeries on his right foot, one on his left and had surgeries on both of his ankles. Foot injuries are quite costly for any NFL player, but especially for running backs, as they rely heavily on their ability to make cuts and dig their spikes into the ground, preparing to run over a defender.
Bradshaw has had his ups and downs throughout his NFL career, but since you’ve drafted him, clearly you’re willing to give the man another shot. Bradshaw has given his fantasy owners some huge point totals when he’s been healthy. He actually posted his second best career numbers last season, gaining 1,015 yards on the ground, with six touchdowns in 14 games. This included seven 10+ fantasy point weeks, with two of them being over 20 points. The man has the potential to give you some much needed points.
Bradshaw will most likely not be an every down back for the Colts in Week 1, but he is a fantastic pass blocker, receiver and goal line back. The best part about Bradshaw for Week 1, is that he goes up against the porous run defense of the Oakland Raiders. Fantasy points wise, the Raiders rank as the 28th worst run defense, giving up all kinds of points to opposing running backs. There will be plenty of running lanes and scoring opportunities for Bradshaw, especially in goal-to-go situations.
Again, you drafted Bradshaw because you were willing to give him another shot with his new team, and he is currently listed with a probable injury status. The 27 year old back may get injured at some point in the season, and be dead weight on your bench; so, why wouldn’t you play him when it’s almost certain he will take the field? You’ve probably drafted two solid running backs ahead of Bradshaw, so giving them the two starting roles, Bradshaw looks like a fantastic flex position fill in.
The bottom line with Bradshaw for Week 1, is that you won’t find a better match -up to start the man in, and he could provide you with the highest fantasy points for a running back on your team.