Week 1 Fantasy Football: Start RB Stevan Ridley
New England plays the Buffalo Bills this Sunday and it once again looks like it could get ugly. New England has won the AFC East 10 times of the last 11 years, while Buffalo has not been to the playoffs since 1999, the longest drought in the NFL.
Not only has the Pats owned the Bills in recent years, but Ridley has also torn the team apart. In Week 4 against the Bills, Ridley ran the ball 22 times for 106 yards. He also scored two touchdowns in the 52-28 rout. Against Buffalo later in the season, Ridley had another amazing fantasy performance. He ran the ball 22 times for 98 yards and one touchdown.
Buffalo didn’t exactly bring in any help to stop the run in the off-season. In fact the team lost four of their top five tackle leaders from the 2012 season. LB Nick Barnett (112 tackles), S George Wilson (104 tackles), Kelvin Sheppard (80 tackles), and Bryan Scott (66 tackles) are all no longer with the team. Buffalo also lost starting CB Stephon Gilmore for several weeks following wrist surgery and the sure-tackling corner will also be severely missed in Week 1.
QB Tom Brady has lost almost his entire receiving core this off-season and to make matters worse TE Rob Gronkowski has already been ruled out, so Tom Terrific will likely be handing the ball to Ridley quite often in the opening game of the year. New England can still win the game with Brady throwing the ball just 30 times and that is because he has a workhorse like Ridley to feed the ball.
Buffalo’s run defense doesn’t look to be very sound this season either, so I fully expect Ridley to run wild this Sunday afternoon. I think he will get the rock close to 20 times and easily get in the end-zone at least once. If you have Ridley on your roster, make sure to give him the nod this week.