With so many more viable options floating around in Week 8, it’s understandable that the inconsistent Stevan Ridley has flown under the radar.
Week 8 of the NFL regular season brings such irresistible matchups such as Marshawn Lynch vs. St Louis Rams, Frank Gore vs. Jacksonville Jaguars and the increasingly reliable Knowshon Moreno vs. that penetrable Washington Redskins defense. For anybody playing Perfect Challenge or any other form of the game that allows you to pick your players week-on-week, you’d be foolish not to back the aforementioned.
The New England Patriots No. 1 running back has flattered to deceive so far this season. After losing a fumble on the opening weekend, Ridley was entrusted with fewer carries in the weeks that followed as all four Patriots running backs saw their fair share of action.
This coming Sunday’s contest against the Miami Dolphins 15th ranked run defense does not instantly jump off the page. But mark my words; this is Ridley’s week. Ridley has re-surfaced in the last two weeks, building momentum with his first three touchdowns of the season and a total of 144 yards rushing against the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets respectively.
The matchup looks all the more promising when you delve a little deeper into the statistics. In Fantasy terms there is no bigger contrast between rushing and receiving than in relation to the Dolphins; they have allowed the second-fewest Fantasy points to wide receivers this season (bettered only by the Tennessee Titans) and with an average of 140.7 points-per-game in the standard format, they have given up the most points to opposing running backs in 2013 thus far.
Still not convinced? Try this one on for size — not a single wide receiver has scored a touchdown against the Dolphins this season. They don’t have a stellar pass defense, it currently ranks 25th in the league, and the fact they’ve given up the second-most Fantasy points to tight ends this season intertwines both of those statistics.
Given what we’ve stated above, Rob Gronkowski evidently has a huge role to fill in this game, though the Patriots will not prevail against such familiar opposition on the back of a two-man-show. Somebody will need to step up on the supporting cast and Ridley is the obvious candidate given the way he has performed in recent weeks. What’s more, Ridley’s two outings against the Dolphins last season brought much success — a 71 rushing yard and one touchdown showing in Week 13 was topped with 74 yards and two touchdowns to close the regular season.