2014 Fantasy Football Sleeper Candidate: Ahmad Bradshaw
I don’t have much faith in running back Trent Richardson, and I think Ahmad Bradshaw is a sleeper candidate fantasy football players are generally overlooking.
The first reason you should like Bradshaw is the fact that the depth chart of the Indianapolis Colts is extremely thin. Running back Vic Ballard looked like he was going to be a successful player for the Colts’ organization with a rookie campaign of 211 rushes, 814 rushing yards, 152 receiving yards and three total touchdowns. Unfortunately, Ballard has been the victim of season-ending injuries for the 2013 and 2014 season. The value for Bradshaw immediately increased, as he is one the best options to help propel the rushing attack if Richardson falters or becomes injured.
Fantasy players may forget how Bradshaw started off the 2013 season, but he was off to an impressive campaign in just three games with 186 rushing yards, 42 receiving yards and two rushing touchdowns. In standard scoring leagues, Bradshaw scored 13 points in Week 2, and 16 points in Week 3. If you take his Week 2 and Week 3 average, Bradshaw would have been on pace to score 219.5 fantasy points, which would have made him the sixth-highest scoring running back.
In the offseason, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said that the team was going to run a “score-first offense,” which would feature the talent of quarterback Andrew Luck more often. While the team may not run the ball as early and as often as it did in previous seasons, Hamilton will not completely abandon the rushing attack. Richardson and Bradshaw are both dual-threat backs, and they may see more work in the passing attack, which will help to keep them healthier.
Richardson also has a very short leash this season, and if he doesn’t produce, Bradshaw is going to get his chance to become the starter. He does have a history of injuries, but when he is able to see the field, he produces. His best season came in 2010, when he rushed for 1,235 yards, totaled 314 receiving yards and scored eight rushing touchdowns. He has proved he can produce, and he is a great candidate to add to your roster later in your draft.
The upside for Bradshaw is very high, and he should be targeted in the later rounds of your draft.
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