For all of you fantasy football fanatics out there, when picking your team for the 2012 fantasy football season, don’t overlook Pittsburgh Steelers running back Isaac Redman.
Redman will most definitely see significant time in Pittsburgh’s backfield as a starter in at least the first half of the season. The Steelers’ star running back, Rashard Mendenhall, is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in Pittsburgh’s 2011 regular season finale versus the Cleveland Browns. Mendenhall said that his knee “has healed wonderfully,” but I think that is just him saying anything to get back on the field in an effort not to lose his starting spot.
In Redman’s short NFL career, he has carried the ball 162 times for 726 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. In addition, he’s had 27 receptions out of the backfield for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Redman showed flashes of what he could do in Pittsburgh’s wildcard loss to the Denver Broncos. The Bowie State product finished the game with 121 yards on 17 carries.
At 6’0” and 230 pounds, Redman isn’t a speedster, but is a north-and-south runner that runs between the tackles and hits the hole with no hesitation.
The fourth-year veteran will likely get the majority of the workload on first and second downs, and on third-and-short situations. Redman should also be the primary back when in the red zone.
A more run-oriented offense implemented by new offensive coordinator Todd Haley may just as well benefit Redman’s production on the field. Even having one of the league’s best receiving corps helps the Steelers’ running game. Putting receivers Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Mike Wallace on the field at the same time will spread the field and keep defenses from putting that extra man in the box in efforts to stop the run.
Even if Mendenhall miraculously returns after being ineligible to play the first six games due to starting the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, Redman will still go up against defenses that surrendered over 100 yards per game on the ground last season.
Pittsburgh’s first six games are against the Broncos (ranked 22nd, 126.3 ypg), New York Jets (13th, 111.1 ypg), Oakland Raiders (27th, 136.1 ypg), Philadelphia Eagles (16th, 112.6 ypg), Tennessee Titans (24th, 128.3 ypg), and Cincinnati Bengals (10th, 104.7 ypg).
I wouldn’t advise drafting Redman high in your fantasy leagues, but snatching him in the third or fourth round would be a wise choice. Redman definitely would be a good choice as a number-two running back in your lineup. He also has the potential to be good trade bate midway through the season.
And who knows, with the opportunity that he is given this year, he could be the biggest surprise in fantasy leagues, just like New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz was last year.
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