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In Shark Contrast: Stevan Ridley

HARTVIGSON – TIME TO SELL LOW ON RIDLEY

Let me start off by saying this topic is squarely in my wheel house. At pick 3.01 in my 20-year league I foolishly called out the name “Stevan Ridley.” My final draft plan had 1) Brees, 2) Rodgers, and 3) Ridley. Coming off a season with 1,200+ yards 12 touchdowns he looked like a sure fire RB2. Fast forward to week five and I was willing to trade him for a pack of Starburst. Low and behold, Ridley has reappeared leaving fantasy to ask; should I trade him, to which I reply; YES, but……….

My rationale for trading Ridley stems from two names. The first is Bill Belichick. Belichick is one of handful of head coaches who have stood fast behind the RBBC for years. Can you name the last time Belichick utilized a “3-Down-Back?” That’s right, Corey Dillon.

Another RBBC head coach that comes to mind is Sean Peyton. In Week 6, fantasy owners were raving how Pierre Thomas will finally get his shot with Mark Ingram hurt and Chris Ivory long departed. What did we see? Khiry Robinson taking seven carries for 53 yards and a TD.

Like the Saints, in the New England version of the RBBC, every back has a specific role. I knew Ridley played mainly in rushing situations, but when I dug deeper I was shocked by the numbers. Over the past 21 games, Ridley has a pathetic seven receptions for 99 yards and ZERO receiving touchdowns. Considering the number of passing downs in the New England offense, Ridley’s playing time will always be limited.

That leads us to my second name; pre-draft sleeper Shane Vereen. Before breaking his wrist in week one, Vereen was off to a monster start. But after getting hurt in Week 1 and desperately needing the roster space, the Patriots placed Vereen on injured reserve/designated to return Week 11. Vereen’s injury isn’t a knee or an ankle that could linger into the fantasy postseason. It’s a broken bone, carrying a very predictable healing period of 6-7 weeks. It’s not if, but when, Vereen returns Ridley’s numbers will suffer dramatically.

I recognize that basic economic principles doesn’t state; buy-high, sell-low, but trading Ridley now would be a sell-low. My recommendation is waiting until Weeks 9 or 10, allowing him to build value, and trading him just before Vereen is set to return.

BUKOWSKI – REBUTTAL

I actually agree with Eric, that is, if you can find a fantasy owner with his head buried in the sand. Who in their right mind is going to pay more for Ridley in Weeks 9 and 10, than they will now? Ridley’s value goes lower and lower with every passing week as we approach Shane Vereen‘s return.

Even Bill Belichick will realize, although he’ll never admit it, that he’s misused Ridley and will come to his senses as the season progresses. New England rode Ridley and his 290 carries last season to a 12-4 record and with the passing game a mere shell of what it used to be, Belichick will have to turn to a tried and true formula, lots of Gronk and lots of Ridley. While Ridley is nothing more than a flex option at this time, I refuse to sell low and let his revival carry a rival to victory.

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