Joseph Addai and Jonathan Stewart
Runningbacks, as usual, are a high commodity again this fantasy football season. The first two rounds of the draft will be filled with names like Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Frank Gore, Michael Turner, Rashard Mendenhall, Ray Rice, DeAngelo Williams, Steven Jackson, Shonn Greene, and even the untested Ryan Mathews. Depending on your draft spot, you may find yourself with two premier wide receivers and one stud runningback. But, now you find yourself in round four and you’re at the tail end of the picking order. You have the pleasure of sitting back and watching all the other runningbacks vanish one by one. Suddenly, Cedric Benson, Pierre Thomas, Ryan Grant, Beanie Wells, and Jamaal Charles all go before you pick. Now you’re looking at the back end of the second tier fantasy runningbacks. It seems that the best options for the position are Joseph Addai from the Indianapolis Colts and Jonathan Stewart from the Carolina Panthers. You’ll need to know all the facts before deciding who will be the number two back on your roster for the majority of the season. And don’t forget, you’re in a keeper league. You need to think about not only what is best for your team now, but what the long term looks like. The question becomes, who has more overall fantasy football dynasty value, Joseph Addai or Jonathan Stewart?
It’s good to be able to compare players of such relative value due to the fact of where they are projected to be drafted. In previous articles, we looked into dyNASTY rankings for players who would most likely be selected within the first two rounds. Here, we have the opportunity to review two players that fall closer to the fourth round but still offer considerable value. Both offer immediate value due to their offensive situations as well as next season and beyond. I’d say it’s time to put the gloves on but this fight seems to be a little bit rougher due to their draft spots. This may be a fight where gloves aren’t needed. These guys are hungry and ready to earn their keep. This fight seems more like a “Fight Club” style throw down due to the fact that they are ranked so very close together. Pardon the obscure movie reference, but it reminds me of Tommy Gunn and Rocky going at it in the streets in Rocky V. But who gets that last second Italian Stallion “Slip the Jab” in?
The Indy-allion Stallion Joseph Addai vs. Jonathan “Wrecking Ball” Stewart
Punches landed-Positive Outlook for Joseph Addai– Indianapolis Colts
Joseph Addai is in a great position due to the fact that he plays on a receiver loaded team. Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, and Dallas Clark are all tremendous targets. This is one of the, if not the best wide receiver crew in the entire league. These wideouts mixed with the talent of “All Universe” quarterback Peyton Manning take pressure off of Addai in two ways. First, when defenses have to cover all four of these receiving talents, Addai becomes a second though underneath. Peyton Manning is smart enough to know that defenses will be pressing the receivers and Addai will most likely be one on one with a linebacker. Joe Addai is way too talented to be covered solely by a backer. This opportunity mixed with his great receiving skills make Addai one of the best receiving runningbacks in the league. Secondly, with all the attention that the defense will be giving the passing game, Joe will have more running room after he gets the hand off. He’s an every down back on a high octane offense. That alone makes Joseph Addai one of the more valuable backs in the NFL.
Another factor that adds into Addai’s value is the talent which makes up the offensive line. The Colts offensive line is one of the smartest and most talented groups of linemen in the NFL today. Jeff Saturday does a phenomenal job in keeping that line up to speed as to what is happening on the field. They provide plenty of time for Manning to stay upright in the pocket and open plenty of holes for Addai to muscle through in the running game. Having an O-Line that is skilled in both aspects of the offense will keep defenses at bay. The Colts are also known for calling screen passes at the right time. Having an offensive line like the Colts pull and block for a runningback like Addai on a play specifically designed to get Joe open is a scary thought for defenses. Also, if Joe gets to be behind this talented offensive line in the red zone ,or on the goal line, he has a much higher chance to score than he would with any other O-Line.
The huge haymaker that connects in Joe Addai’s favor is number 18 himself. Peyton Manning is not only one of the best quarterbacks ever; he’s one of the best offensive coordinators, too. Manning has been given full reign of the offense. He has the ability to call a pass in the huddle, read the defense, and then change the play to a run based on what the defensive players are showing. And, Peyton is absolutely unselfish when it comes to playing football. If the Colts are in the red zone and Manning calls a play to throw a fade to Reggie Wayne, but he sees the defense sliding coverage over, then Manning has no problem changing it up in favor of scoring. Manning is also smart enough to not force passes. If he sees Wayne covered and Dallas Clark double teamed, he has no issues with locating Joe Addai as his check down option. It doesn’t matter what position you play on offense, if Peyton Manning is on your team, he makes you a better player.