Guest Article: The Goat District
Here is why you should be targeting Ameer Abdullah, running back for the Detroit Lions, when drafting and trading for your 2017 fantasy football rosters this off-season.
His NFL Career:
The 2015 2nd round draft pick is only 23 years old. Yet, he has already had an up and down first two seasons as a pro. Coming out of his first inaugural off-season, fantasy owners everywhere we’re giving away the house to acquire the running back any way they could. His stock sky rocketed after he gave us all a small taste of what he might be able to do on the field for years to come. Starting the season as the 3rd RB on the depth chart, he eventually accumulated 9 starts and played in all 16 games. He finished his rookie season with a decent 4.2 yards per carry and a few highlight reel plays that left you wowed and begging for more.
In 2016, Abdullah looked prime and ready to go as the Lion’s starting running back. Week 1 vs the Colts, he racked up 120 total yards and a touchdown to beat the Colts 38-35. The following week, after what looked like a very promising start to the season, Abdullah got injured vs the Titans and went on to miss the remainder of the season.
The Eye Test:
When you watch the kid run, he just seems to have the vision and the speed to get to where he wants. He catches the ball beautifully out of the back field; this is a huge plus when you have Matthew Stafford throwing you the football. Defenders often miss him as the shifty back just blows by them, changing direction on a dime. We’ve seen glimpses of what Abdullah can do at the pro level; we know what he did at the college level. Now he just needs to stay healthy and on the field so he could take the Lions’ running game to the next level, a la Le’veon Bell.
Where Should You Draft Him:
I am trying to trade for Abdullah now before his value shoots up once the draft is over and OTAs come around. For my best ball and redraft teams, I am certainly looking to draft him, especially if he drops to me in the 6th or 7th round. I have reached for him once in the 5th round to lock him up as my RB3. However, that was before recent news coming out of Lions camp. Their GM was recently reported saying they “will be looking to upgrade the run game”. To many fantasy GMs, this will seem like they will be drafting some new blood to come in and compete for a starting role. I see it as management realizing what they have in Riddick and Abdullah as a 1-2 punch, and what they don’t have in a poor offensive line. They should be looking to upgrade their offensive line in this year’s draft, leading to this dynamic duo racking up the fantasy points, a la Coleman & Freeman, circa 2016.