Spotlight - RB Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts
Posted on 7/1, exclusive to Footballguys.com
Jason Wood's Thoughts
One of the biggest mistakes fantasy owners make is a failure to accept the high turnover year-to-year among the fantasy elite. When a player finishes in the top-10, and returns to the same situation, you can put money in the bank that a good chunk of the fantasy populace is going to expect that player to match or exceed last year's numbers. Yet, the cold hard truth points to a much more volatile environment.
In the last four years, a RB has repeated as a top-10 fantasy back only 18 times in 40 chances. In other words, on average, more than half of the fantasy top-10 changes over from year to year.
When you're trying to project which RBs might be poised to move into the top-10, is there a better place to start than the 11th best back? In this case, Joseph Addai seems like the surest bet to ascend into the top-10 for a number of reasons:
- As a rookie, he finished 11th last year -- Addai logged 1,406 yards from scrimmage along with 8 TDs. He averaged 4.8 yards per rush and broke the 1,000-yard mark despite being a part-time starter.
- He's a fluid receiver -- A lot of rookie running backs have
the skills to tote the ball, but few show the mastery of the playbook
and team's blocking schemes to earn significant playing time. Addai was
a natural blocker and receiver from the very start.
- Led all AFC running backs with 8 red zone receptions
- Led the AFC in receptions per target at an astonishing 80% clip (40 receptions in 50 targets)
- 4th among AFC RBs in YAC (yards after the catch) with 305 yards
- This year, he won't have to split time with Dominic Rhodes -- Rhodes logged 223 touches to Addai's 266, an almost even split. That was a byproduct of Rhodes' veteran status; because Addai outperformed him in nearly every facet. Luckily, Rhodes has moved on to Oakland, leaving Addai to assume the full-time work load reminiscent of when Edgerrin James was the team's workhorse. Even if Addai were to log 50% of Rhodes' touches, and maintain last year's averages per touch, his numbers would be astounding:
- 320 rushes (226 Addai, 50% of Rhodes' 187)
- 1,536 yards rushing (4.8 YPC, Addai's average last year)
- 10 rushing TDs (Addai's TD conversion % projected to 320 carries)
- 58 receptions (40 Addai, 50% of Rhodes' 36)
- 470 yards receiving (8.1 YPC, Addai's average last year)
- 2 receiving TDs
- 2,006 yards from scrimmage, 58 receptions, 12 TDs
To be clear, I'm not telling you to expect Joseph Addai to log 2,000 yards and 12 TDs this season, but it's CLEARLY within his grasp. Unless you think DeDe Dorsey and Kenton Keith pose a threat to Addai's workload, the Colts will be counting on him to provide the balance that's been the hallmark of their success.
- Addai ran for more than 1,000 yards in part-time duty, blocked well, scored at a solid clip, and was among the most fluid receivers at his position...all as a rookie
- The Colts are committed to Addai and let Dominic Rhodes leave in free agency despite his heavy workload a year ago. Even if Addai only logs 50% of Rhodes' touches, he's looking at 378 touches this season
- The Colts passing game is the best and most consistent in the league, opposing defenses simply can't afford to stack 8 men in the box when Peyton Manning is under center
- Although Addai has success in short yardage, he must improve on his goal line conversion rate (he only scored twice in eight goal line rushes)
- His current ADP (RB6) leaves little room for upside
- The Colts schedule doesn't look that favorable against the run (although it does appear soft in the key playoff weeks)
Final ThoughtsYou can be sure that this year's top-10 fantasy RB rankings will look much different than last years. There's no more likely candidate to ascend into the upper echelon than Joseph Addai. He's in a near perfect offensive system, he's a mortal lock for more playing time, and managed an 11th place finish last year as a part time player. Impressively, his 11th place finish was balanced. He ran the ball well, caught the ball extremely well and scored his fair share. Addai had the kind of numbers as a rookie that historically project quite well into year 2. If you're drafting in the 2nd half of round one, don't hesitate to take Addai as your top back; he'll deliver.
Quotations from the Message Board ThreadTo view the entire Player Spotlight thread (there's a ton of fantastic commentary in there), click here.
Ministry of Pain:
I have 1,800 total yds and 12 TD...the thing is Addai is not the most talented RB in the league. He isn't a scrub but I don't see the vision of an LT here...the power of a LJ or SJax, or the pure raw speed of a Reggie Bush or Clinton Portis...so the point is there are a lot of RB in the talent pool of Joseph Addai...but not many have Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, and Reggie Wayne surrounding them...in fact none of them do. But the opp is what is so alluring if Addai and the major reason I took him at 1.07 in a Dynasty start up last week. I feel like he can produce numbers maybe not as strong as the 1st two seasons Edge put up...but he can certainly rack 100 yds a week, get some catches, and score 8-10 TD minimum...you can't say that about a lot of RB in the NFL.
I would not be surprised if this guy is this years version of Steven Jackson. Not one bit. And from the looks of all the previous posts, many seem to think along the same lines.
Edge always had 330-390 carries when healthy. I think the Colts lean on him in the same fashion and plan on doing so. 4.4 a carry seems to be about average for Edge pre and post injury. As Addai with more carries should/could move down from the 4.78 he posted in '06.
340 carries - 4.4 average - 1760 yards.
Edge always had between 40-60 catches for the most part. Addai had 40 catches as rookie in split time. (60 incl playoffs)
Rec 55 - 7.7 average - 423 yards.
I think Dungy and Moore like/enjoy stats on their players. It depends on who gets the early season scores between Addai and Peyton. Because that trend will continue afterwards.
Most RBs... if they have somethng special to offer... do so early on.
Addai has a long way to go to prove himself as a feature NFL back, but he's in a tremendous position to do exactly that. He's shown the Colts that he's a well-rounded player with a very good head on his shoulders, who can run with good power and vision, pass block, and catch the ball extremely well. All of this translates to his being on the field for 80-90% of the snaps an offense that will have few 3 and outs, which should get Addai many touches. The obvious variable is durability for a guy who has never had to play the workhorse role.
Joseph Addai Projections
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