RB Stevan Ridley, Free agent
HT: 5-10, WT: 225, Born: 1-27-1989, College: LSU, Drafted: Round 3
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: M Wallace (73), C Kaepernick (74), Stevan Ridley (75), K Wright (77)
Position: B Sankey (61-RB27), T Richardson (64-RB28), Stevan Ridley (75 - RB29), P Thomas (79-RB30), S Jackson (80-RB31)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: M Jones-Drew (89), T Romo (90), Stevan Ridley (91), D Woodhead (92), J Cutler (93)
Position: L Miller (80-RB30), M Jones-Drew (89-RB31), Stevan Ridley (91 - RB32), D Woodhead (92-RB33), F Jackson (95-RB34)
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Stevan Ridley was given a chance to secure the lead back position last season, but a bad case of fumblitis put the kibosh on that. The team drafted James White in the fourth round and still has Brandon Bolden waiting in the wings as well. Ridley will get a chance to retain the first spot on the depth chart, but there will always be a question of confidence in his ability to maintain that spot. Even if he stays with a decent share of the carries, it will be difficult for Ridley to be more than a low-end fantasy RB2.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - If youíre Stevan Ridley, youíre taking this game, learning from it, and erasing it from your memory. On his first run of the game, Ridley fumbled the ball, but it was recovered. No harm, no foul, right? Wrong. Later on, Ridley fumbled again, and this time it was returned for a touchdown by the Bills defense. Ridley didnít see another snap on offense after that. While Ridley was in the game, he operated as the bellcow back, and displayed his solid initial burst and at one point, completely bowled over a defender for an 11 yard gain. The Patsí run blocking was fairly solid on the day, allowing Ridley decent holes on most of his 9 runs. However, on a day marred by two fumbles, itís certainly an issue that bares keeping an eye on.
Week 2 - Normally, as a running back, running lanes help. Unfortunately for Stevan Ridley, the Patriots offensive line decided that running lanes werenít necessary on this day, and as a result, Ridley turned in a paltry performance despite some tough running. Ridley was repeatedly met in the backfield, saw holes instantly clogged, and had a rough go of it in general on almost every touch he saw. Ridley did have one good run of about 7 or 8 yards where he would have been stuffed if he had gone between tackles, but danced to the outside and picked up the extra yardage. On the downside, he nearly fumbled a toss play late in the game, and another fumble would have certainly put him in dire straits with Bill Belichick.
Week 3 - Ridley had his moments flashing the burst and power of a feature back, but the backfield committee was in full effect against Tampa Bay. Brandon Bolden was on the field plenty in the Shane Vereen role and LeGarrette Blount was the clock-killing back as the game progressed against his former team. What were left for Ridley were situational snaps and a solitary reception. The defense crowded the line of scrimmage on most snaps for Ridley and outside of three occasions, he struggled to break free. He did not see any goal line carries in this game.
Week 4 - Stevan Ridley operated as the lead dog in the backfield, but only saw 13 touches, as the Patriots continue to show off a timeshare approach at running back. Ridley had decent room to work with, and ripped off nearly 5 yards per carry as a result. Ridley also caught a couple passes, which has been a rarity this season. One was a solid play action that netted 24 yards thanks to tough running an some open field. Ridley did narrowly miss a touchdown in the second quarter on a 2nd down from the 1 yard line. There's an argument to be made that the ball crossed the goal line, but Bill Belichick didn't challenge. Interestingly, today's numbers mean Ridley still has no touchdowns this season, but that should hopefully change soon if you're a fantasy owner. LeGarrette Blount ran like LeGarrette Blount on 8 of his carries, picking up 17 yards on said carries. However, on the carry that mattered, a huge hole opened up for him thanks to a solid pull block from Dan Connolly and great blocks from his wide receivers. Blount proceeded to run abnormally fast for a 47 yard touchdown. Impressively, he actually outran two defensive backs, which is a rarity for the bruiser. This was the highlight of his day and a huge play for the team, as on the rest of his runs, it was tough sledding and plodding gains for the most part.
Week 6 - It took 6 weeks, but the 2012 form of Stevan Ridley with patience and one cut burst showed up against the Saints. He operated as the clear lead dog in the Patriots backfield, and notably secured the ball with both hands on most of his runs. Run blocking was also solid for the most part, in sharp contrast to the iffy pass protection. Ridleyís first run of the day was a great run for 19 yards. Ridley also had a run where he stiffarmed a defender into oblivion, allowing him about 12 extra yards on the play. Both his touchdowns were of the short variety, but he did well to find the holes on both plays and accelerate through with power. There were no huge negative to his game on the day, and Stevan Ridley was a big part of why the Patriots offense had success on the day.
Week 7 - Ridley's day was fairly boom or bust, with four or five runs going for zero or 1 yard, while a handful of others went for 5+ yards, including a 17 yard touchdown scamper. The touchdown was a fairly simple one, as the Jets defense clogged the middle and Ridley simply bounced to the right side of the fracas and ran in untouched. Unfortunately for him, the Patriots decided to go pass heavy with a 46 to 20 pass to run ratio, which capped his touches for the day. Ridley ran hard as his blocking wasn't as good as it had been in prior games, thanks in part to a tough Jets front seven.
Week 8 - Why Ridley didnít play in the first quarter is a mystery to pretty much everyone outside of the Patriots organization. Some are speculating that itís because of his touchdown celebration in Week 7, but itís absolutely positively blatantly clear that Ridley is the Patriotsí most explosive healthy running back right now, and itís not close. In fact, he might be their most explosive skill player period. Ridley displayed his patented solid burst, held the ball tight, and ripped off chunks of yardage on several plays. His touchdown was an easy three yard jaunt. On his best play of the game, Ridley ran for 24 yards by making a great cut to the outside of the offensive line and avoiding a tackle. Though his snap count is about as clear as mud, Ridley will be a solid fantasy starter for the foreseeable future.
Week 9 - Stevan Ridley finally operated as the clear lead dog in the Patriots backfield, only ceding carries on some 3rd downs or spell plays. The offensive line blocked reasonably well for him, and his two touchdowns were both fairly easy plays. He could have had a third, but was stuffed at the 1 on a 4th down. Ridley's first touchdown was a simple 1 yard run, while his second was a 5 yard run that was fairly easy to score on, though he did drag a defender with him. Interestingly, Ridley did fumble on a dumpoff pass as he was hit as soon as he caught the ball, but it was more a case of Troy Polamalu making a great play than anything. As a result, he didn't get benched by Bill Belichick, and Ridley rewarded Belichick with the same old tough running.
Week 11 - 8 fumbles dating back to 2011. Stevan Ridleyís fumbling problem has become an epidemic. For all the tough running, his fumbles are critical in games, and tonight was no different. Ridley had a crucial fumble in the red zone to completely stall a drive, and as a result, was benched for roughly a quarter and a half. His runs were solid as aforementioned, but the fumble will stand out more than anything he did today. Ridley did have a touchdown on a 2 yard run that gave him plenty of room to score.
Week 12 - Stop me if youíve heard this before. Stevan Ridley had 4 carries, fumbled, and was benched for the rest of the game. You have? Okay then. Itís clear that this is a serious issue now and not a fluke, and something fantasy owners will want to take heed of, especially with Shane Vereen back in the fold.
Week 13 - Stevan Ridley was an inactive for this game, which surprised nearly everyone. A story to watch as the season continues.
Week 14 - Stevan Ridley saw a handful of carries, but wasnít able to do much as the defense bottled him up for the most part. Notably, he ran with two arms over the football on every carry, and one wonders if the was concentrating on not fumbling more than finding open holes and running like he usually does with burst and vision.
Week 15 - Although he's not completely benched, it's clear Stevan Ridley is still in some form of doghouse. He showed some of his burst that we've seen during the season, but didn't touch the ball like a lead back, perhaps because LeGarrette Blount was running well. Ridley was running a bit more freely than last week, although he still wrapped up the ball with two hands several times. He may not see his workhorse type role come back again this season.
Week 16 - Stevan Ridley saw a solid role against Baltimore, but was notably the second Ďbigí back put into the game after LeGarrette Blount. Game flow largely dictated his 15 carries, but he wasnít as effective as Blount, who seemed to display better vision and surprisingly good burst for the lumbering back. Ridley did display burst, but couldnít get anything going in terms of chunk yards, as he seemed consistently bottled up and a bit more hesitant than earlier in the season. He didnít fumble, but his long run was 8 yards, as his performance was fairly average.
Week 17 - Ridley operated as second fiddle to LeGarrette Blount, who made it a day out of steamrolling and eluding defenders all over the place. As with Blount, Ridley found plenty of room to operate, breaking off chunks at a time here and there, with his long run of the day being a 29 yard burst with a gaping hole opening up on the middle/right side of the line. Ridleyís game was fairly typical for him, and he displayed decent vision combined with solid burst once he decided where he was going. However, this day was the LeGarrette Blount show, and the carry totals reflect that.
Week 19 - Ridley was the second fiddle to LeGarrette Blount in the bread-and-butter running game, but he ran hard with a good low pad level, and did not fumble. He was able to score twice and get plenty of work on a night when the Pats ran the ball more than 40 times. Ridley was compact with relentless leg drive and an efficient north-south style, which is usual for him. He excelled at getting yards after contact, including on his first score and the following two-point conversion to answer one of the three times that the Colts pulled back within a score after the Patriots hot start.
Week 20 - As with LeGarrette Blount, Ridley found very little room to operate thanks to a Denver defensive line that manhandled the Patriots offensive line. The Patriots went into pass happy mode in the second half and barely had time of possession throughout the game, and as a result, Ridley was rendered largely ineffective.