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Mike Rucker (1 Viewer)

I am trying to decide if Kris Jenkins being back is going to push Rucker back into the elite DE category. Jenkins started the first four games of last year before missing the rest of the season.In those games Rucker had the following stats:9/13 GB - 5 tackles, 1 pd9/19 KC - 1 pd10/3 ATL - 6 tackles, 1 pd10/10 DEN - the dreaded goose eggI know Rucker had some issues with an irregular heartbeat and missed time in some games (not sure which ones - maybe the KC and Den games?).For the remainder of the year Rucker was a shell of his 03 self in the stat line.Anyone that follows Carolina close have a better feel for what happened in 04 and what to expect in 05?

 
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I decided to investigate further and he missed time in the Denver game as well as the following week against Philly due to the irregular heartbeat. Looks like the KC game was just a bad game for Rucker. Also read about him having nagging injuries during 04 including a foot problem.Rucker is 30 and that is a concern as age could be playing a part with him getting nicked up and slowing down.The big question is does he still have one or two stellar years left. If he returns to form he could provide a nice value pick as he is likely being discounted due to his off year in 04.Rucker did come on a bit at the end of 04 with 3 sacks in the last 5 games. He had a total of 3.5 sacks on the year.

 
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inbreeder

Footballguy
I am trying to decide if Kris Jenkins being back is going to push Rucker back into the elite DE category. Jenkins started the first four games of last year before missing the rest of the season.

In those games Rucker had the following stats:

9/13 GB - 5 tackles, 1 pd

9/19 KC - 1 pd

10/3 ATL - 6 tackles, 1 pd

10/10 DEN - the dreaded goose egg

I know Rucker had some issues with an irregular heartbeat and missed time in some games (not sure which ones - maybe the KC and Den games?).

For the remainder of the year Rucker was a shell of his 03 self in the stat line.

Anyone that follows Carolina close have a better feel for what happened in 04 and what to expect in 05?
Posted about this a few weeks ago, but I thought I'd do a little more in-depth look at Rucker's 2004 season. There are a number of question marks with Rucker, but, at a healthy baseline, he is more than solid in both phases of the game. As a Rucker owner, I've followed him very closely for a number of years now - here's what I see.Issues to consider:

1/ Injuries to his lower body. Rucker has missed time in each of the past three seasons with ankle injuries, and some time in 2003 with a knee injury as well. He missed Week 3 with his ankle injury last year, and, if I recall correctly, most of week 2 as well. Although not to his lower body, Rucker was also bothered by rib issues last season as well. He's made an effort to play through pain, but it's affected his fantasy production. None of the injuries have been serious enough to warrant surgery, but you start to question whether this has already become the equivalent of a hamstring/groin injury to a WR. And he's now 30 years old so his healing time is likely to be affected with future injury. They certainly accounted for his Jekyll/Hyde production during the first 6 weeks of 2004.

2/ Irregular heartbeat. Rucker missed most of Week 6 last year with this, and, although he was cleared to play, it could well have had an affect on his Week 7 production as well. Everything I've seen suggests no longterm effects, and his numbers in the second half of 2004 were closer to his 2003 numbers, so hopefully this is behind him.

3/ Kris Jenkins. Rucker's performance, when healthy, has always correlated strongly with Kris Jenkins presence in the lineup. Eyeballing the 2003-04 numbers, Rucker's production without a healthy Jenkins has been about 50-75% of his production with Jenkins. Both tackles and sacks are affected. As I previously posted, Jenkins took some heat from the media during minicamps for being a little out of shape, raising concerns about whether he'll put forth the same effort after landing a fat contract. While not the sole reason for Rucker's dropoff in 2004, having Jenkins back and playing well will certainly help Rucker.

The short answer is that when healthy and surrounded by the full strength of the Panther DL, there's no reason Rucker can't return to top ten DL status. If you hear nice things about Jenkins and Rucker sounds healthy in training camp, I'd target him as someone you might get cheaply that could pay huge dividends. If you've got him already, I'd hold onto him until he proves he can't get it done when healthy. I would (and will) accept the risk.

 

inbreeder

Footballguy
I decided to investigate further and he missed time in the Denver game as well as the following week against Philly due to the irregular heartbeat. Looks like the KC game was just a bad game for Rucker. Also read about him having nagging injuries during 04 including a foot problem.

Rucker is 30 and that is a concern as age could be playing a part with him getting nicked up and slowing down.

The big question is does he still have one or two stellar years left. If he returns to form he could provide a nice value pick as he is likely being discounted due to his off year in 04.

Rucker did come on a bit at the end of 04 with 3 sacks in the last 5 games. He had a total of 3.5 sacks on the year.
Heh, that's what I get for being long-winded with my replies...Admittedly, I'm a Rucker apologist, but there've been many a DL who have played at an elite level well into their 30s. Michael Strahan and Jason Taylor come to mind immediately.

I own Rucker in four dynasty leagues; I'd absolutely target him as a value pick in all formats -redraft or dynasty.

 

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