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Player Spotlight: Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots (1 Viewer)

Jason Wood

Zoo York
2013 Player Spotlight Series

One of Footballguys best assets is our message board community. The Shark Pool is, in our view, the best place on the internet to discuss, debate and analyze all things fantasy football. In what's become an annual tradition, the Player Spotlight series is a key part of the preseason efforts. As many of you know, we consider the Player Spotlight threads the permanent record for analyzing the fantasy prospects of the player in question. This year, we plan to publish more than 140 offensive spotlights covering the vast majority of expected skill position starters.

As always we will post a list of players to be discussed each week. Those threads will remain open for the entire preseason, and should be a central point to discuss expectations for the player in question.

Thread Topic: Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots

Player Page Link: Stevan Ridley Player Page

Each article will include:

  • Detailed viewpoint from a Footballguys staff member
  • Links to thoughtful viewpoints from around the Web
  • FBG Projections
The Rules

In order for this thread to provide maximum value, we ask that you follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Focus commentary on the player (or players) in question, and your expectations for said player (or players)
  • Back up your expectations in whatever manner you deem appropriate; avoid posts that simply say "I hate him" or "He's the best"
  • Avoid redundancies or things like "good posting" ... this should be about incremental analysis or debate
While not a requirement, we strongly encourage you to provide your own projections for the player (players):

Projections should include:

  • For QBs: Attempts, Completions, Passing Yards, Passing TDs, Ints, Rush Attempts, Rush Yards, Rush TDs
  • For RBs: Rushes, Rushing Yards, Rush TDs, Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs
  • For WRs & TEs: Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs
 
Ridley is a tough one to figure out, as so much depends on if they use him more in the passing game and if he gets over his late-season fumbling problem. The loss of Woodhead, Welker and Hernandez means there are a lot of short passes in NE to be made up for, and while Amendola, Vereen and other WRs will get a lot of them, I see Ridley getting more than he got last year, which admittedly was not much, but still not a ton. But enough to make for what I see as his yards and touchdowns both going down a tad.

270 rushes, 1,188 yards, 8 touchdowns

21 receptions, 164 yards, 0 touchdowns

I think he'll finish in the 11-15 range for RBs this year.

 
Last year he got 290/1263/12

I see a slight increase in touches but everything else drops due to teams focusing a little more on the NE run game.

305/1150/9

 
I think Ridley and Vereen benefit a lot from the NE offseason issues. While NE won't neccessarily be a run-first team, I see Ridley getting more carries. Would be a RB1 if he caught more passes.

310 car, 1325 yds rushing, 10 TD

17 rec, 110 yds receving, 0 TD

I agree with Ghost Rider as I have Ridley as RB12 in a Non PPR and RB13 in a PPR league, either ahead or behind Steven Jackson.

 
Last year I saw Ridley as a steal and targeted him in the 6th round. This year I've come full circle. I think his current ADP (RB15) is pretty much his ceiling. Sure, he finished RB10 last year, but that was with Bolden and Vereen both missing time. Additionally, Blount has been brought in to potentially handle goal line duties. Ridley supporters will balk and cry, "but Blount's never been good at the goal line!" Which can easily be countered with, "neither has Ridley!".

Sure, last year Ridley scored 8 TDs from inside the 5 on 20 carries. A decent stat on the surface. But delving a bit deeper yields that his forward progress was historically bad. On those 20 carries, he averaged 0.1 ypc. A stat so bad that I can't find a worse goal line performance in the data dominator. But his 40% TD conversion! Yes, a decent NFL number, but not a very good number in New England. His predecessor, BJGE, had 43 carries inside the 5 for New England, and he averaged 1.3 ypc and posted a 51% TD rate. Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts which is almost certainly why a replacement is being sought.

Moving on to Blount. Much has been made of his supposed struggles at the goal line, but the truth is that in 3 years he's had a rather statistically insignificant number of goal line carries, but from what we've seen, he's doing better than Ridley. Here are their career stats inside the 5 yard line.

player car yds TD ypc TD%Blount 15 12 5 0.8 33%Ridley 25 8 8 0.3 32%It's worth noting that Blount has had total crap for coaching during his tenure in the NFL. First he had Raheem Morris then he got saddled with Schiano who immediately told Blount he'd "never be a Buccaneer man" whatever the F that means. Go back to blitzing the victory formation, Schiano. We're all very impressed. Anyway, it's very possible that the Patriots are able to coach him up to be an effective goal line back. He certainly has the build for it and he's not lacking in natural ability.

Maybe Blount doesn't make the roster, maybe he does but he doesn't get the goal line carries. Even if one or the other occurs, I still think Ridley is in for a drop in production. Last year the Pats led the NFL in running back carries. It's hard to imagine them running less with all their WR/TE losses, but it's possible the offense is less effective as a whole and/or they run less total plays per game. They did lead the NFL in offensive snaps. Should either situation occur, it would hurt the RB corps. With Vereen and Bolden healthy and possibly the addition of Blount, Ridley's share of the pie should be shrinking a bit this season even if they lead the NFL in carries again. With the diminished receiving threats, defenses should give a little extra attention to stopping the run which should make the pie as a whole a bit less appealing than last year.

Finally, his lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside. His value is tied to his volume of carries and touchdowns. Given that I don't feel confident about either repeating from last year, I can't justify his ADP this year. Ridley is an easy pass for me in the second round.

250 carries x 4.2 ypc = 1050 yds 6 TDs, 5 rec 40 yds 0 TD

 
Last year I saw Ridley as a steal and targeted him in the 6th round. This year I've come full circle. I think his current ADP (RB15) is pretty much his ceiling. Sure, he finished RB10 last year, but that was with Bolden and Vereen both missing time. Additionally, Blount has been brought in to potentially handle goal line duties. Ridley supporters will balk and cry, "but Blount's never been good at the goal line!" Which can easily be countered with, "neither has Ridley!".

Sure, last year Ridley scored 8 TDs from inside the 5 on 20 carries. A decent stat on the surface. But delving a bit deeper yields that his forward progress was historically bad. On those 20 carries, he averaged 0.1 ypc. A stat so bad that I can't find a worse goal line performance in the data dominator. But his 40% TD conversion! Yes, a decent NFL number, but not a very good number in New England. His predecessor, BJGE, had 43 carries inside the 5 for New England, and he averaged 1.3 ypc and posted a 51% TD rate. Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts which is almost certainly why a replacement is being sought.

Moving on to Blount. Much has been made of his supposed struggles at the goal line, but the truth is that in 3 years he's had a rather statistically insignificant number of goal line carries, but from what we've seen, he's doing better than Ridley. Here are their career stats inside the 5 yard line.

player car yds TD ypc TD%Blount 15 12 5 0.8 33%Ridley 25 8 8 0.3 32%It's worth noting that Blount has had total crap for coaching during his tenure in the NFL. First he had Raheem Morris then he got saddled with Schiano who immediately told Blount he'd "never be a Buccaneer man" whatever the F that means. Go back to blitzing the victory formation, Schiano. We're all very impressed. Anyway, it's very possible that the Patriots are able to coach him up to be an effective goal line back. He certainly has the build for it and he's not lacking in natural ability.

Maybe Blount doesn't make the roster, maybe he does but he doesn't get the goal line carries. Even if one or the other occurs, I still think Ridley is in for a drop in production. Last year the Pats led the NFL in running back carries. It's hard to imagine them running less with all their WR/TE losses, but it's possible the offense is less effective as a whole and/or they run less total plays per game. They did lead the NFL in offensive snaps. Should either situation occur, it would hurt the RB corps. With Vereen and Bolden healthy and possibly the addition of Blount, Ridley's share of the pie should be shrinking a bit this season even if they lead the NFL in carries again. With the diminished receiving threats, defenses should give a little extra attention to stopping the run which should make the pie as a whole a bit less appealing than last year.

Finally, his lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside. His value is tied to his volume of carries and touchdowns. Given that I don't feel confident about either repeating from last year, I can't justify his ADP this year. Ridley is an easy pass for me in the second round.

250 carries x 4.2 ypc = 1050 yds 6 TDs, 5 rec 40 yds 0 TD
Over think it much? Opportunity wins championships, I love the opportunity he will get and he should only get increased chances.

Saying teams will/are focusing on the run game when you have a HoF'er as the QB is beyond foolish even for you, Brady makes stars, he doesnt need them.

BRADY made Welker a star not the other way around, BRADY made Gronk a start, not the other way around, BRADY made Moss better, BRADY is the guy to focus on.

So, Ridley will perform, like he shown he could, even with Gronk and AHern hurt most of last year, so he can do it while people thought they would run.

310/1345/12

15/125/0

Top 10 runner this year and has the talent to produce more.

 
I had Ridley on four teams last year (getting him for 8-12 dollars in every auction, so he was a steal), and he was awesome value, plus he was my number 2 or 3 RB on every team, but trust me, if his catches do not go up a lot, this is not a guy you want as your number 1 RB, as he basically has to score to give you a very good or great week (unlike most of the other top 15 RBs who can not score and still give you really good points on a weekly basis). Ridley did score in 10 out of 16 games last year, but in the games he didn't, he ran for 71, 37, 34, 65, 23 and 84 yards (with no catches in four of those games, and 1 catch for 0 yards in one of the other two). Think about that, and then think about the production you would get out of him from week to week if Blount really does steal some goal line carries and he continues to be used infrequently in the passing game.

 
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Last year I saw Ridley as a steal and targeted him in the 6th round. This year I've come full circle. I think his current ADP (RB15) is pretty much his ceiling. Sure, he finished RB10 last year, but that was with Bolden and Vereen both missing time. Additionally, Blount has been brought in to potentially handle goal line duties. Ridley supporters will balk and cry, "but Blount's never been good at the goal line!" Which can easily be countered with, "neither has Ridley!".

Sure, last year Ridley scored 8 TDs from inside the 5 on 20 carries. A decent stat on the surface. But delving a bit deeper yields that his forward progress was historically bad. On those 20 carries, he averaged 0.1 ypc. A stat so bad that I can't find a worse goal line performance in the data dominator. But his 40% TD conversion! Yes, a decent NFL number, but not a very good number in New England. His predecessor, BJGE, had 43 carries inside the 5 for New England, and he averaged 1.3 ypc and posted a 51% TD rate. Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts which is almost certainly why a replacement is being sought.

Moving on to Blount. Much has been made of his supposed struggles at the goal line, but the truth is that in 3 years he's had a rather statistically insignificant number of goal line carries, but from what we've seen, he's doing better than Ridley. Here are their career stats inside the 5 yard line.

player car yds TD ypc TD%Blount 15 12 5 0.8 33%Ridley 25 8 8 0.3 32%It's worth noting that Blount has had total crap for coaching during his tenure in the NFL. First he had Raheem Morris then he got saddled with Schiano who immediately told Blount he'd "never be a Buccaneer man" whatever the F that means. Go back to blitzing the victory formation, Schiano. We're all very impressed. Anyway, it's very possible that the Patriots are able to coach him up to be an effective goal line back. He certainly has the build for it and he's not lacking in natural ability.

Maybe Blount doesn't make the roster, maybe he does but he doesn't get the goal line carries. Even if one or the other occurs, I still think Ridley is in for a drop in production. Last year the Pats led the NFL in running back carries. It's hard to imagine them running less with all their WR/TE losses, but it's possible the offense is less effective as a whole and/or they run less total plays per game. They did lead the NFL in offensive snaps. Should either situation occur, it would hurt the RB corps. With Vereen and Bolden healthy and possibly the addition of Blount, Ridley's share of the pie should be shrinking a bit this season even if they lead the NFL in carries again. With the diminished receiving threats, defenses should give a little extra attention to stopping the run which should make the pie as a whole a bit less appealing than last year.

Finally, his lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside. His value is tied to his volume of carries and touchdowns. Given that I don't feel confident about either repeating from last year, I can't justify his ADP this year. Ridley is an easy pass for me in the second round.

250 carries x 4.2 ypc = 1050 yds 6 TDs, 5 rec 40 yds 0 TD
Over think it much? Opportunity wins championships, I love the opportunity he will get and he should only get increased chances.

Saying teams will/are focusing on the run game when you have a HoF'er as the QB is beyond foolish even for you, Brady makes stars, he doesnt need them.

BRADY made Welker a star not the other way around, BRADY made Gronk a start, not the other way around, BRADY made Moss better, BRADY is the guy to focus on.

So, Ridley will perform, like he shown he could, even with Gronk and AHern hurt most of last year, so he can do it while people thought they would run.

310/1345/12

15/125/0

Top 10 runner this year and has the talent to produce more.
WOW, are you related?

 
WOW, are you related?
You'd do well to just click "ignore". If you look through his posting history, it is full of completely unfounded nonsense. There's never any math or logic involved. His reasoning is always something like "studs will be studs. don't overthink it"

 
Last year I saw Ridley as a steal and targeted him in the 6th round. This year I've come full circle. I think his current ADP (RB15) is pretty much his ceiling. Sure, he finished RB10 last year, but that was with Bolden and Vereen both missing time. Additionally, Blount has been brought in to potentially handle goal line duties. Ridley supporters will balk and cry, "but Blount's never been good at the goal line!" Which can easily be countered with, "neither has Ridley!".

Sure, last year Ridley scored 8 TDs from inside the 5 on 20 carries. A decent stat on the surface. But delving a bit deeper yields that his forward progress was historically bad. On those 20 carries, he averaged 0.1 ypc. A stat so bad that I can't find a worse goal line performance in the data dominator. But his 40% TD conversion! Yes, a decent NFL number, but not a very good number in New England. His predecessor, BJGE, had 43 carries inside the 5 for New England, and he averaged 1.3 ypc and posted a 51% TD rate. Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts which is almost certainly why a replacement is being sought.

Moving on to Blount. Much has been made of his supposed struggles at the goal line, but the truth is that in 3 years he's had a rather statistically insignificant number of goal line carries, but from what we've seen, he's doing better than Ridley. Here are their career stats inside the 5 yard line.

player car yds TD ypc TD%Blount 15 12 5 0.8 33%Ridley 25 8 8 0.3 32%It's worth noting that Blount has had total crap for coaching during his tenure in the NFL. First he had Raheem Morris then he got saddled with Schiano who immediately told Blount he'd "never be a Buccaneer man" whatever the F that means. Go back to blitzing the victory formation, Schiano. We're all very impressed. Anyway, it's very possible that the Patriots are able to coach him up to be an effective goal line back. He certainly has the build for it and he's not lacking in natural ability.

Maybe Blount doesn't make the roster, maybe he does but he doesn't get the goal line carries. Even if one or the other occurs, I still think Ridley is in for a drop in production. Last year the Pats led the NFL in running back carries. It's hard to imagine them running less with all their WR/TE losses, but it's possible the offense is less effective as a whole and/or they run less total plays per game. They did lead the NFL in offensive snaps. Should either situation occur, it would hurt the RB corps. With Vereen and Bolden healthy and possibly the addition of Blount, Ridley's share of the pie should be shrinking a bit this season even if they lead the NFL in carries again. With the diminished receiving threats, defenses should give a little extra attention to stopping the run which should make the pie as a whole a bit less appealing than last year.

Finally, his lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside. His value is tied to his volume of carries and touchdowns. Given that I don't feel confident about either repeating from last year, I can't justify his ADP this year. Ridley is an easy pass for me in the second round.

250 carries x 4.2 ypc = 1050 yds 6 TDs, 5 rec 40 yds 0 TD
Your stat of 0.1 YPC inside the 5 yard line is cherry-picked and totally meaningless, becuase you didn't dive even deeper into why it's that low.

On those 20 carries, the average distance to the goalline is 1.75. So on average, Ridley only had 1-2 yards to the endzone. All it takes is a couple of "stuffed runs" of -2 or -4 yards to skew that statistic. Which Ridley had.....4 carries of -2 to -4 yards......on the other carries he averaged 0.8 ypc, which is more reasonable. The defense is much more bunched in at the 1 and 2 yard line vs the 3-5 yard line. You can't compare Ridley's YPC inside the 5 to Green Ellis YPC inside the 5 yard line until you compare their average distance to the goalline. It is easier for Green Ellis (and Ridley) to score from the 3-5 yard line because NE has their double TE and 2 WR set and have the field more spread out. That isn't the case when the ball is at the 1 or 2 yard line.

If you took Ridley's YPC for the 10 yard line and in, his YPC jumps up to 1.6. Which means his YPC for carries between the 5 and 10 yard line was a very solid 4.0 YPC.

What matters is that Ridley got 32 carries from inside the opponents 10 yard line, and 20 carries from inside the 5 yard line. Unless you think that number is going to go down, I can't see how you think Ridley won't score at least 9 TDs this year. Maybe he shares the load with Blount, but I doubt that.

NE will likely run less plays, but I think NE will run a greater % of running plays in the redzone, especially if Gronkowski is out for any period of time. So I don't see the volume of opportunities going down.

 
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Last year I saw Ridley as a steal and targeted him in the 6th round. This year I've come full circle. I think his current ADP (RB15) is pretty much his ceiling. Sure, he finished RB10 last year, but that was with Bolden and Vereen both missing time. Additionally, Blount has been brought in to potentially handle goal line duties. Ridley supporters will balk and cry, "but Blount's never been good at the goal line!" Which can easily be countered with, "neither has Ridley!".

Sure, last year Ridley scored 8 TDs from inside the 5 on 20 carries. A decent stat on the surface. But delving a bit deeper yields that his forward progress was historically bad. On those 20 carries, he averaged 0.1 ypc. A stat so bad that I can't find a worse goal line performance in the data dominator. But his 40% TD conversion! Yes, a decent NFL number, but not a very good number in New England. His predecessor, BJGE, had 43 carries inside the 5 for New England, and he averaged 1.3 ypc and posted a 51% TD rate. Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts which is almost certainly why a replacement is being sought.

Moving on to Blount. Much has been made of his supposed struggles at the goal line, but the truth is that in 3 years he's had a rather statistically insignificant number of goal line carries, but from what we've seen, he's doing better than Ridley. Here are their career stats inside the 5 yard line.

player car yds TD ypc TD%Blount 15 12 5 0.8 33%Ridley 25 8 8 0.3 32%It's worth noting that Blount has had total crap for coaching during his tenure in the NFL. First he had Raheem Morris then he got saddled with Schiano who immediately told Blount he'd "never be a Buccaneer man" whatever the F that means. Go back to blitzing the victory formation, Schiano. We're all very impressed. Anyway, it's very possible that the Patriots are able to coach him up to be an effective goal line back. He certainly has the build for it and he's not lacking in natural ability.

Maybe Blount doesn't make the roster, maybe he does but he doesn't get the goal line carries. Even if one or the other occurs, I still think Ridley is in for a drop in production. Last year the Pats led the NFL in running back carries. It's hard to imagine them running less with all their WR/TE losses, but it's possible the offense is less effective as a whole and/or they run less total plays per game. They did lead the NFL in offensive snaps. Should either situation occur, it would hurt the RB corps. With Vereen and Bolden healthy and possibly the addition of Blount, Ridley's share of the pie should be shrinking a bit this season even if they lead the NFL in carries again. With the diminished receiving threats, defenses should give a little extra attention to stopping the run which should make the pie as a whole a bit less appealing than last year.

Finally, his lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside. His value is tied to his volume of carries and touchdowns. Given that I don't feel confident about either repeating from last year, I can't justify his ADP this year. Ridley is an easy pass for me in the second round.

250 carries x 4.2 ypc = 1050 yds 6 TDs, 5 rec 40 yds 0 TD
Your stat of 0.1 YPC inside the 5 yard line is cherry-picked and totally meaningless, becuase you didn't dive even deeper into why it's that low.

On those 20 carries, the average distance to the goalline is 1.75. So on average, Ridley only had 1-2 yards to the endzone. All it takes is a couple of "stuffed runs" of -2 or -4 yards to skew that statistic. Which Ridley had.....4 carries of -2 to -4 yards......on the other carries he averaged 0.8 ypc, which is more reasonable. The defense is much more bunched in at the 1 and 2 yard line vs the 3-5 yard line. You can't compare Ridley's YPC inside the 5 to Green Ellis YPC inside the 5 yard line until you compare their average distance to the goalline. It is easier for Green Ellis (and Ridley) to score from the 3-5 yard line because NE has their double TE and 2 WR set and have the field more spread out. That isn't the case when the ball is at the 1 or 2 yard line.

If you took Ridley's YPC for the 10 yard line and in, his YPC jumps up to 1.6. Which means his YPC for carries between the 5 and 10 yard line was a very solid 4.0 YPC.

What matters is that Ridley got 32 carries from inside the opponents 10 yard line, and 20 carries from inside the 5 yard line. Unless you think that number is going to go down, I can't see how you think Ridley won't score at least 9 TDs this year. Maybe he shares the load with Blount, but I doubt that.

NE will likely run less plays, but I think NE will run a greater % of running plays in the redzone, especially if Gronkowski is out for any period of time. So I don't see the volume of opportunities going down.
No, it was not cherry picked. There are only really two stats to look at inside the 5. TDs and ypc. I looked at both. Would you prefer that I ignore it? Look through the data dominator and try to find a worse stat line than that. I didn't find one, so I figured it was worth investigating. The cherry picked assertion is just ridiculous.

As for the bolded, no ****, Sherlock. Did you really think that escaped anyone who looked at those stats? No, we all knew that meant he's been going backwards. Generally, going backwards 2 to 4 yards at the goal line is seen as a bad thing. Doing enough bad things means you get replaced.

Next you say "You can't compare Ridley's YPC inside the 5 to Green Ellis YPC inside the 5 yard line until you compare their average distance to the goalline. It is easier for Green Ellis (and Ridley) to score from the 3-5 yard line because NE has their double TE and 2 WR set and have the field more spread out. That isn't the case when the ball is at the 1 or 2 yard line."

Which I had already addressed by saying "Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts"

c'mon man.

 
If you took Ridley's YPC for the 10 yard line and in, his YPC jumps up to 1.6. Which means his YPC for carries between the 5 and 10 yard line was a very solid 4.0 YPC.
I should add that the only thing cherry picked is this. Wtf is that stat? No one cares about your ypc between the 10 and the 5. When a team brings in a big back and says they're looking to possibly make him the goal line back, you are going to come back with, but look at the ypc between the 5 and 10! :doh:

 
I generally find him to likely be overvalued at this point. I won't get into a bunch of stats because that has been outlined well already but, in general terms, the Patriots are one of those teams that are not going to fit into the mold you have pre-dispositioned in your mind. We can say Brady makes the player or we can say it all workd for Brady beacause..and all those other things but when it comes down to it, this is not a team that is predicated on the power run game and will not be a team that intends to blaze a trail to the SuperBowl behind a couple of RBs.

I am skeptical that he finishes higher than 17-18. I think of him in that Ahmad Bradshaw (with the giants) range with similar games. He will win you a few weeks and he will also finish with 14/47/0 sometimes. He relies too much on the TD to make your top RB spot each week and I doubt he scores a TD even 70% of the time. For those reasons, I like him as a player with value I can trade or a RB2, but that is the limit.

 
Last year I saw Ridley as a steal and targeted him in the 6th round. This year I've come full circle. I think his current ADP (RB15) is pretty much his ceiling. Sure, he finished RB10 last year, but that was with Bolden and Vereen both missing time. Additionally, Blount has been brought in to potentially handle goal line duties. Ridley supporters will balk and cry, "but Blount's never been good at the goal line!" Which can easily be countered with, "neither has Ridley!".

Sure, last year Ridley scored 8 TDs from inside the 5 on 20 carries. A decent stat on the surface. But delving a bit deeper yields that his forward progress was historically bad. On those 20 carries, he averaged 0.1 ypc. A stat so bad that I can't find a worse goal line performance in the data dominator. But his 40% TD conversion! Yes, a decent NFL number, but not a very good number in New England. His predecessor, BJGE, had 43 carries inside the 5 for New England, and he averaged 1.3 ypc and posted a 51% TD rate. Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts which is almost certainly why a replacement is being sought.

Moving on to Blount. Much has been made of his supposed struggles at the goal line, but the truth is that in 3 years he's had a rather statistically insignificant number of goal line carries, but from what we've seen, he's doing better than Ridley. Here are their career stats inside the 5 yard line.

player car yds TD ypc TD%Blount 15 12 5 0.8 33%Ridley 25 8 8 0.3 32%It's worth noting that Blount has had total crap for coaching during his tenure in the NFL. First he had Raheem Morris then he got saddled with Schiano who immediately told Blount he'd "never be a Buccaneer man" whatever the F that means. Go back to blitzing the victory formation, Schiano. We're all very impressed. Anyway, it's very possible that the Patriots are able to coach him up to be an effective goal line back. He certainly has the build for it and he's not lacking in natural ability.

Maybe Blount doesn't make the roster, maybe he does but he doesn't get the goal line carries. Even if one or the other occurs, I still think Ridley is in for a drop in production. Last year the Pats led the NFL in running back carries. It's hard to imagine them running less with all their WR/TE losses, but it's possible the offense is less effective as a whole and/or they run less total plays per game. They did lead the NFL in offensive snaps. Should either situation occur, it would hurt the RB corps. With Vereen and Bolden healthy and possibly the addition of Blount, Ridley's share of the pie should be shrinking a bit this season even if they lead the NFL in carries again. With the diminished receiving threats, defenses should give a little extra attention to stopping the run which should make the pie as a whole a bit less appealing than last year.

Finally, his lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside. His value is tied to his volume of carries and touchdowns. Given that I don't feel confident about either repeating from last year, I can't justify his ADP this year. Ridley is an easy pass for me in the second round.

250 carries x 4.2 ypc = 1050 yds 6 TDs, 5 rec 40 yds 0 TD
Your stat of 0.1 YPC inside the 5 yard line is cherry-picked and totally meaningless, becuase you didn't dive even deeper into why it's that low.

On those 20 carries, the average distance to the goalline is 1.75. So on average, Ridley only had 1-2 yards to the endzone. All it takes is a couple of "stuffed runs" of -2 or -4 yards to skew that statistic. Which Ridley had.....4 carries of -2 to -4 yards......on the other carries he averaged 0.8 ypc, which is more reasonable. The defense is much more bunched in at the 1 and 2 yard line vs the 3-5 yard line. You can't compare Ridley's YPC inside the 5 to Green Ellis YPC inside the 5 yard line until you compare their average distance to the goalline. It is easier for Green Ellis (and Ridley) to score from the 3-5 yard line because NE has their double TE and 2 WR set and have the field more spread out. That isn't the case when the ball is at the 1 or 2 yard line.

If you took Ridley's YPC for the 10 yard line and in, his YPC jumps up to 1.6. Which means his YPC for carries between the 5 and 10 yard line was a very solid 4.0 YPC.

What matters is that Ridley got 32 carries from inside the opponents 10 yard line, and 20 carries from inside the 5 yard line. Unless you think that number is going to go down, I can't see how you think Ridley won't score at least 9 TDs this year. Maybe he shares the load with Blount, but I doubt that.

NE will likely run less plays, but I think NE will run a greater % of running plays in the redzone, especially if Gronkowski is out for any period of time. So I don't see the volume of opportunities going down.
Bottom line, Ridley was average to below average from the goal line.

He went 8/20 from the 5 and in, which isn't horrible, but on the carries that didn't go, he seemed to hurt the team, considering the 2 net yards.

From 4 and in, he was 8/19 for -1 net (worse) - so his one carry from the 5 wasn't didn't score, but it least produced a few yards...

From the 3 and in, he went 8/17 which again, isn't bad, and 6 net yards which isn't good at all, but better then those two apparently disastrous carries from the 4 ;)

From the 2 and in, he went 7/14, with 3 net yards

On the 1, he was 4/10 which really isn't great, nor is the -1 net yards.

Interestingly, Vereen went 2/2 from the 1, and 3/5 from the 5 and in, with 12 net yards (with 2/2 from the 1, meaning 10 yards for the remaining 3 carries) - all of which of course is VERY good on a small sample.

From 2011, Ridley had 5 shots from the 5 and in and converted NONE of them. Got a few more yards, but 0/5 aint so good. Vereen went 1 out of 2.

There you have it, no need to quibble over interpretation - that's pretty much what Ridley did when they got close. Fairly poor overall.

So the concern is, do they/will they have someone better in 2013? Seems like it wouldn't be THAT hard to find equivalent production based on those results.

 
If he drops a bit as he's not the sexiest name on the draft board (which I suspect will happen in leagues without a Pats homer), I'll gladly pick him up for value, but I tend to agree with FFNinja and others that his current ADP is closer to his ceiling, not his midrange, which means I don't like his potentail return. I'm also concerned that the loss of so many of their skill players in the passing game means that the team will elect to give more PT to the more versatile Veren.

250 carries, 1050 combined yds, 7 TDs, 10 receptions

 
It's likely too early to decipher what the Pats offense will look like. Too many weapons are gone, have changed or are uncertain. It's tempting to believe that the absence of one and perhaps both of the dominant TEs will cause a much more run heavy system which benefits the lead back, but it's hard to believe there will be a meaningful increase from last season in what was for New England a much more run heavy attack than usual. Ridley figures to continue to be the lead rusher and that likely yields high end RB2 results, but it would surprise me if Vereen's receiving skills aren't an important part of the Pats offense which figures to sufficiently limit Ridley's snaps that I'm skeptical of significant upside.

 
Just to play devil's advocate, why do we think Brandon Bolden + LeGarrete Blount will steal carries from Ridley when Brandon Bolden + Jeff Demps last year wasnt able to significantly cut into his rushes? Ridley had a few subpar performances (Thinking of SF game) and he didnt lose his gig, so I'm wondering what's making you guys think this year he will lose carries, given that he has another year in the system? I'm more worried about Vereen, but I think NE offense will be able to support both Ridley and Vereen as fantasy options.

Last year I saw Ridley as a steal and targeted him in the 6th round. This year I've come full circle. I think his current ADP (RB15) is pretty much his ceiling. Sure, he finished RB10 last year, but that was with Bolden and Vereen both missing time. Additionally, Blount has been brought in to potentially handle goal line duties. Ridley supporters will balk and cry, "but Blount's never been good at the goal line!" Which can easily be countered with, "neither has Ridley!".

Sure, last year Ridley scored 8 TDs from inside the 5 on 20 carries. A decent stat on the surface. But delving a bit deeper yields that his forward progress was historically bad. On those 20 carries, he averaged 0.1 ypc. A stat so bad that I can't find a worse goal line performance in the data dominator. But his 40% TD conversion! Yes, a decent NFL number, but not a very good number in New England. His predecessor, BJGE, had 43 carries inside the 5 for New England, and he averaged 1.3 ypc and posted a 51% TD rate. Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts which is almost certainly why a replacement is being sought.

Moving on to Blount. Much has been made of his supposed struggles at the goal line, but the truth is that in 3 years he's had a rather statistically insignificant number of goal line carries, but from what we've seen, he's doing better than Ridley. Here are their career stats inside the 5 yard line.

player car yds TD ypc TD%Blount 15 12 5 0.8 33%Ridley 25 8 8 0.3 32%It's worth noting that Blount has had total crap for coaching during his tenure in the NFL. First he had Raheem Morris then he got saddled with Schiano who immediately told Blount he'd "never be a Buccaneer man" whatever the F that means. Go back to blitzing the victory formation, Schiano. We're all very impressed. Anyway, it's very possible that the Patriots are able to coach him up to be an effective goal line back. He certainly has the build for it and he's not lacking in natural ability.

Maybe Blount doesn't make the roster, maybe he does but he doesn't get the goal line carries. Even if one or the other occurs, I still think Ridley is in for a drop in production. Last year the Pats led the NFL in running back carries. It's hard to imagine them running less with all their WR/TE losses, but it's possible the offense is less effective as a whole and/or they run less total plays per game. They did lead the NFL in offensive snaps. Should either situation occur, it would hurt the RB corps. With Vereen and Bolden healthy and possibly the addition of Blount, Ridley's share of the pie should be shrinking a bit this season even if they lead the NFL in carries again. With the diminished receiving threats, defenses should give a little extra attention to stopping the run which should make the pie as a whole a bit less appealing than last year.

Finally, his lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside. His value is tied to his volume of carries and touchdowns. Given that I don't feel confident about either repeating from last year, I can't justify his ADP this year. Ridley is an easy pass for me in the second round.

250 carries x 4.2 ypc = 1050 yds 6 TDs, 5 rec 40 yds 0 TD
 
Just to play devil's advocate, why do we think Brandon Bolden + LeGarrete Blount will steal carries from Ridley when Brandon Bolden + Jeff Demps last year wasnt able to significantly cut into his rushes? Ridley had a few subpar performances (Thinking of SF game) and he didnt lose his gig, so I'm wondering what's making you guys think this year he will lose carries, given that he has another year in the system? I'm more worried about Vereen, but I think NE offense will be able to support both Ridley and Vereen as fantasy options.

Last year I saw Ridley as a steal and targeted him in the 6th round. This year I've come full circle. I think his current ADP (RB15) is pretty much his ceiling. Sure, he finished RB10 last year, but that was with Bolden and Vereen both missing time. Additionally, Blount has been brought in to potentially handle goal line duties. Ridley supporters will balk and cry, "but Blount's never been good at the goal line!" Which can easily be countered with, "neither has Ridley!".

Sure, last year Ridley scored 8 TDs from inside the 5 on 20 carries. A decent stat on the surface. But delving a bit deeper yields that his forward progress was historically bad. On those 20 carries, he averaged 0.1 ypc. A stat so bad that I can't find a worse goal line performance in the data dominator. But his 40% TD conversion! Yes, a decent NFL number, but not a very good number in New England. His predecessor, BJGE, had 43 carries inside the 5 for New England, and he averaged 1.3 ypc and posted a 51% TD rate. Logic would follow that you either get carries from farther out and post a higher ypc or you get carries from closer and convert more TDs. Ridley was actually worse on both accounts which is almost certainly why a replacement is being sought.

Moving on to Blount. Much has been made of his supposed struggles at the goal line, but the truth is that in 3 years he's had a rather statistically insignificant number of goal line carries, but from what we've seen, he's doing better than Ridley. Here are their career stats inside the 5 yard line.

player car yds TD ypc TD%Blount 15 12 5 0.8 33%Ridley 25 8 8 0.3 32%It's worth noting that Blount has had total crap for coaching during his tenure in the NFL. First he had Raheem Morris then he got saddled with Schiano who immediately told Blount he'd "never be a Buccaneer man" whatever the F that means. Go back to blitzing the victory formation, Schiano. We're all very impressed. Anyway, it's very possible that the Patriots are able to coach him up to be an effective goal line back. He certainly has the build for it and he's not lacking in natural ability.

Maybe Blount doesn't make the roster, maybe he does but he doesn't get the goal line carries. Even if one or the other occurs, I still think Ridley is in for a drop in production. Last year the Pats led the NFL in running back carries. It's hard to imagine them running less with all their WR/TE losses, but it's possible the offense is less effective as a whole and/or they run less total plays per game. They did lead the NFL in offensive snaps. Should either situation occur, it would hurt the RB corps. With Vereen and Bolden healthy and possibly the addition of Blount, Ridley's share of the pie should be shrinking a bit this season even if they lead the NFL in carries again. With the diminished receiving threats, defenses should give a little extra attention to stopping the run which should make the pie as a whole a bit less appealing than last year.

Finally, his lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside. His value is tied to his volume of carries and touchdowns. Given that I don't feel confident about either repeating from last year, I can't justify his ADP this year. Ridley is an easy pass for me in the second round.

250 carries x 4.2 ypc = 1050 yds 6 TDs, 5 rec 40 yds 0 TD
A lot has to do with everything I said in the post that you quoted. It's less about Bolden + Blount and more about Ridley not being that great at the goal line. But it should be noted that Demps was pretty much a non-factor/specialty player/high risk rookie while Blount once carried a crappy team on his back. Bolden was an undrafted FA who got injured. Now that he's healthy and going through his second training camp, he could have an expanded role.

 
I generally find him to likely be overvalued at this point. I won't get into a bunch of stats because that has been outlined well already but, in general terms, the Patriots are one of those teams that are not going to fit into the mold you have pre-dispositioned in your mind. We can say Brady makes the player or we can say it all workd for Brady beacause..and all those other things but when it comes down to it, this is not a team that is predicated on the power run game and will not be a team that intends to blaze a trail to the SuperBowl behind a couple of RBs.

I am skeptical that he finishes higher than 17-18. I think of him in that Ahmad Bradshaw (with the giants) range with similar games. He will win you a few weeks and he will also finish with 14/47/0 sometimes. He relies too much on the TD to make your top RB spot each week and I doubt he scores a TD even 70% of the time. For those reasons, I like him as a player with value I can trade or a RB2, but that is the limit.
This is my impression as well. I think it's easy to just assume that Brady will always be Brady and just distribute the ball to whoever with precisely zero decline regardless of the losses. But losing bookend TEs when your offense is predicated on mismatches at the TE position has to have some effect on the team's production. Also, I don't see the defense getting the ball back for them so readily. Just from a gameflow standpoint, I think the Pats are going to be playing from behind more frequently than before, meaning more throwing... meaning less running. I just don't see the Pats being able to downshift into clock-killing mode as readily as they've done in the past.

I really think FFNinja hit the projections in the bullseye... maybe he shorted him a TD or two, but still not someone I would invest a second rounder in.

 
One thing to consider, too, is the Patriots might not be able to run as much no-huddle as they did last year, especially earlier in the season when the new receivers are still learning and getting acclimated to the offense. Guys like Welker, Woodhead, etc. knew the offense like the back of their hand, so running the no-huddle with them was as easy as pie, but it is realistic to expect Amendola and the other new WRs to immediately pick up the offense well enough to grasp the no-huddle right off the bat? These things take time.

 
I generally find him to likely be overvalued at this point. I won't get into a bunch of stats because that has been outlined well already but, in general terms, the Patriots are one of those teams that are not going to fit into the mold you have pre-dispositioned in your mind. We can say Brady makes the player or we can say it all workd for Brady beacause..and all those other things but when it comes down to it, this is not a team that is predicated on the power run game and will not be a team that intends to blaze a trail to the SuperBowl behind a couple of RBs.

I am skeptical that he finishes higher than 17-18. I think of him in that Ahmad Bradshaw (with the giants) range with similar games. He will win you a few weeks and he will also finish with 14/47/0 sometimes. He relies too much on the TD to make your top RB spot each week and I doubt he scores a TD even 70% of the time. For those reasons, I like him as a player with value I can trade or a RB2, but that is the limit.
This is my impression as well. I think it's easy to just assume that Brady will always be Brady and just distribute the ball to whoever with precisely zero decline regardless of the losses. But losing bookend TEs when your offense is predicated on mismatches at the TE position has to have some effect on the team's production. Also, I don't see the defense getting the ball back for them so readily. Just from a gameflow standpoint, I think the Pats are going to be playing from behind more frequently than before, meaning more throwing... meaning less running. I just don't see the Pats being able to downshift into clock-killing mode as readily as they've done in the past.

I really think FFNinja hit the projections in the bullseye... maybe he shorted him a TD or two, but still not someone I would invest a second rounder in.
This is an important point. Last year, the Pats frequently came out in 2TE sets and then reacted to what defense was on the field. If the D stayed in base personnel, Brady would find mismatches in the coverage; if the opponent went to a nickle or dime, then NE would overpower them with a running attack. Since teams were so worried about stopping the pass, Ridley a) got a lot of carries, and b) often got to run against a smaller D.

Will NE be able to keep using this sort of offense now that Hernandez is gone, and Gronk may miss time? And if they do, will Ds continue to put extra defensive backs on the field, or will they concentrate on stopping the run? NE was still able to run their 2TE sets reasonably well when Hernandez was injured, and Ballard is/was a decent player, so they might be able to keep the 2TE offence alive even before Gronk gets back. And they could also start using 2RB sets, with Vereen effectively replacing Hernandez as a pass-catching threat. But I'd worry that Ridley will now seem like the main threat, and teams will stay in base personnel a lot more than they did last year.

 
http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/extra_points/2013/07/training_camp_day_3_practice_report.html

RB Stevan Ridley fumbled four times last year, and had a bad case of the butterfingers on Sunday. He fumbled twice in practice, including once in a goal line drill in which he was stripped by Wilfork. Each time, he was forced to run the length of the field as punishment. LeGarrette Blount was the only other running back to participate in the goal line drill, and scored a touchdown with a nice second effort.
 
I don't think it has been mentioned but Ridley can have some fumbling issues. If anyone remembers the game last year against the 49ers, he got benched for fumbling. Another negative mark against him, considering he plays for NE.

http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/extra_points/2013/07/training_camp_day_3_practice_report.html

RB Stevan Ridley fumbled four times last year, and had a bad case of the butterfingers on Sunday. He fumbled twice in practice, including once in a goal line drill in which he was stripped by Wilfork. Each time, he was forced to run the length of the field as punishment. LeGarrette Blount was the only other running back to participate in the goal line drill, and scored a touchdown with a nice second effort.
 
Maybe he is fumbling in practice because he is fat.



Stevan Ridley says he had to "cut a few pounds" after reporting to OTAs "looking like a house."

Beat writer Jeff Howe insinuates the weight loss was at the team's urging. Ridley bulked up to steel himself for a bigger workload — and in response to Bernard Pollard's thundering hit in the AFC Championship Game — but the Pats want him to remain near his listed playing weight of 220. Ridley has reportedly been struggling with ball security in the early days of camp, but there's no reason to believe he won't remain the Pats' preferred early-down back. Source: Boston Herald

 
Interesting stat: After accounting for 5 receptions and 51 yards during the seasons first 2 games, Ridley did not catch another pass for positive yardage the remainder of the season.

Ridley had a breakout season last season. With a spot open atop the depth chart, Ridley’s hard-charging style complimented the Patriots aerial attack led by Tom Brady very nicely. A lot has happened in New England though in the past off-season that has been covered to the hilt already in countless other threads. The outcome though as it relates to Ridley IMO is as follows: Is he as good a fit in 2013 as he was in 2012?

I’m not suggesting Ridley is going to be relegated to the bench or anything extreme. But last year, Ridley was but a supporting piece to a puzzle that was much bigger than him. On a team with weapons like Gronkowski, Hernandez, Welker, Lloyd, Woodhead who owned specific roles of many different shapes and sizes, Ridley was able to perform a specific function of the offense, hard between the tackle running, within a spectrum of offensive firepower that was much bigger than just one player. All of it led by a QB who many consider to be the best in the game.

But with the dearth of weapons that NE was used to trotting out week after week, will that bring forth a requirement for those that do contribute offensively to be more versatile? I’m high on Shane Vereen in large part because I think he provides more versatility than Ridley and more explosiveness out of the backfield than Woodhead. Along with the events that have transpired this off-season, my thinking is that the Patriots will find ways to get Vereen on the field with more frequency as an x-factor of sorts. I could be dead wrong. But with that said, more time of the field for Vereen might lead to a reduced role or time on the field for Ridley. Even if I’m right, I don’t suspect that it would be so significant as to kill Ridley’s value. But he dropped off the face of the planet from a passing game perspective after Game 2. With his game being volume and TD based, a reduction in workload even by just 10% is not an insignificant development.

Now could NE find a way to leverage him moreso in the passing game? Absolutely. It is most definitely within the realm of reason that without the plethora of targets to throw to, that Brady might be more amenable to the dump off pass. But Ridley has yet to show much inclination of receiving prowess so while it may be a part of his game that has yet to be tested, it’s also quite possible that he’s not that good here.

NE is going to be a fascinating team to watch in 2013 on the basis of curiosity alone. Brady always finds a way, and I don’t expect 2013 to be any different in that regard. He won’t put up 2007 or 2011 numbers, but he’s still going to be elite. And no matter what anyone says, this team is still built around him. I just think that in that vein, there is simply going to be a greater need for a more versatile player coming out of the backfield for NE this upcoming season and to date, Ridley has not shown himself to be this.

Prediction: 257 Carries, 1112 Rushing Yards, 8 TD’s; 9 Receptions, 48 Receiving Yards.

 

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