Three and Out: Colt Lyerla, Stevan Ridley and RB Projections.
1/3 of catches for touchdowns – Actually it’s slightly less at 32.3%…but basically for every 3 catches Colt Lyerla had in college, one went for a touchdown. Let me start off by stating that I love Colt Lyerla the player. I have made it a point to refrain from writing any articles about him because I didn’t want my bias to show. There is also the well publicized trouble that Lyerla has gotten into. Along with Davis Mattek, I had Lyerla ranked the highest at 4 during our staff TE rankings. I actually think Lyerla is the most talented TE in this class. The problem is that there is a very limited sample size to serve as a basis for that opinion. The drug usage is an issue but quitting on his team is a bigger issue for me and ultimately the reason I had him ranked at 4. Apparently the NFL had the same concerns, which lead to Lyerla going undrafted and nearly being black-balled altogether.
“You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes well you might find you get what you need.” Mick Jagger belted out those lyrics for the Rolling Stones and they couldn’t be more true for Lyerla. What he got with the draft was a wake up call. What he got by landing in Green Bay is what he needed. The Packers are a team with a strong coach in McCarthy, a proven leader and All-Pro QB in Aaron Rodgers and a depth chart open to opportunity. Though I have never visited, I have been told there is not much to do in Green Bay, which we can only hope helps. Lyerla also will not be the focal point of the offense. While the Packers did use a 3rd rounder to pick up Richard Rodgers from Cal, I for one can not see Rodgers beating out Lyerla from a talent basis. A look at the heat map below (in my opinion) shows Lyerla is the superior talent. If that’s not enough take one look here and tell me you don’t see a more athletic Jeremy Shockey…but hey that may just be my bias showing through again. The Fantasy Douche pointed out that we are either way too high or way too low on Lyerla…well I know which camp I fall into.
1018 yds, 9.5 tds – Those are the averages for Stevan Ridley over the last 2 years. Gone are the 772 yds and 7 tds that Legarrette Blount stole from Ridley owners last season. The on again off again relationship between Ridley and Coach Belichek seems to be on again. It’s no secret that Ridley fumbles; he has 8 over three years. It’s also no secret that Belichek isn’t afraid to bench Ridley when this happens. While Shane Vereen is the match-up problem for the Patriots, Ridley could be the better value going a full 20 picks later with and ADP of 70. James White doesn’t exactly fit the mold of a bruising bell cow. So taking a look at the Patriots backfield, you have to ask yourself which profile do these running backs fit into? We saw what Vereen can do and how the Pats used him last year. There is only one back on this roster that fits the early down and goal line mold on this roster….that is Ridley. I think his two-year average is about what he will do this year and I am comfortable with that in the latter part of the 6th round. I would consider Ridley a great arbitrage play to anyone thinking of drafting Zac Stacy. A look at Ridley’s comps in the RB Sim Score App can be found below.
11, 6, 6, 5 – See a trend yet? In the last 4 years the number of running backs in the top 25 scoring fantasy players has dwindled. Outside of the top 5 or 6 it’s really a crap shoot at the position. Further adding to the running back conundrum are the incoming crop of rookies. In the last 2 years 7 rookies have finished as a top 20 RB and an 8th, Andre Ellington just missed. In this new age NFL there is running back value to be had all over your re-draft. Part of Mastering the Offseason is staying ahead of the curve. One way to do that is to play with your own projections. RotoViz has you covered with a number of apps. In this case the RB Sim Score Lab allows you to create your own projections. Want to know what Joique Bell would do if Reggie Bush went out for the season? Just play with the app. And for those interested in that scenario, here are the hypothetical Joique Bell comps.
Simple Poll for the reading public…who is your rookie RB sleeper this year and why? Comment below…which ever player receives the most votes will have his prospects broken down in next weeks Three and Out.