Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/17/13
Stevan Ridley had good fantasy numbers in 2012. He wracked-up 1,263 yards rushing on his way to 12 touchdowns. His contribution in the passing game was minimal, but that isn't necessarily a knock on his ability or his future potential in this offense.While the Patriots may be considered a pass-first team, Ridley is not exactly an afterthought, despite having a little trouble with fumbles. But contrary to popular opinion, that is not out of line with other backs in the top 10. He actually had one less fumble than Jamaal Charles, and only one more than Adrian Peterson!No doubt, Ridley can improve his ball-handling (avoiding the wrath of Belichick is a good motivation). And he also has time to work on his catching ability, though that may not be much of a concern with Vereen and Bolden most likely being the go-to guys in that department.Ridley's strength is as a slashing runner and that is where he will excel in the offense in 2013 and beyond. He will be the feature back and he will command the bulk of the carries. I don't see any other backs that have a decent chance of making the roster taking reps away from Ridley. Ridley had 290 touches in 2012 and will have the opportunity to increase that number in 2013.Simply put, if he is successful from week to week, Belichick won't bench him and his numbers will go up. That translates to at least 1400-1500 yards of rushing or more, and two or three more touchdowns, not including the occasional pass reception that could result in a TD or two over the course of the season.And don't worry about Tim Tebow stealing TDs from Ridley; even if he makes the final roster cut, all indications have him riding the bench rather than on the field. And with the challenge of the loaded running back depth chart going into training camp, Ridley has plenty of motivation to kick his performance into high gear to prove his place as the premier back in New England, and one of the best fantasy picks in the league as well.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A San Diego storm has turned Petco Park into a lake

Top eight storylines for NFL Scouting Combine

Mike D’Antoni calls out Rockets for being ‘soft’ again

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker