ridley-again2

That’s Stevan Ridley, and he’s bigger than you. You may be taller (he’s 5’11″) and you may even be fatter (he weighs 220), but he’s still bigger because he’s both of those things. He’s a lean and finely tuned athletic machine, and now he’s sculpted himself even further to make hurting people easier.

With the draft beginning to fade into our rear-view (quick shameless promotional aside: next week we’ll continue to look at the different areas where you can find deep fantasy value among this year’s rookies), we’re approaching a time in the football calendar when speculation begins to percolate and take over our lives like the wild beast it is. How will Chip Kelly use his tight ends? How much will Reggie Bush be utilized in Detroit’s passing game? Will the annexation of Puerto Rico become a staple of NFL offenses (dear god please yes)?

One such question among fantasy footballers is now this: can Ridley run over eight defenders with a single step because he may look like the T-1000, or will he be limited to just five?

Yesterday Patriots beat writer Jeff Howe observed the mammoth hulking man we know as Stevan Ridley, and had this to report…

Howe doesn’t pass along a specific weight, but if Ridley’s beefcaking was noticeable to even just a casual eye, we can safely assume it’s a sizable amount of bulk.

Right about now that’s a very good thing, because Bill Belchick notoriously works in mysterious ways with his running backs, and although the addition of Legarrette Blount through a draft weekend trade may seem inconsequential at first, the former Buccaneer’s only value lies in his short yardage and goal-line ability. If he begins to show even a hint of the bruising power he showcased in 2010 with his five yards per carry, a touchdown vulture could be lurking.

I know that seems unlikely right now, but please don’t forget that despite Ridley’s highly successful sophomore year (1,263 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns, and 199.4 fantasy points) Belichick still took great delight in messing with his fantasy owners. Remember that game when Brandon Bolden had 137 rushing yards on just 16 carries (8.6 yards per carry!!!), and then the rest of the season he had…137 yards? Or how about the four games when Shane Vereen had 40 or more yards despite his generally scattered usage when healthy?

As great as Ridley was in 2012, his production could have been even better. So erasing any doubt about his ability to carry that bell-cow back title proudly in May is good for Ridley, and likely good for all of us.