Go Beanie Strong.
Photo Credit: Blueag9
Being a fantasy sports guru has its ups and downs. Fun is always to be had, but moral dilemmas always dwell in our minds. We see ourselves rooting for certain players and sometimes we even root for injuries to occur. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with these demons. Most recently, the sole demon possessing my brain was Ryan Williams. Having high hopes for third-year sensation Beanie Wells, Williams' ever-looming presence in Arizona frightened me to the bitter end. Although Beanie has the tools to become an elite rusher in this league, Williams’ youth and equally impressive skill set hampered Beanie’s potential.
Thank god for torn patellar tendons.
More after the jump…
In the third quarter of Friday’s preseason bout with the defending world champions, Williams was carted off the field after a six yard run. Shortly after, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt announced that Williams had suffered a torn patellar tendon, and would likely miss the rest of the season. This is another bitter blow to this year’s rookie class of running backs, who had previously lost Mikel LeShoure to a season-ending injury. For non-fantasy purposes, I can only hope for a speedy recovery and pray the injury doesn’t affect his future. I’m here, however, to talk about fantasy football and thus I must say that although devastating, Williams’ injury could not have come at a more opportune time. Wells, who tallied 936 yards and seven TDs, is now poised to have a true breakout season. This fantasy scribe could not be happier.
Although troubled last year by a myriad of injuries, Beanie’s first stint in the pros was promising. The 4.5 YPC in his rookie season illustrates that. Now, with Williams out of the picture, Wells' load is surely to increase (Starbonell's/editor's note: "pause"). Keep in mind that Wells was already considered the starting back before the injury. This from NBC Sports:
"I think he’s ready to take that role," Whisenhunt said. "This is what he wanted, clearly he’s the guy."
His coach undoubtedly has faith in the third year product, which is a good indication of future success. Wells also expressed a desire to excel this season, another good quality for a player to have. Beanie had these words to say regarding his sub-par sophomore year and eagerness to bounce back. From Darren Urban:
“It was definitely a learning experience, and you can take that and equate that to life. You go through so many ups and downs, how you bounce back is key."
It’s clear that signs point to 2011 as being Beanie’s breakout campaign. With Williams out of the picture, Wells has only mediocre LaRod Stephens-Howling to compete for touches. Even if the Cardinals do decide to sign a veteran back, Beanie is the man to own in Arizona. His ADP at Mock Draft Central currently sits at 82.33. He's going after uninteresting names such as Joseph Addai (78.83), Ryan Torain (56.17), and the Mike Tyson of football: Thomas Jones (80.10). Although I fully expect his draft stock to climb, Wells is a very sexy value pick this year. Consider him a mid-tier RB2, and laugh all the way to the championship after you draft him. Fantasy Football is all about uncovering the next breakout player. Beanie Wells, with his determination and free ride to touches, will not disappoint.
The Forecast: 1098 Rushing Yards, 10 TDs, 42 Receptions, 367 Receiving Yards, 2 TDs.