Advanced Sportswriting ISP Presents Running Back Disappointments

Julian Passman  Most of the time, we talk about the top running backs. Well, what better way to contrast that than with the biggest Running Back disappointments of the year through Week 6. For those who made the list, there is still time to rebound, but so far, you guys have been bad, simply put. Without further ado, let’s see which poor souls players made the list, courtesy of the Advanced Sportswriting ISP with Mr. Windus, Nour Hatoum, Aidan Mackie, Gerald Porter, and me. Click here to read more like this, including the Top 10 Running Backs of 2013.    5. Stevan Ridley (Patriots)   Ok, I’m especially mad about this one because I picked Ridley in the 2nd round of my fantasy draft this year, but that’s beside the point. The LSU-product had a breakout year in 2012 when he amassed 1263 yards on the ground to go with 12 trips to the end zone. Ridley looked like a legitimate option on the ground, something the Pats have lacked for a while. He had a nose for the end zone, and was also a good runner between the tackles. As a pass catcher, Ridley was almost non-existent, teammate Shane Vereen is much more versatile in that sense, and saw many more targets than Ridley did. Save for his game last week, Ridley has been nothing short of awful. Why? you may ask. It has really been his inability to hold onto the ball. We all know how much Belichick hates fumbles, and Ridley has been removed from numerous games because of his turnover prone ways. Ridley has not topped the 100-yard mark yet this season, and did not reach the end zone in the first five weeks before finally scoring twice versus the Saints last week.   4. Trent Richardson: (Colts)   What is with this dude? Many viewed the Browns as complete morons for trading the third overall pick (Richardson) to Colts in only the 2nd year of his career. Well, that trade isn’t looking all that bad so far. Richardson has totaled 191 yards on 61 carries as a Colt and only 2 Touchdowns. For all you math majors out there, you calculated it correctly, Richardson is averaging a putrid 3.1 yards per carry. Compared to LeSean McCoy, Richardson is averaging a whole two yards less per carry, which is truly astounding. Forget the 100-yard mark, Richardson hasn’t broken 60 yards once this year, 60! And it’s not the lack of carries, as he has gotten an average of 16 carries a game with Indy. There is no doubt Richardson is a strong, between the tackles runner, but he lacks versatility and the ability to break runs for big gains, as of now, it seems the Browns made a great choice in dealing Richardson.   3. Doug Martin: (Buccaneers)   It would have been impossible for the Muscle Hamster to live up to his expectations after his performance last year. Martin ran for 1,454 yards and 11 Touchdowns as a rookie, that, folks, is outstanding. He averaged 4.6 yards per attempt as well, you hear that Trent? 4.6! So Martin will be an unstoppable force for the rest of his career, right? Wrong. So far, Doug has only rushed for 400 yards and found the end zone once. His YPC is down a full yard, and he has only reached 100 yards once all year. Martin’s worst games have gone as follows: 24 carries for 65 yards, 27 carries for 45 yards, and 16 carries for 67 yards. Martin get’s essentially all of the carries in Tampa Bay, and has failed to make the most of them so far. There was no doubt we would see regression in Martin, but to this extent? I think not.   2. C.J Spiller: (Bills)   Going into this year, Spiller was one of the most talked about Running Backs in the NFL. Spiller is one of the most versatile backs in the game today, and his combination of ability as a receiver and rusher makes him a legit big-play weapon on every play. Spiller really hasn’t been able to get it going on any level yet this year, and has recently began to lose carries to Fred Jackson (Who has done a great job of producing, by the way). Spiller is an immense talent, so I don’t think he will stay in this slump for 16 weeks, but the fact that his workload is decreasing is a bit alarming for Spiller fans (family maybe?). Unlike many of the others on this list, I see light at the end of the tunnel for Spiller, he is just too good to continue to perform below his capability level.   1. Ray Rice: (Ravens)   Maybe an obvious choice here, but I couldn’t help myself, Rice has just been that bad. Many have viewed Rice as a top 5 RB for some time now, and, well, this year he isn’t even performing like a top 20 RB. Rice’s biggest game yardage wise came in week 5 when he totaled 74 yards, aside from that, he hasn’t eclipsed 36 yards in a game. Rice has scored three times on the year, but if he wants to reach his 9td mark from 2012 or his 12 TD’s from 2011, he will need to pick up his production immediately. Baltimore has suffered because of Rice’s inability to gain yards on the ground, as the rank 27th in rush yards per game. They are currently 3-3, and if they want to repeat last year’s dramatic Super Bowl victory, Rice will need to be the focal point of their offense.    ]]>