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I Just Can’t Quit You, David Wilson

David_Wilson3

We’ve recently had a new addition to the family. Thankfully, this one was planned. Our new dog, Foxxy, is a four-year-old collie we rescued almost a month ago. We would’ve bought one sooner, but there are necessary items you need to own a dog. Chew toys, a leash and a doghouse are just a few, and we had none of them. Well, we have a doghouse, but I was convinced David Wilson still lived there.

Let’s try to understand what we’re dealing with concerning the Giants’ ultra-talented running back. Wilson, selected immediately after Tampa Bay drafted Doug Martin, was the buzz of Giants training camp. Here’s what Eli Manning had to say about him this summer:

“The fastest running back we’ve ever had,” Manning said of Wilson last August. “I mean this guy’s quick. He’s explosive, so that’s kind of exciting.”

After rivaling Martin’s summer hype, Wilson excelled in a preseason game, rushing five times for 49 yards in what looked to be a preview of what fans would see all year. That all came to a crashing halt in the blink of eye, when Wilson, the anointed starting running back in-waiting, committed the cardinal sin of Tom Coughlin running backs – not protecting the football. On a fateful Sunday night against Dallas, Wilson fumbled on his second NFL carry. Coughlin never let him forget it, burying him in his backfield rotation and virtually destroying any of his 2012 fantasy value. The fact he cried like a seven-year-old getting his mouth washed out with soap after the play didn’t seem to help things in the court of public opinion. Wilson was leapfrogged by virtual unknown Andre Brown and fell to the third on the team’s depth chart. All the while, Martin was exploding into the best young runner in the NFL.

Still, astute observers understood the high level of talent Wilson held. That talent flashed for the first time in week five, when the 2011 ACC Offensive Player of the Year rushed for a 40 yard touchdown on his first carry of the game against Cleveland. It was also the first time Wilson performed his personal creation of an endzone celebration – a standing backflip. This went over like a lead balloon and the Giants quickly put a stop to it. Owners who used a high draft pick held on to him in hopes that he would stumble into another opportunity. In Week 12, Brown’s season ended with a broken fibula, and all that was standing in Wilson’s way was Ahmad Bradshaw. As you know, Bradshaw getting hurt is as safe a bet as Mike Shanahan running you until your leg falls off. See Griffin III, Robert.

With fantasy titles on the line, that opportunity came. Showing the promise he had all season, Wilson ran for 100 yards and scored three touchdowns in a Week 14 win over New Orleans. The following week, Bradshaw sat out with a sprained knee and Wilson became a starting running back. The sky was the limit heading into Week 16 against a suspect Atlanta run defense. Through no fault of his own, that big day never came. The Giants got pounded like a piece of meat, losing 34-0 to the Falcons. When the game was close, Wilson was on fire, opening the game with 44 yards on his first five carries after only a half a quarter. From that point on, he carried the ball just seven more times for 11 yards.

With the off-season upon us, it’s time to sit and assess what we have, especially now that the Giants have released Bradshaw. In Wilson’s case, your decision is tougher now than it was before Week 14. Redrafting Wilson should be much harder than once thought given the steep price you’ll likely have to pay. With speed and quickness his biggest strengths, the most accurate comparable to Wilson is Bills running back C.J. Spiller.

Wilson also provides exceptional kick return skills. In his first season, Wilson led the NFL in kickoff returns (57) and return yardage (1,533). His average of nearly 27 yards per run back ranked in the top ten of the NFL. If you happen to be in any of those wacky leagues that factor in those things, keeping him on your dynasty team is a no-brainer. It’s never a bad idea to load up your team with players whose teams go out of their way to get the ball in their hands, and Wilson perfectly fits the profile.

Another thing Wilson has going for him is the offense in which he plays. Thanks to the former Virginia Tech Hokie, the Giants ranked fourth in the NFC in points per game last season. One thing I always look for in evaluating a running back is the effectiveness of his offense without him. Teams that can get near the goal line without the help of their runner are much more likely to lean on him when it’s time for a touchdown. With Manning, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks leading the way, the Giants proved by winning a Super Bowl last season that scoring points without a running game is no problem at all.

Even thought they ranked dead last in rushing a year before, the Giants know how to run the football. Despite winning the Super Bowl, they spent their off-season nitpicking about their lack of a run game. Some organizations look at the run as a point of pride – think of the Steelers, Ravens and as long as their legs don’t break, the Redskins. The Giants deserve to be mentioned in that conversation.

In regards to Wilson, here’s what I’m looking for this off-season:

1) Encouraging reports directly from Giants coaches.

2) Reports of improved ball security.

3) One of the Giants backfield dominoes to fall (and it just happened with Bradshaw getting released)

4) A trade offer I can’t refuse.

We’re talking about a player who rushed for an average of five yards per carry in his first NFL season – a better average than Martin or Trent Richardson. His key was being able to take any carry the distance. Not many backs have the ability to find an extra gear to create separation from any and everyone. The players that come to mind are Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Spiller and Wilson. This is a select class and Wilson holds a talent that makes great runners.

Wilson has too much talent to not give him the football. After all, he’s a running back and also a kick returner. With an offense that is likely to score a lot of points, the starting running back job is huge. Even though he had a down year by first round running back standards, one could clearly see his potential. If truly given the starting job, Wilson could be looking at huge numbers as soon as next year. I know he under-performed last year, but getting rid of this guy and trying to “sell high” now worries me. It’s possible the Giants could bring back Bradshaw or expand the role of Andre Brown, but they would have never cut Bradshaw had they not had faith in Wilson’s ability to at least shoulder a huge part of the future load.

I don’t want to be the guy who gave him up prematurely and you shouldn’t either.

Follow Dan Hasty on Twitter @DanHasty34

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9 years ago

What about Andre Brown? He had a higher yards per carry than Wilson and looked great last season as well.

Derek
Reply to  Paul
9 years ago

He was solid, but Wilson is a totally different kind of beast. This guy is in the same class as Spiller, Charles, and I also think Lamar Miller may be this kind of back. Get him while you still can too. Should be a 70/30 split – Wilson/ Brown

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Derek
9 years ago

I think people are underselling Andre Brown and the fact that Coughlin does not care about where a RB was drafted.

I personally would never give anything up in a trade for Brown, but I also can’t count him out completely. I see him as the power back complement to Wilson’s speed, and for some matchups (and a lot of goal line work), Brown will get carries.

Brad
9 years ago

Great article, I am a Wilson owner and at this point he is not leaving my roster. There is one part of Wilsons game that I think is overlooked, or not been mentioned. That is his physical presence. There was one game in preseason that I watched, I thought this guy looked a little bit like AP. He would drop his shoulder and just annihilate would be tacklers. His yards after contact are very impressive as well. He usually breaks the first tackle. So mix that with his elite speed and agility….WOW… Could be special!

NFL247
9 years ago

As a Brown owner should I be trying harder to aquire Wilson or trade Brown to the Wilson owner? I tried very early to get Wilson last year for Romo/2nd for Wilson/1st which was declined. His QB’s were Peyton, Dalton & Weeden we can start a 2nd for flex.

Reply to  NFL247
9 years ago

It’s not a bad idea to contact the Wilson owner and gauge his interest in either player. However, it will likely be very expensive to acquire Wilson, and there is still relative uncertainty in his future production. I doubt anyone would give you a 1st round rookie pick for Brown, but maybe a second round pick would make sense. I’m not sure I’d sell Brown for a second round pick, though. I think he might be sneaky productive like Mike Tolbert when he was with San Diego. I could see Brown get goal-line touches that will drive up his production. Brown does have a significant injury history, though, so that is factored into his price. I would ask the other owner and see how he values Brown and Wilson. You might be surprised. The other option is to hold Brown and wait to see what happens with Wilson. If Wilson gets benched again or doesn’t reach his potential, Brown’s value with rise significantly.

Justin Kilmer
Reply to  NFL247
9 years ago

I’m in a 2QB league and I almost can’t believe they turned down Romo. Romo is a beast in FF. I think that 1st from the Wilson owner might have pushed him off that deal for you.

Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

So the Wilson owner offered me Wilson and the 1.06 this year for Martin.

I had previously told him no, but now I am wondering if I should.

I already have the 1.04 and 1.08, so I feel like I might be getting too many draft picks that I won’t be able to fit on my taxi, but future trades might clear that up. What are your thoughts?

Ben
Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

Pass, keep Martin.

Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

I would keep Martin.

I like Wilson is a player, but we’re at the point where the hype is outreaching the potential production.

Depending on your league format, Doug Martin was the overall RB2…as a rookie. No way would I be trading that kind of young talent for basically what amounts to hope.

Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

I’d keep Martin as well, but it’s close.

Derek
Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

Passing on that trade would be the safe route, assuming Wilson is everything a lot of people think he is, he too could be a top 10 RB like Martin. Then you could hit a homerun by doing that trade, if you manage to get another starting RB…..or Cordarelle Patterson…….

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Derek
9 years ago

Thanks Ben, Eric, Scott and Derek. I had previously asked for Wilson, his 1st in 2014 and another player (like Rudolph) and he declined, so I had felt comfortable rejecting the trade.

All this Wilson hype had me second guessing myself, but I am glad to hear I am playing it safe. I like Martin and my team needs a stud RB, I haven’t had one in forever.

Matthew Nicgorski
9 years ago

I’m looking to sell high now depending on what comes my way in terms of offers. Coughlin loves his RBBC, thunder & lightning approach. wouldn’t surprise me if Brown gets the goal line work either.

I like the kid, otherwise I wouldn’t have drafted him. but I will gladly pillage another league member’s roster who is just drooling over him right now. we’ll see what happens.

Sam
9 years ago

What are everyone’s thoughts on a Wilson + Vontaze Burfict for Andrew Luck? I’m trying to make that happen.

Reply to  Sam
9 years ago

It depends on your QB situation. If you start Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Freeman, or play in a 2QB league, then I would definitely make that offer for Luck. But, if you start Brees, Russell Wilson or Kaepernick, I would hold on it. There is a shortage of very good, young running back prospects in the NFL, and Wilson is one of them. I do like Luck a lot, and he is a safer bet than Wilson, in terms of being a productive dynasty player for 5+ years.

Avery Beck
9 years ago

Thoughts on DX and Wilson for Julio?

Reply to  Avery Beck
9 years ago

I’d take Julio.

Jon
9 years ago

“There was one game in preseason that I watched, I thought this guy looked a little bit like AP. He would drop his shoulder and just annihilate would be tacklers.”

I’m a Wilson owner as well and am happy to hear the news. However… lets be somewhat real here. Wilson isn’t going to get 70% of the Carries in Tom Coughlin’s offense and that is ok though as he may not really need the volume in order to be a decent hight end RB2. Also… pump the breaks…. he weighs slightly over 200 lbs. A.P. he is not! and he isn’t at all known for being a (between the tackles power house runner). Not sure what game that may have been but…. physically comparing David Wilson right now to Adrian Peterson isn’t an accurate comparison at all. Clearly – hype train is in high gear / full steam ahead!!!

Reply to  Jon
9 years ago

Agreed, I don’t think Wilson compares to AP. But I think the Spiller comparison is accurate.

Brad
Reply to  Scott Peak
9 years ago

O.K. AP is a little crazy but he looked very physical and not scared to hit someone. you go look at some of the plays he made this year and you will see what I’m talking about.

Ray White
9 years ago

so ill put this out there. I loaded on picks last year and landed the majority of top talent and then some. Now I have a stockpile of rb talent. trich, martin, ALF, wilson, l.miller, pead, blount is my stock pile. prolly gonna move either wilson or ALF for a wr.

question is who you move?return?

Derek
Reply to  Ray White
9 years ago

How many RB do you start? And whats your WR’s look like? Thats an impressive stock of RB’s. Really like L.Miller. I guess Wilson would be my choice to trade, but it would have to be for a Dez, Cobb, like WR.

Ray White
Reply to  Derek
9 years ago

must start 1 rb and 3 wr and 2 flex. ppr league so wr are valued like gold, my wr stock is looking good too with julio, nicks, torrey, blackmon, floyd(AZ), wright, handkerson, quick.

ultimatley i am looking to get something together to add another top 6-10 wr to my roster.

Derek
Reply to  Ray White
9 years ago

Your pretty loaded, I think you could try a Wilson and T.Smith for a Dez Bryant, you could maybe even get a mid round pick if you wanted to chance it. L.Miller may be a very solid #4 for you too, losing Wilson wouldn’t hurt you at all. But it has to be a young top 10 WR I think.

Ray White
Reply to  Derek
9 years ago

youth is a must. this was over a 2 year project of rebuilding this team with last years draft as the crux.

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Ray White
9 years ago

I have always been extremely skeptical of the guys who dismantle their team and get 5+ first round picks. I think in most years, it is a bad move.

You, however, have given me pause. Not everyone will be as lucky as you in terms of the talent coming out, but damn… you landed the 1.01, 1.02, 1.06, 1.08, 1.12 in my league, and then continued to go after RB and got ALF. And most of them have shown that they are talented!

Plus with Blackmon/Floyd/Wright, you got the 1.05, 1.07 and 1.09.

That means you had what, 8 first round picks? I’m kind of curious how talented your team was originally if you were able to trade for that many!

Ray White
Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

actually i had 16 of the 32 1st round picks last year. my team before this blow up was a wc team at best. if i made the playoffs it would have been a 1 and done team. I am not in my leagues trying to make the wc. I also didnt put all my eggs into just the 2012 draft. I did a lot of research and was in love with the top end of 2011 draft but not its depth so i went after a couple guys on the top of that draft.

My depth is from last year because i loved how deep that draft was compared to most. I agree that most years i would never consider doing this but where my team was at, the 2 upcoming drafts i had infront of me, it just created the perfect storm imo.here is a link to the team league site if you want to look through my trading past.

http://www32.myfantasyleague.com/2013/home/15080#0

Ken Dogson
9 years ago

In terms of Wilson and trading, I never trade the guy that is “the guy” right now (Doug Martin, for example) for the guy that “might” be the next guy (David Wilson). Do that a few times and you have a roster high on hope and short on points. Adding a pick to the trade (Martin for Wilson and a pick) just doubles up on hope.

stolenmeat
9 years ago

I’m thinking of offering Ryan Mathews for Wilson before the Chargers draft another RB. Thoughts?

Reply to  stolenmeat
9 years ago

I would be shocked if anyone accepted that right now.

dave hoover
Reply to  stolenmeat
9 years ago

good luck with that

Billy Glen
9 years ago

Your condencending reference to those “whacky leagues” that count return yards and tds belies your ignorance of football. Although I don’t believe that special teams quite account for 1/3 of the game, they certainly account for more than “whacky”.

I suspect that you are a “ppr” guy who places irrational value to a “catch” by rewarding it with a whole point. An rb that catches a pass for a LOSS gets a point for catching the ball (equal to ten yards in most leagues)……what a joke! While the qb that passes him the ball gets negative points.

Wilson gets more that 1500 return yards and you proclaim it “whacky”. Sounds like a guy who never played the game.

Robert Scibetta
Reply to  Billy Glen
9 years ago

DUDE! Don’t forget, you’re playing with the BIG boys now, so when you use a big word, spell it properly & make sure it’s aprepos; I’m wrong because you’re right is a fool’s errand.

Forgive my obvious inferior knowledge of football, but I, too, play in some unusual leagues, and I need YOU to explain to me what the singularly correct fantasy football scoring parameters are. I’d be SO grateful if you’d show me the golden plates through which the football Gods bestowed upon you THE TRUTH of THE WAY of fantasy football.

I mean, over the years, we have set up ppr, pprr, wta, ydtd, survivor, pick’em and even BORING standard leagues (heck, we even use KICKERS sometimes lol!); usually I’m in the hunt BECAUSE I TRY TO DRAFT BASED ON THE SCORING SYSTEM. We have a blast with the meetings and parties and ceremonies, but now that we are in the prescence of you–the allknowing sayer of soothe–I fear we are merely worshipping false idols. Is there a place I can send a donation to your ministry of rightness? Obviously, we overrate comeraderie.

BTW–You WILL let me know if I’m being condeScending and hypocritical, won’t you?

Billy Glen
Reply to  Robert Scibetta
9 years ago

Haha, looks like a nerve was struck. Well, at least you admit to your “obvious(ly) inferior knowledge of football”.

Pretty weak response…..still sounds to me like a guy who never played the game.

Billy Glen
Reply to  Billy Glen
9 years ago

BTW, I think the proper spelling is “presence” and probably “all-knowing” is better with the hyphen.

Billy Glen
Reply to  Billy Glen
9 years ago

Um, well, there is also the word “apropos”……

Robert Scibetta
9 years ago

You got me a couple times, there lol. Still a bit vociferous, tho.

I drafted Wilson & picked up Brown last year, too, so I was thrilled when Bradshaw got released. Thinking about putting AP on the block for a good Wr/Rb combo.
What do you think he should bring?

Billy Glen
Reply to  Robert Scibetta
9 years ago

Consider the hatchet burried.

Had bradshaw, brown and wilson at various times last year. Would like to see the Giants deploy wilson like the packers use cobb (don’t think wilson has the durability to play every down rb). If they do, both wilson and brown will be quality plays next year (especially if your league counts return yds and tds….haha!).

As for AP, you might get a premium for him if you can find a “win now” owner willing to bargain. You might be able to land an rb2/wr2 combo for AP. Perhaps ridley paired with crabtree or tampa mike (or maybe hilton).

These are all young players with upside. I’m assuming that you are in the “rebuilding mode” but, if you are not, then by all means, keeping AP is absolutly a good option. Good luck.

Robert Scibetta
Reply to  Billy Glen
9 years ago

Well, it’s year two, 12 teams (PPR lol):

Luck/Bradford/Pryor/Dixon, Trent/AP/Wilson-Brown/DRich-Pead/Mendy-Dwyer/HarrisGB, Dez/Wallace/Danario/SRice/FloydAZ/Hankrsn/Edelman/TJGraham/Durham, and VDavis/Housler, 2013#10,20 etc.

Ridley’s not in my equation. Heck, I’m not sure if he’s regained consciousness from the Raven’s game lol. Too much volatility in NE, imo. I get a MONSTER player in the deal, or it doesn’t happen.

I suppose, unless my mega-deal comes along, I’ll leave AP alone. I’d say another good WR & TE would balance out my roster pretty nicely. Any ideas?

Billy Glen
Reply to  Robert Scibetta
9 years ago

Well, you are definitely not in rebuilding mode. The Luck/Bradford combo should work for you in 2013. When Luck gets better linemen and a couple more “toys” to throw to, the sky is the limit (could see Jennings in his future).
Rb’s are very solid (like the handcuff strategy). Also t-rich and Wilson provide high-quality youth.
You are right about the wr and te postions. Dez needs a babysitter, Wallace needs a home and Danario/Rice need doctors. Maybe all Davis needed was a new qb.
Since you are dealing from a position of strength, you would need three up-and-comers for AP or a top wr (Mega, Green or Julio). I would strongly consider the latter because your new wr will be a stud for you long after the 27 year-old AP is retired; of course, if you believe that AP has those “superior genes”, then he may end up being the next Emmit Smith. I would even consider adding-in a draft pick or two to make this deal happen.
This would leave you with little depth at rb, but you have a young, solid duo and can strengthen from the waiver wire or rookie draft. Good luck.

christopher huff
9 years ago

Great article. I would simply say to all Wilson owners, do not sell. Even if you feel there is a great offer, with a player like this you simply can’t. I know this from experience. In our second year of our league, first rookie draft I selected Ray Rice in the second round. After watching McGahee and Leron McClain go crazy his rookie year I sold him for garbage to a smart owner. It was a lesson hard learned, don’t make that mistake. I have Wilson now and won’t even consider offers at this point.

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