Fantasy Football Rookie to Watch: Ameer Abdullah
In the second round of this year’s NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected Ameer Abdullah, a talented running back out of Nebraska University. This was a great pick considering the Lions have only had one running back top 1,000 yards rushing in the last decade. If Detroit can find a run game, they truly will have a great all-around offense to compete with.
At 5’9” and 205lbs., Abdullah is not the ideal size for an NFL running back. However, what he lacks in physical stature he makes up for with work ethic and tenacity. He received the Senior CLASS Award which is given to the most outstanding senior college player in Division-I; the award takes into consideration athletic achievements, academic performance and personal character. Abdullah had fantastic seasons in both his junior and senior years. Each time he tallied over 1,600 rushing yards and an additional 230+ receiving yards. Additionally, he was a formidable punt and kick off returner during his college career.
Abdullah has developed his physical form to the utmost. While at Nebraska he received the “Lifter of the Year” Award, as he displayed a noteworthy body transformation resulting from his hard work. It comes as no surprise that on the field he runs very low to the ground, making him difficult to tackle. Ameer displays great balance, vision to find open running lanes and the patience to wait for a play to develop. His shiftiness in space, and quick burst, should allow him to become a successful three down running back in the NFL. He has drawn comparisons to Ray Rice, being that each is undersized, yet able to overcome this factor by running between the tackles and using lower half strength.
Abdullah will have to compete with both Joique Bell for carries and Theo Riddick for receptions in his first season. Prospective fantasy owners should keep an eye on training camp and preseason showings, to see how things proceed. Bell has been a below average runner the last two years, averaging a measly 3.9 yards per carry. Likewise, Riddick will likely take a back seat to Ameer’s superior productivity and talent. Abdullah hasn’t dropped a pass in two years, and has demonstrated the ability to carry a heavy workload. The Lions made a great pick in drafting Ameer Abdullah, and fantasy owners should take notice. He could be the best running back on the Detroit team in a decade.
Landin Murphy covers fantasy football for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @Landinfitness