If you are drafting in a dynasty league it is important to find running backs early in their career, because their careers don’t last very long. Ameer Abudullah could not have landed in a better spot than Detroit’s high powered offense. He will slip right into the void Reggie Bush has left and become a top dual threat RB as soon as this season.
After the NFL Combine everyone had their eyes on running backs Jeremy Langford and his 4.42 40 yard dash (Abdullah 4.6), Melvin Gordon’s 11 second 60 yard shuttle (Abdullah 11.18) and Joey Iosefa’s 30 reps on the bench (Abdallah 24). Ameer Abdullah, however, led in every other category scoring the best vertical jump at 42.5″, broad jump at 10’10”, three cone drill at 6.79 seconds, and twenty yard shuffle at 3.95 seconds. Those scores combined for the best SPARQ score at 142.5 which led all running backs and is in the 95.6 percentile among current NFL players. For those unfamiliar with SPARQ, it stands for Speed Power Agility Reaction Quickness, and was created by Nike to provide a standard rating system to measure athleticism. Current NFL greats, Adrian Peterson scored a 131.1, LeSean McCoy at 113.25 and Melvin Gordon, the 15th overall pick, scored a 102.9 at 63.9 percentile. Sounds like the Lions got a steal in the 2nd round.
Starting the season, Abdullah will have to fight with Joique Bell and Theo Riddick for touches, but it won’t take long for him to become the feature back in Detroit. After compiling over 3,800 total yards in the past two years in Nebraska, Abdullah has shown he can carry a heavy load. Ameer stands only 5’9” and 205 lbs, which some may say is not prototypical size for a feature back. However, you might remember a former feature running back that stood 5’8” 200 lbs for Detroit, Barry Sanders. Some also compare Abdullah’s fearless attitude to Baltimore receiver Steve Smith, someone who stands 5’9” but plays like he is 6’4”. Abdullah also only had one minor injury in college, spraining his MCL, and was unable to finish that game, but returned in the next. He never missed a start in his college career.
The only knock coming out of college is Ameer’s fumbling issues as he had 16 total lost in his four years. His senior year, however, he only lost two even with the heavier workload. He also has shown great hands catching 72 passes in the last three years and didn’t drop a single pass thrown his way. Reggie Bush accumulated 94 catches in his two years in Detroit on 136 targets in only 25 games. Abdullah will easily match or exceed this number giving his value in PPR leagues a huge boost. Also, if your league gives points for return yardage, he will be given a shot to return kicks and/or punts this season.
Look for Ameer Abdullah to have a comparable Rookie season to Giovani Bernard. He totaled 1209 yards from scrimmage with 56 catches and 8 touchdowns. Abdullah will quickly become a fantasy star so make sure you take him in the first round in your Rookie/Free Agent draft or somewhere in the 8th or 9th round in 12 team leagues. According to fantasyfootballcalculator.com he is being drafted in the 10th round behind aging backs DeAngelo Williams and Reggie Bush in addition to running backs Knile Davis, Charles Sims, Terrance West and Joseph Randle. I would definitely take a flier on Abdullah before any of those backs. Do not miss the chance to draft this future elite running back and star in the NFL.