Impact Rookie: Beanie Wells 07/03/2009Posted by sportretort in NFL, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: arizona cardinals, beanie wells, chris wells, fantasy draft, fantasy football, NFL, nfl rookies, rookie running back
(Note: from time to time until the season begins, I will spot light rookies that have a chance to make an impact in the NFL this season from a fantasy football perspective.)
Chris (Beanie) Wells was drafted in the first round (31st overall) by the Arizona Cardinals. Wells, out of Ohio State, ran for 1197 yards last season despite missing 3 games due to injury. He became only the sixth Buckeye running back to
surpass 3000 career rushing yards at the school, joining the likes of Keith Byars, Eddie George and Archie Griffin. That type of production is music to the Cardinals ears. Arizona was the poorest rushing team in the NFL last season.
Wells was available at the 31st pick because of questions about his durability. He had many nagging injuries at Ohio State (sprained wrist, sprained foot, sprained ankle, strained hamstring, thumb fracture) during his Buckeye career and he missed 3 starts with a foot sprain, part of the Michigan game with a hamstring pull and part of the Fiesta bowl with a concussion last season. When he is healthy, the 6′ 1″, 235 lb back is a punishing runner between the tackles. He will give Arizona the power running
game they lacked last year. His sub 4.6 forty speed means that he can pick up chunks of real estate in space, also. The Cardinals thought enough of his potential to not only draft him in the first round, but also to release Edgerrin James on April 28th, leaving Tim Hightower as his main competition. They feel he is ready to play, and play now.
Barring a monster training camp performance, Hightower will be the starter on opening day. But Wells will get carries from the get go, and will become the starter early in the season. He will need to become a better blocker. Having caught only 14 passes in his OSU career, he will need to show soft hands or turn over 3rd down opportunities to Hightower. While Hightower got the bulk of the Cardinals goal line carries last season, Wells will pick up more of those opportunities than James did. Assuming he stays healthy, Wells will have a productive rookie season. Look for 900 yards and 8-12 touchdowns from Wells in his rookie campaign. This will make him a mid round pick in most fantasy leagues. Try to also acquire Hightower as security against possible injury. Wells has the potential to become the most productive rookie running back this season.