Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Lions RB Ameer Abduallah is healthy, showing “great burst,” and set to explode

Lions RB Ameer Abdullah is back and looking fully healthy, which has his fantasy value on the rise. Will 2017 be the breakout we've all been waiting for?

Detriot RB Ameer Abduallah has reportedly been one of the early stars of OTAs, with beat writer Tim Twentyman highlighting his “great burst” that makes the Lions a “different offense.” 

Wolf’s Take

Another spring, another round of Ameer Abdullah looking explosive in padless practices. Yippee! According to Tim Twentyman of

“The Lions are a different offense with running back Ameer Abdullah in the backfield. That was evident in the final open practice last week.

Abdullah had a couple nice cutback runs, and showed great burst after breaking through the line on one run.

Later, he was swinging out of the backfield on a pass play with Miles Killebrew rushing to cover, and Abdullah put his foot in the dirt and cut up field. Stafford found him streaking down the sideline for a big play.

He’s the best two-way back on this roster, and this offense is noticeably different with him on the field.”

Though this seems to be the same-old story we’ve heard for three straight seasons, it does carry some real significance. For one, Jim Bob Cooter‘s offense was indeed entirely different in the one and half games Abdullah played in 2016; the Lions were churning production out of swings and hitches to the him and Riddick, and the runners were at the heart of everything. Twentyman’s report confirms this “get the ball to the RBs in space” offensive approach is still in place, and makes Abdullah a strong weekly bet for 15 to 20 touches, ratcheting up his “Opportunity / Usage” score (recall, Abdullah’s one full game was a 17-touch, 120 total yard, 1 TD effort).

Moreover, Abdullah is coming off a Lisfransic surgery, which often can sap backs of their explosiveness and cutting abilities. Abdullah’s style of play is predicated on his change-of-direction abilities, so maintaining his burst and agility is crucial for his 2017 value.

Yes, Abdullah remains one of the riskier bets to make it through a full season, given he has yet to come close to this feat. But when he’s on the field, Abdullah will be returning to an offense with a vastly improved offensive line thanks to the additions of RT Ricky Wagner and RG T.J. Lang and in a system where he’s the focal point. With his health and talent also confirmed, Abdullah truly has a strong case to be this year’s Melvin Gordon as the middle-round RB who explodes for RB1 numbers. He simply needs health to stay on his side.

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