Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Danny Woodhead stiffly cementing large role in PPR leagues

Danny Woodhead's stock is skyrocketing with Baltimore expressing how much work he'll get in the offense.

Danny Woodhead’s heavy usage in Baltimore’s passing game has our own woodheads springing to life over this PPR machine.

Ravens new running back and grit machine Danny Woodhead has made a name for himself in fantasy as an elite pass-catching running back in PPR leagues. He burst onto the scene in New England, becoming a very integral part of the offense catching roughly 40 balls a year. His departure to San Diego only saw his numbers increase as he recorded two seasons of 76 and 80 receptions when healthy.

Now, Woodhead finds himself in the Ravens backfield with a chance to really explode thanks to the offense.

Current Ravens running backs Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon have left the door WIDE OPEN for Woodhead to kick down. West figures to be the “primary ball carrier” as the team opens the season, but he’s nothing more than just a plodder who eats yards with little results. On the other hand, Dixon will be sidelined for the first four games of the season due to a suspension. Dixon looked solid in flashes last year and could play a larger role once he returns. Unfortunately for those two, lunch pail wielding Woodhead is in town now and is going to be a big part of this team’s game plan.

The Ravens signed Woodhead on Day 1 of free agency and show every intention of getting him the ball often — even when Dixon returns. As the rotoblurb above states, he’s been reeling in so many catches during camp that he figures to be getting a lot of PPR value in 2017. Along with the receiving points, he’s shown to be a capable runner which will allow him to stay on the field even more and rack up more points. Baltimore is a very sexy landing spot for the pre-pubescent looking Woodhead, as last season they were second in the NFL in targeting their running backs. On top of that, Baltimore continued to throw passes to running backs on third down at an alarmingly high rate, despite having the 5th shortest average of yards to go on said third down (per our friends @fantasyfooboos). Check out this article on Woodhead here for plenty more stats sure to get your blood pressure rising at the thought of drafting Woodhead.

Joe Flacco apparently has a knack not only for chucking the ball 50+ yards downfield, but also throwing the dinky short routes to his backs. The injury to tight end Dennis Pitta cannot be understated to Woodhead’s value, as Pitta was a target machine for Flacco when healthy. Now that Pitta is gone, that’s 119 targets from 2016 that need a new home. And I know just the gritty/blue collar/lunch pail guy that should get a good handful of them. Woodhead turned out to be a legitimate RB1 in 2015 with San Diego. He was looking to creep into RB1 territory again last year before a torn ACL ended his season in Week 2. Assuming Woodhead stays healthy for the year, he should be right back to 2015 form and making himself a more than valuable running back for fantasy owners. With such a low ADP this year coming off surgery, you’d be a fool to let him pass too late.


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