At this point, saying Pittsburgh Steelers running back Stevan Ridley has had a quiet season may be an understatement. The 29-year-old has seen very little work and hasn’t been involved in any aspect of the team’s last three games. But that may be set to change in Week 14 due to the unfortunate injury news about starter James Conner.
As NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stated Conner will not play against the Oakland Raiders due to a leg injury suffered in Week 13.
It’s a brutal spot for both Conner and the Steelers. The team is pushing for the AFC North crown, but have the Baltimore Ravens hot on their trail. With the injury news, Conner’s workload will go elsewhere this week, and it will be interesting to see how the team opts to approach the running back position.
Let’s take a look at the fantasy football outlook for Ridley and break down if he’s worth a waiver wire add.
Steelers’ RB Situation and Week 14 Matchup
You could probably do worse than adding Ridley, but it’s only a move to consider if you have a roster spot and are in a big fantasy league. In 10 or 12-team leagues, there’s virtually no chance you’re using Ridley, or ever taking him off the bench, unless Jaylen Samuels proves unable to get the job done.
Ridley has played in seven games this season, totaling 56 yards on 18 carries. While he boasts limited upside as a runner, he’ll likely lose any pass-catching work to Samuels, who’s proven to be a strong option out of the backfield. That seems unlikely considering Ridley’s last touch came in a 52-21 win over the Carolina Panthers back in Week 10.
With all that said, a matchup with the Oakland Raiders could benefit whichever player who sees extended work on the ground in Week 14. On the year, the Raiders have allowed 1,566 yards on 307 carries to opposing running backs, pointing to this being a fine matchup for the Steelers backfield as a whole.
As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler revealed, Samuels will start but Ridley will split time with him which is a positive for his fantasy outlook.
Should You Add Stevan Ridley on Waivers?
Realistically, the only chance Ridley winds up seeing enough work to be fantasy viable is if Tomlin chooses to roll him out as the primary runner over Samuels. It seems like that almost certainly won’t be the case, so I’d proceed by adding him in larger leagues where you have a need in the flex or possibly just an open bench spot.
Placing a waiver claim on Ridley in 14-team leagues or larger with deep benches is fine. But your first priority should likely be to push for Samuels if he’s available, as the bulk of the offensive snaps could go to the rookie out of North Carolina State.
Source: Heavy Sports