Every team has a guy that quietly gets it done, a guy, who for the most part, is out of the spotlight. Most teams know what they have, yet for some reason those on the outside looking in can’t see what everyone in the organization can see, and that is someone who is critical to their success.
For the Detroit Lions their unsung hero is running back Theo Riddick. Right now, as it stands, Riddick is listed as the #2 running back on the depth chart behind Ameer Abdullah. Last season, Abdullah showed signs of becoming a top 10 running back sometime in the near future. He carried the ball 143 times, ran for 597 yards and scored 2 touchdowns in his rookie season. As far as receiving, he caught 25 passes out of the backfield for 183 yards and a touchdown. He played through a torn labrum injury in the last two games of 2015 and has now had surgery to repair it. Although, Abdullah is not considered 100% healthy right now.
Riddick, who is publicly considered a third down back, carried the ball 43 times for 133 yards and no rushing touchdowns. This doesn’t seem like a player who is any kind of secret weapon; but just wait. Where Riddick thrives is in his receiving game. Matthew Stafford depended on Riddick a lot last season. Riddick had receiver type numbers in 2015 with 80 receptions for 697 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now, if we want to get into fantasy football analysis here, Riddick, who went undrafted in most leagues last year, was a heavy pick up mid season for PPR (points per reception) leagues. Riddick needs to be on your fantasy radar this season. As for the real world, Theo Riddick made a name for himself in the Lions’ record books by setting a single season record for most receptions by a running back; pretty impressive for a team that once had Barry Sanders suiting up on Sundays.
The most important thing about Theo Riddick is the fact that his quarterback, Matthew Stafford, trusts him and depends on him. You can bet that Stafford will have his eye on Riddick in 2016, as the Lions try to find their new identity without the dependable hands of Calvin Johnson on the field. Theo Riddick may not be a household name, but he is the guy that his team knows will be there to get it done week after week.