Dynasty Update: Rueben Randle, WR, Giants
This is not going to be news to all of you, but Rueben Randle is a really talented receiver. So much so that the Giants have been somewhat cagey in terms of extending the contracts of both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all but certain that the G-Men very much want to retain both of their starters, but it’s Randle’s considerable talents, in part, that has allowed the Giants to play hardball with Cruz. The other factor is that the Giants are shrewd in general and trust their ability to replace talent through the draft. Just talk to Steve Smith, Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs.
Nicks’ contract is already an issue as well, and, given how unhealthy he’s been over his brief career, the Giants have no easy solution. Obviously, they want Nicks to have a run of good health before laying out a bunch of guaranteed dollars. Of course, it’s equally obvious that letting Nicks go would be painful. He’s an elite talent in his prime.
In Nicks and Randle, the Giants could have an outside duo as talented as any in football. If they can extend Cruz, they would have a dynamite and versatile slot receiver to go with them. Eli Manning’s cupboard would be fully loaded. To pull this off, they need to get Cruz signed at a reasonable number. It’s going to be a tricky negotiation.
As I said, the Giants would love to retain all of Eli Manning’s trusted targets. If all goes well, Randle will be part of an elite trio as soon as 2013. I know that some of you are looking at Randle’s 2012 stat line and saying “Really?”
If you take quick look at Randle’s measurables, you might not be that impressed. His straight line speed is average and he’s not particularly strong. His vertical is mediocre too, but if you watch him play, you will notice that he is outstanding on contested balls. He has a knack for timing his jump and he is a very pure catcher of the ball.
Let’s break it down....
- Randle is very good at playing the high ball and the deep ball. He tracks the ball well and is aggressive on contested balls.
- Has very good and very strong hands.
- He’s tall and has the size to handle most DBs at the line of scrimmage. Trying to jam him is very risky unless you have help.
- He’s naturally athletic and it shows after the catch, were he has the same kind of first step after the reception as Aaron Hernandez. He makes the first defender miss with regularity. This will show up more and more as his reception totals rise.
We believe that Randle’s time is nearing. And, when you look at Nick’s injury history and Cruz’s contract situation, the time sure seems right to kick the tires on Randle in dynasty and long term formats. The departure of Dom Hixon to Carolina also opens up opportunity for the second year receiver.
Right now, Randle is an afterthought in 12-team redraft leagues with an ADP of 162. That is extremely good value and though we expect Randle to climb up boards in the coming weeks, he could still be a great upside pick if he doesn’t climb too high. We’ll be keeping an eye on that for you.
Lastly, for those who are fans of Nicks and are considering him with an early round selection. In deep leagues, you can roster Randle as a WR handcuff. This is one of those rare situations where a handcuff at WR could work and work well. I am quite confident that Randle will go off as a starter if he is playing for Nicks.
Here’s a quick look at what Rueben can do.....