RB Theorem: Rookie Stunner Series – Joseph Addai

Deep within the relevance of a quality offense, a rookie named Addai emerged as the perfect cog to the Peyton Manning machine. This Rookie Stunner Series is based around first round RBs (from 2005-2014) who reached (or clawed) at the 1,200 yards from scrimmage plateau. Also for Dynasty and illustration purposes, I break down how early success affected them going forward. For more in this series or more RB Theorem, click HERE.

Joseph Addai | Rookie Numbers – 226/1,081/7 | 4.8 YPA/67.7 YPG/14.1 APG | 40 rec 325 yards 1 TD in 16 games

As a rookie, Addai was officially credited with making no starts. The 30th overall selection in the 2006 draft still rolled up over 1,400 yards from scrimmage. The official starter was Dominic Rhodes. Despite their titles, Addai out touched Rhodes 266-223 and out-gained him by over 500 yards.

Addai’s Rookie game logs show that he is was not initially trusted in two of the first games. Both of those games were close in scoring and you can see that he went from 18 touches in 19-points to just six touches in a seven-point win. You will also notice he scored four of his eight total TDs in one game (a 45-21 defeat of the Philadelphia Eagles). Fantasy owners prefer a little consistent/spread production. So this is a frustrating happenstance that can be turned into a trade-high scenario in Dynasty.

It might not be totally fair to discredit a Peyton Manning RB, but many will do just that. Addai, for a short period of time, worked very in the Colts’ offensive system. It might be more appropriate to praise the scouts for identifying that Addai fit their scheme. After all, Addai was the leading RB for a Colts team that won the Super Bowl. It’s quite possible that a healthy Addai was the perfect back for the Manning-led Colts.

Addai spent his entire six-year career in Indianapolis. His rookie season (or non-starter year) was the only year he was available for all 16 games. It was also arguably his most effective and efficient season.

In year two, Addai was given more rushing attempts (261 versus 226 as a rook) despite playing in one less game. The result was another 1,000-yard season (1,072 yards). Yet, he failed to surpass his rookie yardage total with 35 more attempts. His big piece of Fantasy was his 15 total TDs. However, that was not a sustainable number throughout his career. He wasn’t a disappointment in year two, but the slide was certainly being lightly greased.

Year three saw Addai play in just 12 games. He gained only 750 yards from scrimmage on 180 touches. His 3.5 YPC was his eventual career low. He saved face with seven total TDs but remember who his QB was (mostly joking).

The fourth season can be a make or break year for most pro-RBs. As things progressed from the 1990s to present day the lifespan of an NFL player has continued to shorten. This is especially a harsh reality for RBs. If an RB survives to thrive in his fourth season, a lucrative payday or second contract is surely coming. This all depends on the RBs coming through their first three seasons avoiding major injuries and remaining efficient. A successful fourth season can help an RB go from good to Canton-like great.

In Addai’s fourth season, he found himself celebrating 13 (10 rushing, three receiving) of his own touchdowns. And… his Fantasy owners swooned. Meanwhile, his savvy dynasty owners traded him to move up in their offseason rookie drafts. Addai’s efficiency on the ground was a lackluster 3.8 YPA. He had a long rush of 21 yards. Meanwhile, he set a career in receptions with 51. Conversely, Addai set a new career low 6.6 YPC. His 1,164 yards were solid, but they were a result of 270 touches. The Colts also sent the 27th overall pick on Donald Brown to compete with Addai. While Brown only totaled 450 scrimmage yards, his selection was a sign of how the Colts truly felt about Addai.

During Addai’s fifth season, he only managed to play in eight games. Despite a meek reception total of 19, Addai did manage 4.3 yards per attempt.

In his sixth and final NFL season, Addai played in 12 games for the 2-14 ”Suck for Luck” Colts. His weathered and creaky frame barely eclipsed the 500-yard mark on 133 touches. Without ”Peyton the Great,” Addai scored one measly touchdown.

Addai signed a one-day contract the following July. After a failed physical he was promptly released.


I am searching for the meaning of every bump on the pigskin. From leather helmets to a league with no point after attempts, I am researching with a wide shovel. -married/father/music fan/Raider Nation baby/deli meat enthusiast/three-cone extremist

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