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Fantasy football owners should prepare themselves to deal with the fact the Lions are likely to be cautious with the shifty running back early in the offseason. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport notes Abdullah is ahead of schedule in rehab, and Dr. James Andrews told Abdullah he should be cleared for contact in a month.
Abdullah led a meager Lions rushing attack with 597 yards, but struggled with fumbles as a rookie and averaged just 4.2 yards per tote.
According to Birkett, he suffered his injury in a December win over the New Orleans Saints. He played the final two games, wins over the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears, and visited Andrews for surgery after the season.
Abdullah is expected to start at running back for a revamped Lions offense this fall. Theo Riddick, Stevan Ridley, Zach Zenner and rookie seventh-round pick Dwayne Washington also could be in the mix for playing time.
Ridley was signed this offseason to bolster the early-down rushing attack. Riddick is a passing-down specialist who will likely see time in the slot this season. Zenner is a wild card after missing most of his rookie season after he suffered multiple cracked ribs in Week 6.
As NFL.com suggests, Abdullah carries the biggest optimism for the Lions running game after the team owned a league-worst 83.4 yards per game rushing in 2015. From a fantasy perspective, Riddick, who led the NFL's running backs in catches with 80 last season, remains the best value here.