Brian Westbrook – The Little Big Man
He’s listed at 5’10″, and 203 lbs, but I’d say he’s closer to 5’8″. He’s the scariest running back in fantasy football. Scary to own because of his injury risk, and even scarier to face, especially in the fantasy playoffs. If you had the good fortune of owning him, chances are you’ve had some uneasy feelings along the way. Nobody likes to see their star player listed as questionable as often as Westbrook is.
Yeah, he misses games occasionally, but it’s not for huge chunks at a time. He misses one game in each of his first two years. He missed three and four games in his next two seasons. He missed one game last year and one game so far this year. So we’re not talking about a chronic injury concern.
His numbers are incredible though. It all started in 2003. He had close to a thousand yards of total offense and 11 rushing & receiving TDs. He followed that up with 812 rushing (3 TDs) and 703 receiving yards (6TDs) in 2004. 2005 was a down year for Westbrook as he had 617 rushing and 616 receiving. He did score 7 TDs in his 12 games that year. In 2006 he really blew on the scene. He had 1217 rushing yards (7 TDs) and 699 receiving yards (4 TDs). Despite his history of success, he generally wasn’t considered one of the top 5 or 6 picks in fantasy drafts last year.
What has he done to reward those who had the faith to draft or trade for him? 994 rushing yards (7 TDs) and 604 receiving yards (4 TDs) in eleven games. Not too shabby.
He’s had at least 4 receiving TDs in each of the past five seasons. He’s had at least 600 receiving yards in each of the past four. That kind of production catching the ball is what sets Westbrook apart from most backs. He’s having a career year this year, but where’s he going to go next year. Let’s see. Adrian Peterson, LT, Addai, maybe Steven Jackson. Probably not Larry Johnson at this point. This much I know. The person who takes him will be less sure about their first round selection that all of the other owners. However, by the end of the season, that won’t likely be the case.