Fantasy Football Preview: Scrap Pile Running Backs
Leon Washington/Shonn Greene, New York Jets - The Jets will operate the newly popular three-headed monster with Thomas Jones, Washington and Greene. Leon Washington will have a heavier workload as the team will look to get the ball in the playmaker’s hands. He can score from anywhere on the field on a run, pass, or return. Shonn Greene, is the Jets’ RB of the future. If the team struggles, the future may come sooner rather than later as the Jets get Greene acclimated to the NFL. Unless you’re in a keeper league, Washington is the more attractive option.
Laurence Maroney/Sammy Morris/Fred Taylor/Kevin Faulk, New England Patriots – What to make of this mess? The Patriots are so tough to read. All the RBs are capable of delivering, but which one holds the best fantasy value? Talk about a loaded question. Kevin Faulk is probably the best bet in PPR leagues. Fred Taylor is my pick for standard leagues. Sammy Morris in TD heavy. Maroney is the wildcard because if he can stay healthy, he’s young enough and talented enough to be their top back. It may be best to avoid this mess all together.
Chester Taylor, Minnesota Vikings – Normally I would rank Chester higher, but I think the Vikings are going to allow Percy Harvin to steal some of his work. Unless Adrian Peterson gets hurt, Chester has limited fantasy value.
Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Though Ward will likely be the feature Back, Earnest Graham should still have a solid role with the Bucs. Goal line duties should be his, as well as short yardage situations, and when the Bucs need a Closer.
T.J. Duckett, Seattle Seahwaks – Duckett only has value in TD heavy leagues.
Correll Buckhalter, Denver Broncos – The longer that Knowshon Moreno holds out, the better the chances that Buckhalter gets early looks. He’s not going to give you major production, but he can get the job done when given the opportunity.
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Royals – Jamaal Charles will get his opportunities, as he is a great change of pace to LJ’s style. If LJ gets hurt or suspended again Jamaal’s stock would soar.
Andre Brown, New York Giants – Andre Brown will form the third part of the triple-headed monster for the Giants. Brandon Jacobs will be the lead Back and goal line guy. Bradshaw will serve as the primary backup, and Brown will learn the system and get a small workload.
Maurice Morris, Detroit Lions - Morris will garner some carries behind Kevin Smith for Detroit. He won’t put up huge numbers, even if there is an injury, but he’s a good football player who will contribute when given the chance.
Ladell Betts, Washington Redskins – If the Redskins have any brains, they will utilize Betts a lot more in 2009. They ran Clinton Portis to the ground, which made no sense considering they had a capable backup in Betts. Washington’s Defense is going to be nasty and I can see Portis and Betts forming a solid 1-2 punch to wear teams down and grind out victories.
Fred Jackson/Dominic Rhodes, Buffalo Bills – This duo will have a chance to shine early as Marshawn Lynch spends three games in the Principal’s Office with a dunce hat on. Of the two Jackson has more fantasy value since he’s been there. All three backs can run and catch, and they will all get touches every week. After the three game suspension is up, there isn’t much value for Jackson and Rhodes unless Marshawn acts up again.
Mewelde Moore, Pittsburgh Steelers - Mewelde will only be a fantasy factor if Willie Parker or Rashard Mendenhall go down.