Fantasy Trader’s Football Roundtable: RB Bust Watch

Apr 7, 2010

I’ve been invited to participate in Fantasy Trader’s fantasy football roundtable.

This week’s topic:
Which top ten 2009 running back do you believe could struggle to repeat?

Click here for the full article.

My response:
Last week I totally misunderstood the question. I thought we were supposed to name the top ten QBs that could see a dip in production not a top ten 2009 QB that could struggle to repeat. Only the Big Ben portion was included in Fantasy Trader’s roundtable article. Click here if you want to see my full list. Now that I have the concept down I can give a better response.

I have two top ten 2009 running backs that I believe are headed for a fall. Given that they are both on the same team, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Jamaal Charles played the role of Chris Johnson Lite in the second half last year. He went on a run for the ages capped off with a 259 yard explosion in Week 17 against the busted Broncos. Thomas Jones has faced younger competition before (Cedric Benson, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene), but has always been able to hold them off. This year should be different.

Thomas Jones will see fewer carries. Even if he returned to the Jets, where he averaged 1357 yards and 13.5 TDs the past two years, he’d yield some carries to Greene. He’ll be 32 this year. I know he’s in great shape, but the 308.2 carries he’s averaged over the past five years could start to take a toll. I’m afraid that unless Charles suffers an injury, Jones will be a flex option at best.

Now Charles could match or come darn close to the 1417 total yards (1120 rushing, 297 receiving) and 8 offensive TDs (7 rushing), but it won’t have the same smell. Those numbers would be over the course of the whole season, rather than the majority coming on the proverbial back nine. When you have fresh legs, it’s easier piling up numbers on defenses that have been worn down by the grueling season. Factor in Thomas Jones’ carries and you have a #2 fantasy RB at best.

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