Go West When Deciding Which Direction to Go at Running Back in Cleveland

Jul 30, 2014

Terrance West OTAs
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The Cleveland Browns have an intriguing running back battle that features two newcomers. Ben Tate comes in as the early favorite to open the preseason as the lead back after coming over from Houston. Rookie Terrance West will challenge Tate for the starting job.
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Tate is coming off a season in which he ran for 771 yards and four touchdowns on 181 carries. He did catch 34 passes for an additional 140 yards. Tate  has averaged 140.3 carries for 664 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and 3.3 touchdowns in the last three seasons. He’s averaged 19.3 catches for 95.7 yards during that span.
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Meanwhile West shined at Towson rushing for 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns, rivaling Barry Sanders’ brilliant 1988 season.
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The safe money is on Tate handling the lion’s share of the duties, but fantasy football strategies and winning strategies on sports betting don’t always thrive on playing it safe.
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Tate has an injury history that gives some cause for concern. He has missed 24 games in his four seasons in the league, though that number is skewed with Tate missing his entire rookie season. That said, even when he does play he’s usually injured. ESPN’s fantasy projection points out that “since 2010, he has hurt his ankle, quad, back, hip, groin, shoulder, head, toe, hamstring, foot, elbow and ribs. All in all, Tate has been on his team’s injury report 80 percent of the time over the past four seasons.” Tate is routinely listed on the injury report, which is unsettling to fantasy football players.

Tate  does have an edge over West given his NFL experience, but it doesn’t quite justify the draft positioning difference. Tate is currently ranked as the 25th running back by FantasyPros making him a borderline RB2. Meanwhile Terrance West is ranked 38th making him a borderline RB3. In many cases you may be able to have him as your RB4. Given the injury history, it is not inconceivable that West leapfrogs Tate, relegating him to change-of-pace/third down duties.
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They have a similar build as Tate is 5’10″ and 220 pounds and West is 5’10 and 225 pounds. It’s going to come down to durability. If you want to play it safe go with Tate. If you want to swing for the fences a little, go with West.
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See my fantasy football rankings here.
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  1. Wednesday July 30, 2014 – Football Links | FantasyRundown.com
    July 30th, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    […] you are going to draft a Cleveland running back, LestersLegends.com recommends Terrence […]

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