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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

 

Fantasy Controversy

My first fantasy draft is next weekend, so naturally, I've been studying. I can't remember a year when there were so many backs that will be splitting carries. It makes the fantasy player nuts. After the second round, there are a lot of guys who we'll be taking chances on. Let's look at some examples:

Category 1: Stop Stealing My Carries
These guys are starters, but will definitely be sharing the ball with their second-string specialty runners

1. Ravens- Jamaal Lewis is the starter, but needs to be stellar to keep the ball away from Mike Anderson (MANderson).
2. Patriots- Corey Dillon can expect to give 8-10 carries to rookie playmaker Lawrence Maroney.
3. Vikings- Chester Taylor has never been a starter so expect Mewelde Moore to help lighten the load.
4. Falcons- Warrick Dunn has often given goal line and a few other carries to TJ Duckett, but watch for Jerious Norwood to steal a few as well this year.
5. Giants- Jacobs took 7 TD's from Tiki last year, and Tiki says this year will be more of the same.
6. Steelers- Fast Willie Parker is probably not durable enough to keep Deuce Staley off the field.
7. Titans- Is Travis Henry really a starter? Chris Brown/LenDale White will swipe a few carries.
8. Panthers- The oft-injured DeShaun Foster will have college superstar DeAngelo Williams waiting in the wings.
9. 49ers- Gore is the starter, but he and Barlow both played last year.
10. Jaguars- Fred Taylor is the Mark Prior of football. No wait, the Kerry Wood. Anyway, Pearman is right behind him.

Category 2: Complete Controversy
These positions seem like they're still going to be wide open through the preseason:

1. Broncos- Who is Mike Bell? Expect Tatum and Dayne to get in the game just as much. So frustrating because if it was just one guy, you know it would be 1500 yds.
2. Bears- Thomas Jones had a great year, but for some reason, unproven Cedric Benson may split carries.
3. Packers- Can Ahman Green carry 25 times? Samkon Gado and Najeh Davenport will likely challenge.
4. Saints- Deuce will be back this week, but can you keep Bush off the field?
5. Jets- Blaylock and Houston, who sucks more?
6. Colts- Addai and Rhodes still battling for Manning's second fiddle.

So that's about half of the teams, and you can make arguments for others as well. You could take both guys, hoping one will win the starting job, or you could end up like me last year, debating whether to start Mike Anderson or Tatum Bell on a weekly basis, only to have Ron Dayne show them both up in the final weeks.

This leaves (in no particular order) Julius Jones, Brian Westbrook, Clinton Portis, Kevin Jones, Cadillac Williams, Steven Jackson, Edgerrin James, Shaun Alexander, Willis McGahee, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Reuben Droughns, Dominick Davis, LaMont Jordan, LT, and LJ. 16 out of 32 teams with a full workload for a RB. Obviously Tiki is still a top 5 RB, and Bush and Taylor will be very productive, but you can't expect the consistency that you get from a full-time guy.

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