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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fantasy football: Shonn Greene's declining value and more running back analysis

I assumed Shonn Greene -- with or without LaDainian Tomlinson in green and white -- would be a top-12 running back this season.

You might have, too.

After Monday night, when Greene had five carries for 18 yards and fumbled twice on six touches, we're left to wonder how much of an impact Tomlinson's signing might have on Greene, who caught our attention by rushing for 304 yards and averaging 5.6 yards per carry in the Jets' three playoff games last season.

Tomlinson, in the first game of his post-Chargers career, had 78 yards on 13 touches, looking surprisingly spry against the Ravens' stingy defense.

This week, the Jets will play host to the Patriots, who ranked 13th against the run and allowed only six rushing TDs last season.

You never want to overreact because of one game, but I wouldn't play Greene or L.T. against the Pats.

Around the league

Let's take a quick look at some of the more muddled backfields from a fantasy perspective:

-- Buffalo: C.J. Spiller was a preseason darling, and he might be a future stud, but right now, this looks like a mess. Spiller had 11 touches for 12 yards last week, and Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch will get work. Together, the three combined for 46 total yards on 22 touches. I'd sit Spiller against Green Bay. The other two shouldn't be starting options unless an injury or poor play knocks someone out of the equation.

-- Carolina: DeAngelo Williams had 16 carries to Jonathan Stewart's five in Week 1. I wouldn't read too much into that yet. Stewart should be a flex option Sunday vs. the Buccaneers.

-- Chicago: Is Matt Forte back? We can only hope. Almost as encouraging as the second-year running back's receiving stats last week was the fact he received 24 touches to Chester Taylor's 12.

-- Cleveland: For now, it's a tandem. But I'd expect Eric Mangini to wise up and give up Jerome Harrison, not Peyton Hillis, the lion's share of the load.

-- Dallas: More sharing, more frustration. Marion Barber and Felix Jones each had 10 touches last week, and Tashard Choice seven. Long term, Jones should be the best play, but Barber is the most enticing starting option Sunday at home against the Bears.

-- Denver: It's Knowshon Moreno's show for now, but you have to wonder if the Broncos' trade for Laurence Maroney will mean another dreaded tandem in a few weeks.

-- Indianapolis: Good news, Joseph Addai owners. Your back received 10 carries, and Donald Brown's only touch was a reception.

-- Miami: Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are sharing, as expected, but both are useful, especially Brown, at least until he gets hurt.

-- New Orleans: With Mike Bell in Philadelphia, Pierre Thomas (71 rushing yards, one TD, three receptions for 15 yards in Week 1) is an every-week starter. Reggie Bush is a flex play, at best, in deep PPR leagues.

-- New England: Fred Taylor, at age 34 (94 in running back years), had 71 yards on 14 carries last week. With Maroney gone, he seems to be the best option, but he should be a flex play only in 12-team or deeper leagues most weeks. I wouldn't play him Sunday at the Jets.

-- New York Giants: There seems to be a changing of the guard, from Brandon Jacobs (12 carries for 44 yards last week) to the electric Ahmad Bradshaw (76 yards rushing, one TD, two catches for 17 yards in Week 1). Bradshaw is a decent play Sunday night at Indy. Jacobs is not.

-- Oakland: Darren McFadden had a huge game (150 total yards, six receptions, one TD), but most of the points he accumulated were in garbage time against the Pats. Also keep in mind that McFadden posted those numbers with Michael Bush out. The latter is expected to return this week. McFadden is still a decent option this week against the Rams, who ranked 27th against the run and gave up 24 rushing TDs in 2009.

-- Seattle: Another mess. Justin Forsett was productive (6 yards per touch), but received only seven carries -- to eight by Julius Jones and six by Leon Washington. Sit 'em all.

-- Tampa Bay: It's Cadillac Williams' show, until he joins Ronnie Brown on injured reserve.

Quick slants

-- It's much too soon to trust Derek Anderson (297 yards, one TD last week), but he has the weapons. I'm tempted, but have seen too many bad Browns games to make the move.

-- Anquan Boldin has relegated Derrick Mason and T.J. Houshmandzadeh to bench spots. Boldin had seven catches for 110 yards last week, compared to Mason's two for 21 and Houshmandzadeh's one for 27. I still believe in Mason, but wouldn't play him until the schedule softens.

-- I believe in Legedu Naanee. And you should, too.

-- I don't believe in any Jets receiver (or tight end Dustin Keller) until Santonio Holmes returns from his four-game suspension, and even then it will be difficult to play the former Buckeye with Mark Sanchez throwing to him (or trying futilely to do so). Not counting the playoffs, Sanchez hasn't thrown for 250 yards or two touchdowns since he did both in Week 8 of 2009.

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Blogger Mike said...

Yeah Shonn Greene and Ryan Matthews were huge fantasy busts this year. I wonder where Matthews will be ranked next year in drafts.

January 5, 2011 at 12:20 AM 

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