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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, October 7, 2010

Fantasy football: Marshawn Lynch trade impact, more RB analysis

I know what you're thinking. What are we going to do without Julius Jones as a bye-week option to get 14 carries for 39 yards and no touchdowns now that he's been released by Seattle to make room for Marshawn Lynch?

Our condolences to Jones aside, the trade of Lynch from the Bills to the Seahawks helps the owners who hung on to the disappointing running back who totaled 2,151 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, and caught 65 passes for 484 yards and one TD in his first two NFL seasons. The last two years, counting 2010, Lynch has rushed for 614 yards and scored two TDs in 17 games.

He should be the featured back for a team that's an improvement over the Bills (which team isn't?), but he's still likely no better than a No. 3 back in 12-team leagues.

As for new, old teammate Justin Forsett (the two played together at Cal), the back who had 36 carries and five receptions the last two weeks for the Seahawks is now a fantasy reserve in any format until we have a better idea of how the carries will be divided. The guess is Lynch will get most of the opportunities, and Forsett will be a third-down back who will get eight to 10 touches per game.

The Seahawks are off in Week 5, but the Bills are not. Lynch's former team will now give more chances to Fred Jackson, who rushed for 1,062 yards and caught 46 passes for 371 yards and scored four TDs in 2009. Jackson will share the load with rookie C.J. Spiller, who has been disappointing thus far (94 combined rushing and receiving yards, one receiving TD).

Sunday, the Bills will play host to the Jaguars, who rank 12th against the run but have allowed six rushing TDs (only Buffalo has given up more).

If you're looking for a second or third running back, Jackson is a decent start this week. I wouldn't play Spiller unless you're desperate.

Smooth Torain

Ryan Torain was one of the top targets on the waiver wire in many leagues this week, and the news got more encouraging Wednesday, when it was disclosed that Clinton Portis would miss 4 to 6 weeks with a groin injury.

Torain rushed for 70 yards and a TD in the Redskins' win over the Eagles in the McNabb Bowl, and the schedule during Portis' absence is favorable.

Sunday, Washington will host Green Bay (No. 25 vs. the run), followed by a home game against Indianapolis (No. 29 vs. the run, five rushing TDs allowed) and road games against Chicago (No. 8, five TDs) and Detroit (No. 26, five TDs). Torain is a top-20 back most weeks, and don't expect Portis to be ready after the Redskins' Week 9 bye.

Time to trade L.T.?

You already know a seemingly rejuvenated LaDainian Tomlinson is a must-start after scoring three touchdowns and averaging 6.1 yards per carry in his first four games with the Jets. But will he continue to be a top-10 back, as he is currently in point-per-reception formats?

That's doubtful, and you have to figure the Jets want to keep 25-year-old Shonn Greene heavily involved in the offense. The second-year back had 22 carries for 117 yards (to Tomlinson's 19 for 133 and two TDs) last week in the Jets' rout of Buffalo, and for the season, he has 54 touches to L.T.'s 68.

They should continue to share, and Tomlinson should continue to produce, but if you have a running-back surplus, you might want to explore trading Tomlinson.

Big name. A value that likely has reached its apex for a 31-year-old with almost 3,000 career carries.

Ideal trade bait.

Coming Friday: In the print editions and on the N-H's online sports section, we'll have a column analyzing the impact of Randy Moss' trade from the Patriots to the Vikings.

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