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Friday, July 6, 2012

The Man

I wasn't thinking of Stan Musial when I typed the headline, but I am now.  Has there ever been a better nickname than "The Man"?  I'd like to think he still would have been nicknamed that even if his name was Oscar Musial.  You know, without the rhyme.  He still would have been the man.

But I digress.  Fantasy football research season is upon us and I'd like to talk about one of the most important aspects of your coming drafts: finding running backs who are going to get a lot of work.  Clear cut starters who have the top job without a lot of competition.  The bell cow.  The Man.

There aren't a lot of them, certainly not like say twenty or thirty years ago.  Back in the day just about every team had a feature back that would get just about all of the work.  These days teams usually subscribe to the conventional wisdom to keep your guys fresh and to go with a committee.

Nevertheless, there are some guys out there that should get a larger than average number of carries this year, assuming everyone stays healthy.  There are a handful of guys that don't have big competition for carries, and you may not be thinking of all of them in that way.

Now, don't go using this list to dramatically move a player way up your cheat sheets by 30 or 40 spots.  However, here at the FSB we are all about strategy that you can use over and over again and this tactic is something that is a repeatable best practice.  If an RB is the man he'll have a great opportunity to shine.  That is much preferred over a talented guy who might get lost in a 3-man or 4-man backfield.

I would recommend improving the rankings of these guys a bit and maybe bumping them up a tier if they are bunched with guys who have more competition.

So, some of the guys we're talking about include:
  • Ray Rice
  • LeSean McCoy
  • Ryan Mathews 
  • Marshawn Lynch
  • Trent Richardson
  • Darren McFadden
  • Steven Jackson
  • Shonn Greene
  • James Starks
  • Donald Brown
In my opinion, none of those guys have strong competition for carries on their team.  There's no trendy sleeper on the second string.  The closest is Mike Goodson in Oakland or Isaiah Pead in St. Louis.  I refuse to consider Delone Carter as a legit threat in Indy.

The next guy on the list would have been Ahmad Bradshaw, but I think David Wilson is a legitimate threat there.  Moreso than Pead or Goodson.

Of course, all of this assumes no injuries, so your mileage may vary.

But listen, you could do a lot worse than a combination of Rice, Richardson, Starks, and Brown.