Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Giants Run Game = Fantasy Death?

According to an interview by Michael Eisen with Giants OC Kevin Gilbride over at Giants.com, if the various Giants running backs stay healthy (and in Bradshaw's case, out of jail) he'd like to see everyone getting plenty of carries with whomever is being successful that game being the featured back.

In other words, one week Brandon Jacobs might be the bell-cow, next week Ahmad Bradshaw.

Or in Gilbride's words -
Then depending on how certain defenses are playing us, which guy's playing better that day, in other words, kind of who has the hot hand, who is playing the best, that is the guy that we would certainly feature that day.
So while from a Giants fan perspective, this might be good (keeping guys fresh and off the injured list are always a plus for defending Super Bowl champs), a Fantasy owner has to ask himself just how much this could drop Brandon Jacobs in their rankings.

As any owner of a Denver Broncos running back can tell you, week to week uncertainty at the running back position can be murder for a Fantasy Team.

This will bear a great deal of watching I think - the Giants have a solid roster of running backs and as Gilbride says, they compliment each other very well. It is entirely possible that if this does transition into a full Running Back by Committee, you may still get solid numbers out of whomever comprises it. But only if the committee stays relatively consistent.

If one week Jacobs is hot, then you start him the next and Ward gets smoking - well, you can see where that's nothing but messy.

Right now, Footballguys has Jacobs ranked 31st overall for offensive players, 19th RB off the board (average staff ranking for a redraft non-PPR league). Antsports is a site that has tons of mock drafts - and if you rank serious mocks, they have Jacobs the 18th RB coming off the board on average in High Performance, flex/TE leagues. In both cases you are looking at Jacobs going before players like Ernest Graham, Willie Parker, Thomas Jones and then a host of rookies.

By the looks of it, Jacobs is also going in about the late 3rd round which is probably about right especially the backs around him like Graham and Parker who might have their share of questions as well.

However you might want to look another way if you're feeliong gunshy. In the Mock Draft Forums over at Footballguys, I drafted Jacobs in a Pre-Draft Survivor League waaaaay back in March in the 3rd round (16 team, no trades, no waivers, Best Ball - or total points elimination - format). He backs up Marion Barber III and has Julius Jones, Ladell Betts and rookie Chris Johnson behind him. I feel ok with that still. But as with the ADP and Rankings I quote above, Thomas Jones is still sitting around at the time and given the questions Jacobs is now facing and the revamped Jets offensive line - he might have been (and still be) the better way to go.

Jones is a topic for another column, but for now, watch this situation closely. While Jacobs was not going to be your #1 FF back and will still giveyou some good points in a RBBC, if it becomes a situation where we never know who will get the majority of the carries in any week, it could be best to just stay away.

Food for thought.

Feel free to throw questions and comments to thunderingblurb@gmail.com as well in the comments section.

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