You’re all familiar with Blair Thomas right?
Well, if you weren’t aware of who he is, Thomas was a celebrated running back out of Penn State who was drafted by the New York Jets with the second overall pick in 1990.
Thomas’ hype was off the charts (think Trent Richardson of today), but he never lived up to his billing, only rushing for 2,236 yards and scoring seven touchdowns in six seasons.
When it comes to fantasy, you always want to stay away from busts (like the infamous Blair Thomas) and in this column I will evaluate three running backs with enough red flags to be considered Thomas-like busts.
Ahmad Bradshaw: New York Giants
The diminutive Bradshaw is a grinder. I’ll give him that much.
But by being so aggressive and playing (or missing games) with injuries, Bradshaw hinders his fantasy value, because he never really plays at 100 percent most of the time.
For a long time the Giants subscribed to the running back-by-committee approach and its one way the club likes to keep Bradshaw fresh. With Bradshaw having Brandon Jacobs as his tag-team mate for years, he was kept relatively fresh.
So, now that the Giants selected David Wilson with their first round pick in April’s NFL Draft, you can expect Bradshaw to split time with another running back. Besides, with Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz in tow, the Giants have morphed into more of a passing team anyway.
Willis McGahee: Denver Broncos
Combining the fact that McGahee is now 30 years old with the fact that the Broncos are about to become more of a passing team with Peyton Manning on the roster, McGahee’s days as a reliable running back look like they are coming to an end.
With Tim Tebow as the Broncos quarterback, McGahee benefited from the Broncos countlessly trying to run the ball down their opponent’s throats. And it worked to a degree, as McGahee had a fine season in 2011.
However, with a new offensive philosophy and with rookie Ronnie Hillman (not to mention the rehabbing Knowshon Moreno) about to cut into his caries, it would be a wise move to pass on this aging running back.
Roy Helu: Washington Redskins
Helu has all the talent in the world but for some reason Mike Shanahan will not let him have the keys to be the everyday Redskins’ running back.
Shanahan loves to shuffle and reshuffle his backs on a consistent-or inconsistent for that matter-basis. That means even the most talented and healthy running back for the Redskins, in this case Helu, will get erratic playing time. With Tim Hightower and Evan Royster also bound to get touches, it could severely diminish Helu’s value, as Shanahan always rides the hot hand.
The whole Redskins running back situation is one, hot jumbled mess and the best course of action maybe to avoid them all if possible.
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