5 Reasons to Draft Donald Brown in Your Fantasy Football League
The Indianapolis Colts effectively blew up their team in the offseason.
Gone are quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Pierre Garcon, tight end Dallas Clark and the glory days of old.
After a dreadful 2-14 2011 season, the team is starting over with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and new head coach Chuck Pagano, and it's probably going to be a long season in Indianapolis for Colts fans.
However, there are some holdovers, including their leading rusher from last season.
Here are a handful of reasons why Donald Brown could be a bright spot for both the Colts and your fantasy football team in 2012.
1. Donald Brown Appeared to Put It Together in 2011
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After a pair of mostly forgettable seasons in the National Football League, the light bulb finally appeared to come on for Donald Brown in 2011.
Brown had by far the most successful season of his professional career in 2011, setting career highs in rushing yards and touchdowns while gaining a very respectable 4.8 yards per carry.
The former Connecticut star also recorded by far the best fantasy finish of his brief career, finishing the season as a low-end RB3 in standard scoring formats.
2. He's the Top Dog in the Colts Backfield
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Among the number of Colts players that were jettisoned this offseason was running back Joseph Addai, who opened last year as the team's starting tailback.
That leaves Donald Brown as the most proven option in the Indianapolis backfield.
Second-year pro Delone Carter and rookie Vick Ballard will likely see some snaps, but as things stand today, Brown is in line to receive the vast majority of touches at running back in Indianapolis.
In today's age of committee backfields it's becoming more exception than rule to see a back get the lion's share of the action, and it only adds to Brown's fantasy appeal.
3. The Colts Will Run the Ball a LOT More in 2012
As Mike Chappell of The Indianapolis Star recently pointed out, since 2008 the Colts rank last in the NFL in rushing yards per game and per attempt and next to last in rushing attempts per game.
However, that was with Peyton Manning under center in Indianapolis (well, until last year's nightmare season), and Peyton Manning is now plying his trade in Denver with the Broncos.
With a rookie quarterback under center the Colts will be forced to rely on Donald Brown and the ground game much more than they have in the past, and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians indicated as much in a recent interview with ESPN Radio in Indianapolis.
We want to be able to run the football when we want to run the football. There aren’t any numbers — we’re going to run it 35 times, this and that. Every game dictates different numbers but when we want to run it we want to be able to run it and be physical and old-school football — double-team, kick out and hit it up in there.
4. The Fantasy Price Tag Is Very Reasonable
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Generally speaking, in fantasy football running backs that are expected to receive the vast majority of touches in their respective teams' backfields carry a hefty premium.
This summer, that hasn't shown to be the case with Donald Brown.
According to MyFantasyLeague.com Donald Brown is being drafted as the 35th running back off fantasy draft boards, with an average draft position in the middle of the ninth round.
That makes Brown a very attractive draft day value pick, especially for fantasy teams that choose to eschew the running back position early in drafts.
5. Running Backs Are Like Gold, Jerry....GOLD!
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OK, so maybe that's a corny reference.
The premise is still valid though. Regardless of the ascension of wide receivers, quarterbacks and even tight ends in fantasy football, running backs still hold tremendous fantasy value, especially those that are expected to receive a big workload.
Granted, the Colts offense isn't going to suddenly become "The Greatest Show on Turf," and at best Brown will likely be a serviceable fantasy RB2 in 2012.
Thing is, given his current cost in fantasy drafts, that still makes him a steal.