Fantasy Football 2012: Why You Can't Trust Isaac Redman or Any Steelers' RB

Bruce ChenAnalyst IAugust 29, 2012

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 25: Isaac Redman #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on August 25, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Rashard Mendenhall's ACL injury last season has paved the way for Isaac Redman to become a part of fantasy football sleeper discussions after rushing for 213 yards in his last two games.

Then Mendenhall got activated off of the PUP list, Redman had his own hip injury and followed it up by underwhelming, producing just 24 yards on 12 carries during the Pittsburgh Steelers' 38-7 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Also, Jonathan Dwyer has appeared to have carved out a role as a third-down guy with three catches for 48 yards in the Bills game. What a mess for fantasy owners hoping to grab a starting running back cheap in the sixth round. 

This seems like the perfect scenario for a coach to frustrate us with a platoon. And what better coach to do the frustrating than Todd Haley, who has a horrible history of making absolutely no sense with how he distributes his rushing workload?

After Jamaal Charles tore his ACL last year, the Chiefs had one of the most confusing rushing attacks in the game, fielding a weird platoon of Jackie Battle, Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones. None averaged more than 40 yards a game, and none had more than two touchdowns or 600 yards on the season. 

There was also that awkward season when Charles was healthy and averaged a whopping 6.4 yards a carry over 230 carries, yet Haley insisted on giving Jones 245 carries while he plodded on to a pedestrian 3.7 yards a carry. 

I mean, if I refer to that as mediocre, am I insulting mediocrity? If I call that senseless and stupid, am I being unreasonable? One guy was averaging 2.7 yards a carry more than the other guy!  

The year before that was a committee with Larry Johnson and Charles. The year before that, Haley was in Arizona and had two main ball-carriers, giving Edgerrin James 133 carries and Tim Hightower 143. 

So, if you're trying to wrap your head around that, the main conclusion is simple. Todd Haley has a history of holding back talented backs, running committees and feeding backs carries even as they fail to average four yards a carry.

It appears that Redman is the most talented back the Steelers have, for now. He has proven that he can handle the load when given the chance and probably should be the lead guy for the games that Mendenhall misses.

But what happens when Mendenhall is back? History shows that physical backs that rely on their power aren't themselves a year after an ACL tear, yet Haley will probably find a way to give him the ball even when he's underwhelming, but more importantly, even as Redman or Dwyer are playing well.

I'm not touching any of the Pittsburgh Steelers backs this year.