Roy Helu: Projecting Washington Redskins' RB's Fantasy Numbers in 2012

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 02: Roy Helu #29 of the Washington Redskins runs against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Washington Redskins beat the St. Louis Rams 17-10.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Washington Redskins' running back Roy Helu had an impressive rookie season in the NFL last year, and turned out to be a blessing for many lucky fantasy owners in the the season's final few weeks.

From Week 12 to 14 Helu rushed for over 100 yards in three consecutive games, scoring two touchdowns and racking up 436 total yards from scrimmage along the way.

Ever since that breakout performance at Seattle, Helu has been a well-known player in the fantasy game. 

Let's see what the second-year RB has in store for fantasy owners in 2012.


Playing Time

With veteran Tim Hightower back healthy after suffering an ACL injury in 2011, and second-year running back Evan Royster returning to DC, Roy Helu won't see nearly as many carries as fantasy owners are hoping for this fall.

In addition to Hightower and Royster, rookie sixth-round draft pick Alfred Morris has emerged as a potential starting running back for head coach Mike Shanahan. Morris rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown in Washington's most important preseason tune-up against the Colts

The lesson here is that there is still plenty to be worked out before the Redskins find their permanent starting back. 

Helu carried the ball 151 times in 15 games as a rookie, and averaged 4.2 yards per run. Based on Helu's dominant outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Washington's preseason finale on Wednesday, in which he carried the ball 15 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns, he will see the field enough to make an impact. 

No matter how well Hightower and Royster play, I still expect Helu to get the touches he earned with his remarkable play at the end of last season.

Projection: 150 carries, 55 receptions



Helu didn't start fast last season but certainly ended on a hot streak. More than 79 percent of Helu's 2011 rushing yards came after Week 8, which proves true the saying it's not how you start, but how you finish that counts.

I for one expect Helu to start out much faster in 2012 with a full season already under his belt. In addition to making his presence felt early on in the running game, look for Helu to be a continued threat in the passing game.

Helu caught 49 balls last season for 379 yards. The 23-year-old averaged 7.7 yards per catch in 2011, making him one of the most dangerous backs playing out of the backfield in today's NFL.

Considering Helu's production as a dual threat back as a rookie last season, and the fact that neither Hightower nor Royster can match his strengths as a receiver, I see Helu once again becoming one of the Redskins' leading receivers in 2012.

Projection: 700 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, 450 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns


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