Andre Brown: New York Giants RB Is Smart Short-Term Option for Fantasy Owners

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16:   Andre Brown #35 of the New York Giants holds off  Mark Barron #24 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

New York Giants running back Andre Brown isn't a household name, but that shouldn't keep him off of your fantasy football team.

Ahmad Bradshaw didn't practice on Monday, according to The Associated Press (via The Wall Street Journal). The Giants play the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. The short turnaround could impede Bradshaw's return, and Brown will be the guy Tom Coughlin turns too.

That was cemented by 13-carry, 71-yard performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Brown also found the end zone once, while serving as Bradshaw's replacement.

According to ESPN, Brown is currently owned in 0.4 percent of standard-scoring leagues. Check your waiver wire; he's probably sitting there waiting for you to snatch him up.

The Panthers defeated the Saints in Week 2, but New Orleans still ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Carolina's front seven is still a work in progress, and the Giants can take advantage of that.

Even though the Giants pulled off an amazing comeback in Week 2—and Manning had a career-high 510 passing yards—the signal-caller still struggled. New York had to come back because he threw three interceptions earlier in the game.

That will prompt the Giants to run the ball early in Week 3. If Brown runs well, they will stick with it, especially when you consider the Panthers' 27th-ranked rush defense.

If Bradshaw is out, New York's backfield comes down to Brown and rookie David Wilson. Wilson has already had trouble securing the ball, and he's dropped a few key passes. Those things don't sit well with Coughlin.

The Giants currently rank 23rd in the league with 44 total rushing attempts. That's not an encouraging number, but Brown did a lot with a little on Sunday. Also, Saints running back Pierre Thomas busted the Panthers open for 110 yards on just nine carries.

Based on Thomas' production, it won't take a lot for Brown to get his numbers in Week 3.

No one should thrust the brunt of his fantasy hopes onto Brown's shoulders, but he's better than most options you're going to find on the waiver wire. Adding him for a few weeks could make the difference for your squad at the end of the season.