When I picked up New York Giants backup running back Andre Brown last week in fantasy football, it was not because I needed any old body to replace Ahmad Bradshaw for a week. It was because Brown is the better back and now deserves the starting job.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2009, Brown finally got to start last weekend for the Giants and made the most of it. After only that one start, he already rated as the fourth most effective running back of the season on Pro Football Focus.
Not surprisingly, Bradshaw graded out below average with a negative overall rating. Brown is rated better than Bradshaw in running, receiving and blocking.
After missing only one week with injury, Bradshaw appears to be healthy and ready to go for Sunday. However, if the Giants play it smart, they will continue to lean heavily on Brown.
Bradshaw has been with the Giants since 2007 and has carried a heavy workload since 2008. Yet he has never resoundingly demonstrated his ownership of the starting role. He has only had one 1,000-yard season in his career, and he earned less than 700 yards all of last season.
Who is the Giants' best running back?
It would be foolish for Brown to go right back to the bench on Sunday. He is faster and more agile than Bradshaw and poses a bigger threat in the passing game out of the backfield. He also does a great job of protecting quarterback Eli Manning.
Expect to see a lot of Andre Brown this weekend. If you have the choice between him and Bradshaw in fantasy, stick with Brown. He might not get the official start, but he will have a bigger impact in the game.