Ryan Grant: Updated Fantasy Football Analysis & Outlook for Redskins' RB
With Roy Helu's season ending prematurely, the Redskins' depth chart at running back was looking suddenly thin. Luckily for Washington, a productive veteran with a Super Bowl ring was eagerly waiting for an opportunity.
Grant is set to make his debut with Washington against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, so let's examine if he is worth picking up.
Grant is a seasoned veteran who played five of his six seasons with the Green Bay Packers and won a Super Bowl with the team.
While he posted back to back 1,200-yard rushing seasons in 2008 and 2009—with the latter also having an impressive 11 touchdowns—in the past two seasons, he has only scored two touchdowns and rushed for about 600 yards.
Now approaching 30 years old, Grant is no longer a feature NFL running back, but he's still a solid depth option. 1,200 yards rushing is well behind him, but he is a trustworthy option for the coaching staff in Washington.
Currently above Grant on the Washington depth chart are rookie starter Alfred Morris and second-year back Evan Royster, who have nowhere close to the NFL experience that Grant does.
Morris has looked great so far as the feature back for Washington, rushing for 263 yards and three touchdowns with a solid 4.3 yards-per-carry average. His production so far is outstanding, but one has to wonder if he can keep it up over 16 games.
Royster is an unknown at this point, as he is attempting to come back from a sprained patellar tendon. If healthy, he is a safe bet to take over the third-down-back role that Helu once occupied.
Grant is valuable in this situation because of Morris' having never played in the NFL and Royster's injury woes.
Grant is not worth a pickup against the Buccaneers, but it would be wise to stash him on the bench for later in the season. It's hard to tell how Morris will handle such a big workload in terms of production and health, and Royster has yet to prove he can stay healthy.
Head coach Mike Shanahan is known for getting the most out of his running backs, so Grant could end up being very productive as the season wears on toward its conclusion.
With the Redskins poised to compete for the NFC East crown in 2012 with the electric rookie Robert Griffin III, the Redskins could be playing into the postseason, which means Grant will see plenty of carries down the stretch.
Projected Stats: 120 carries, 455 yards, three touchdowns.
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