Well, that was fast.
After Week 4, New York Giants powerful running back Andre Brown looked on the verge of becoming a fantasy star. Now, he's safe to drop unless you're in deep league.
There's no doubting Brown's talent. He's a no-nonsense, strong, downhill runner. But the revival of Ahmad Bradshaw, the continual emergence of dynamic rookie David Wilson and a nasty concussion for Brown mean the former NC State star will have a limited impact on the fake game.
Fortunately for fantasy owners who went all in on what Brown could do for them, there are plenty of other running back situations in peril across the league, and that means plenty of replacements.
Let's take a look.
Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers
I'll be short here, since Mendenhall has likely been scooped up already in your league.
But if the 25-year-old, who is only owned in 82.5 percent of fantasy leagues, is still somehow available, run, don't walk, to the waiver wire to pick him up. Mendenhall looks like the only competent back in Pittsburgh right now, and his 14-carry, 81-yard, one-TD comeback performance proved his knee isn't a concern.
Alex Green, Green Bay Packers
It wouldn't be a normal fantasy season if a young running back didn't come out of nowhere to take the league by storm. Alex Green has a good chance to be that player.
Cedric Benson is out at least eight weeks, and while James Starks, who has experience as a starter and is close to returning from a turf toe injury, may steal carries early on, I'm a bigger fan of Green.
He has an intriguing mix of speed and power, as evidenced by his 41-yard scamper on Sunday, he's younger and he possesses far more upside as the superior athletic specimen.
If you have the room, grab both backs for now, but if you're looking for one long-term investment, make it Green.
Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions
The dynamic back isn't going to set the league on fire with workhorse numbers, but he makes for an interesting speculative add. Kevin Smith has dropped off the face of the earth and Mikel Leshoure is averaging a mediocre 3.2 yards per carry.
At the very least, Best would come on as a home-run threat who gets 10-12 touches for an already potent offense, and if that's the case, he will be a highly sought-after commodity. Best offers high reward with very little risk, as most owners probably aren't paying attention to him quite yet.
William Powell, Arizona Cardinals
This one isn't for the faint of heart. Powell had 23—23!—career collegiate careers at Kansas State and only has eight career touches in the NFL. To make things worse, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith will also compete for touches behind Arizona's atrocious offensive line.
Nonetheless, Stephens-Howling isn't big enough to be given a full-time role, and Powell beat out Smith during training camp.
If someone is going to carve out a large role, it will be the 5'9", 207-pound Powell, who possesses good shiftiness and an intriguing skill set as a three-down back. There are far worse risks with lower potential, and if that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.
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