Shonn Greene is a one-game wonder.
I won’t take anything away from his performance in that one game. Racking up 161 rushing yards on 5.0 a pop and three touchdowns—even if it was against the mediocre front seven of the Indianapolis Colts—is extremely impressive.
But the issue is that Greene won’t do that again against any opponent.
Prior to his career day, the New York Jets halfback had only rushed for 217 yards through five games. And it wasn’t like his totals were down because of a lack of opportunities. Greene’s numbers suffered thanks to a pitiful 2.9 yards-per-carry average.
Sure, before Indy, he never received 32 touches. Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight’s injuries allowed that to happen. And while Powell will likely miss more time with a dislocated shoulder, McKnight’s ankle injury shouldn’t be major.
That means the odds are high Greene will still have to share carries. And he’d do so with a back that also ran circles around the Colts. McKnight only carried the ball three times, but he finished the afternoon with 71 yards thanks to a 61-yard scamper.
So not only are Greene’s carries likely to go down in the coming weeks, but he won’t face a unit as soft as Indy’s for well over a month. Four out of the Jets’ next five opponents—the New England Patriots (twice), Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks—boast a top-eight-ranked run defense. The Colts were ranked 26th before Week 6.
Now, I’m not telling you to pass on Greene if he’s a free agent in your fantasy football league. If you’re in one of the 19 percent of Yahoo! Sports leagues (as of Oct. 15) which he isn’t owned, pull the trigger. He’s worth the risk of an add, but until he produces solid numbers in back-to-back contests, he isn’t worth the risk of a start.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.