Breaking Down Ryan Torain's Fantasy Value as David Wilson Handcuff

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2013

Anthony J. Causi/New York Post
Anthony J. Causi/New York Post

Andre Brown was always going to have limited value for fantasy owners this season, as his role was to be the team's goal-line back, with David Wilson's firmly entrenched as the starter. Essentially, Brown was a handcuff with some touchdown upside.

But now that he's gone down with a fractured leg, the question in the New York Giants backfield is this: Is Ryan Torain a worthwhile handcuff to Wilson?

And the answer is a resounding, "Nope, not really."

The first factor weighing against Torain is that, while he's the handcuff you'll want to draft or add on the waiver wire, there's no guarantee that he'll be the only back behind Wilson getting work. Both Da’Rel Scott and Michael Cox could be used in certain situations, limiting Torain's value. 

And don't expect Torain to simply take over goal-line duties for Brown. More than likely, Wilson will take those snaps.

Brown may have been a beast on short-yardage downs, but there is no reason to think the Giants will suddenly value a third-string player above Wilson near the goal-line. 

And it's not as though Torain is a particularly compelling player. While his 4.2 yards per carry is decent, he's really only impressed in one season, gaining 742 yards and scoring four touchdowns in 10 games for the Washington Redskins in 2010. 

But other than that, he's never produced more than 200 yards in a season, and didn't have a carry for the Giants last year. 

More than likely, Torain's greatest virtue in the eyes of the Giants is his ability to pass protect. Thus, his role for the Giants will probably be as the team's third-down back.

Plus, as handcuffs go, his time is limited. According to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News, Brown doesn't think he'll need surgery and could be back "in a couple weeks."

While that prognosis might be a bit optimistic, the point remains that Torain will only have value, if he has any at all, for a limited portion of the season.

If you are drafting handcuffs in the later rounds, wouldn't you rather have someone like Ben Tate or Bryce Brown, players you know will get some touches and will always be the next man up?

And you might want to protect your waiver position for when the season actually starts if you've already had your draft, rather than rush to add Torain now. 

Add it all up, and the verdict is simple—ignore Torain for the time being. If Brown looks as though he'll end up missing a bigger chunk of the season—or Torain gets goal-line work in Week 1—then he's worth your time. 

But until then, look elsewhere. 


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