Andre Brown is set to return to fantasy football relevancy in a big way.
Savvy owners will remember Brown from 2012, likely as a waiver-wire add, thanks to his touchdowns in five straight games for the New York Giants before breaking his leg and missing the final six contests.
Brown also broke his leg early this preseason, and while that's two broken legs in the span of about nine months, Brown is a quality add in all leagues given the dire situation in New York.
Eligible to return in Week 10 off the short-term injured reserve, Brown has been practicing with the team for the past few weeks and as Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports, Brown is right on track in his recovery:
The importance of this news cannot be overstated from a fantasy perspective.
Despite his aforementioned impressive production last year, Brown immediately jumps to No. 1 on the depth chart in New York with little to no competition for starter's snaps.
The Giants have been riding the one-two combo of fantasy has-beens known as Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs. Per Vacchiano once more, Jacobs has been dealing with an injury of his own, and while Hillis has racked up 23 total touches in consecutive weeks, Brown is clearly the better option.
Some owners may point to the imminent return of David Wilson, but as many likely remember, he's struggled with fumble issues and has only seen 44 carries in five games from Tom Coughlin's doghouse. He's not due back until around Week 12 anyway based on comments reported by Art Stapleton of The Record.
As a lead back in his first real action of the year, Brown in no way faces an easy task in Week 10 against the Oakland Raiders, a team that plays the run well and allows just 89.9 yards per game—good for the No. 6 rank in the NFL.
While the matchup is certainly an issue, if Brown receives in the neighborhood of 23 touches as Hillis has in consecutive weeks, he's worth the nod in a flex capacity. We are talking about the back who carried the ball just 73 times a year ago and averaged 5.3 per on the way to 385 yards and eight touchdowns, not to mention 12 receptions for 86 yards.
Brown's three games with 13 or more carries in 2012? At least 60 yards rushing and a touchdown, with a high of 113 yards and two scores.
For the time being, Brown is an extremely high-upside add on the waiver wire as long as his health holds. He's the No. 1 back in New York upon his return, and could easily run away with the job regardless of the health of others if he produces like he did in 2012.
There are solid fliers to take each week in fantasy football, but Brown is the best in recent memory at an otherwise shaky position.
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