Since David Wilson went down to injury in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants' running back position has been in flux, with Brandon Jacobs, Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox all given a crack at the position.
But with Andre Brown returning in Week 10, a lead dog in the New York backfield should emerge.
Brown, who suffered a second fracture of his left fibula in the final preseason game at New England, and veteran Brandon Jacobs practiced today, as did Peyton Hillis and rookie Michael Cox. Running back David Wilson’s injured neck was re-examined today, coach Tom Coughlin said.
“The coaches just told me to be ready,” said Brown, who averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored eight touchdowns last season before suffered a fractured left fibula in a Nov. 25 game against Green Bay.
"They threw me some special plays out there. They want to get me back in football shape. They want to kind of ease me into this thing. That’s what they plan on doing and we’ll go from there.”
That excerpt should pretty much tell you everything you need to know about Brown's fantasy status. He's absolutely worth adding on waivers this week if he's available in your league, but he's probably too risky to start right off the bat if the coaches intend to ease him back into action.
Surprisingly, the Giants have gotten decent fantasy production from Jacobs and Hillis. In Week 6, Jacobs rushed 22 times for 106 yards and scored two touchdowns. In the next two games, Hillis rushed 38 times for 106 yards, caught eight passes for 60 yards and registered 21 fantasy points in that time.
In other words, the Giants really don't need to rush Brown back into action.
And it's not as great of a matchup against the Oakland Raiders as you might think—the Raiders have allowed just 94.6 rushing yards per game (sixth in the NFL) and 14.8 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week in standard-scoring leagues, 14th in the league.
I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Jacobs is the starter while Hillis is brought in for short-yardage and goal-line work. That would leave Brown either a role as the third-down back or a guy they utilize in a time share with Jacobs.
Realistically, the absolute ceiling for touches is probably about 15 for Brown, and I'd be surprised if he was on the field for anything more than 25 snaps, if that. I'll project him for 10 touches of the ball and 50 yards from scrimmage in this contest.
Remember, Brown burst onto the scene in Week 2 last year and had a two-game stretch where he rushed 33 times for 184 yards and three touchdowns. There is definite upside here.
Just not this week. Stash Brown, but avoid starting him this week.