Clinton Portis - High Risk vs. High Reward in 2009

Derek LoflandContributor IJune 12, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 28:  Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins scores a touchdown against  the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 28, 2008 in San Francisco, California  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

One of the biggest decisions a Fantasy Football Owner has to make is which player to select as a first round pick.  Running Back Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins is a high profile player that should present a high level of concern this season.  Let’s start by looking at what has made him a viable first round pick in the past.

The Reward: The reward for drafting Portis is that he brings a solid track record of high productivity.  In just seven career seasons, Portis already has 9,202 yards rushing, and has posted a 1,000-yard season in six of those seven seasons, with the exception being the 2006 season in which he started only seven games due to injury.  He has also produced double-digit rushing touchdowns in four of his seven seasons and had nine rushing touchdowns in 2008.

Portis has been so productive over the years mainly because he has been able to stay healthy. Since 2003, he has started at least 15 games per season with the exception of the aforementioned 2006 season.

Also helping matters is the fact that he does not lose a lot of touches in a “running back by committee” situation. Portis, in fact, led the Redskins with 342 carries in 2008, which ranked third in the NFL and accounted for over 70 percent of the team’s rushing attempts; Ladell Betts was a distant second on the team with just 61 carries.

To recap, Portis has logged the majority of touches, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns for the Washington Redskins. For the majority of his NFL career he has been an excellent No. 1 Fantasy Football running back  and worthy of a first round selection.

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