Aug 152013
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As part of a partnership with Thuzio, Tiki Barber offers his thoughts on the New York Giants running backs and their fantasy value.

Quick Take:

Tiki Barber Headshot

“The Giants appear to have two really good options at RB for the 2013 season, though early indications are that they will be splitting carries, as has been the trend across the league.

The days of the workhouse back in the NFL are over, which is both good and bad.  Good because backs will stay healthier throughout the season; however, I have always thought that there was a competitive disadvantage to substituting backs situationally.”

On David Wilson:

“David Wilson is the runner that everyone is anxious to see. Last season, in limited action (71 carries), he averaged five yards per carry with four touchdowns. He also averaged 8.5 yards per reception and returned a kick for a touchdown, showing dynamic versatility.

He has superb breakaway speed, agility and athleticism, a flair for showmanship which sometimes goes too far and the rare ability to go the distance on any given play.

I’m curious to see if he can handle the running back responsibilities when the ball isn’t in his hands. Can he identify and pick up dogging linebackers and blitzing safeties? Can he learn to play above the X&Os? Can he stop back flipping and risking injury just for the sake of back flipping? That’s obviously a joke, but the point is, sometimes showmanship can be detrimental, especially with officials cracking down on that type of thing.”

On Andre Brown:

“Much was made of the fact that Andre Brown was cut five times, but it was more circumstance than lack of skill. The Giants were high on him in 2009, but he tore his achilles and was cut the next season after not getting healthy enough. With the departure of Brandon Jacobs and the injury to Ahmed Bradshaw last season, he was finally given his opportunity and ran with it.

Brown is a straight line runner, who is deceptively fast for someone who is 230 pounds. He will likely also be the goal line back, so he could top the eight TD’s he had last season. I also like the fact that he plays with a chip on his shoulder.

The main concern is that he has to be able to stay ‘off the shelf’ this season, otherwise he’ll be viewed as a talented, yet injury prone guy who is out of the league.”

Fantasy Spin:

“It’s hard to know how Wilson and Brown’s carries will be split during the regular season. From a fantasy standpoint, they could both be a solid #2 back, but not likely a great starter. In the Giants offense over the last few years, the running game has become secondary to the passing game.

Interestingly, I think that Brown is more of the situational guy because he is a better pass protector; therefore, will be in on passing situations, and get a lot of carries on draws, which have big play potential. Wilson will be a big play player, and has the chance to lead the team in +20 yard plays.

Both of these guys will give you moments of excitement and be complimentary to Eli Manning’s down field attack, but don’t expect a 1,200 yard season unless one of them goes down.”

Did You Know:

“If you’ve ever wanted to spice up your Fantasy Football experience, Thuzio is the place to look. You can book a football legend to moderate the draft festivities, or even record a personalized video message to smack talk your league.

Here’s an example of how a ‘Game of Thrones’ themed league used Ronde and myself to tease the upcoming season. I love seeing the creativity.