Brad Morgan

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The Replacements

Wednesday, December 02, 2009




Quick Reads

Eldra Buckley, Eagles RB

In one of the weirder happenings of Week 12, Eldra Buckley was given all 3 cracks (1 carry was called back) at the endzone from the 1-yard line in a crucial spot for the Eagles. This must have driven LeSean McCoy owners insane. Why give a guy with 5 career carries coming into this game such important touches? Unfortunately, this doesn't make Buckley relevant -- it only serves to hurt McCoy's value.

If it was one freak carry on the 1, that would be easier to swallow, but 3 in a row means that coach Andy Reid really wanted to give Buckley the ball there. If you have McCoy you're still most likely starting him, but if you have another decent option, you now have to worry about McCoy possibly not getting GL carries.

Chris Brown, Texans RB

Clearly, Brown is the Texans' choice in scoring situations, and that makes sense if you just look at his size (6-3 235). But Brown really isn't an impressive runner. He's probably good for about 10 carries a week, and will get the Texans' easy TD opportunities. If you want to gamble on a TD, he's a low end flex play. Personally, I don't like to rely on TD vultures who have better size than talent.

Justin Forsett, Seahawks RB

Jim Mora has said Julius Jones will be thrust back into the starting lineup upon returning, but I think that's just a Coach being loyal to a veteran. Forsett has been electrifying, and has gotten virtually all of the Seahawks RZ and GL carries since getting the starting gig. Count me among those that believe in the little guy. It doesn't hurt that he faces Houston and Tampa Bay in Weeks 14 and 15.

Tim Hightower, Cardinals RB

All Hightower seems to do is put up solid fantasy weeks. No one will ever accuse him of being an explosive player, but he is consistent and fundamentally sound. Good pass blocking and receiving skills have given Hightower constant opportunities throughout the season. Once again Hightower got both RZ carries and the sole GL carry in Week 12, and cashed in another easy scoring opportunity. Chris Wells is the more talented player, and will be drafted higher in fantasy leagues next year, but for the rest of the season Timmy is the Cardinals back to have.

Ray Rice, Ravens RB

Did it suck to watch Rice, who carried the Ravens to the Goal Line, get a touchdown vultured by Willis McGahee last week? Yes. But Rice owners have known since Week 1 that those freak incidents could happen. Since McGahee's awesome first two weeks, Rice has had over 80% of the Ravens RZ carries and the majority of GL carries. Rice's true value lies in his ability to gain large chunks of yardage on the ground and through the air. Don't be concerned.

Pierre Thomas, Saints RB

Thomas again played very well on Monday Night Football, but still didn't get the touches he should get. However, he was able to break a Drew Brees dump off pass for a 23-yard touchdown, pleasing his owners. Also, Thomas got 4 of the 5 RZ carries against the Patriots, proving that Mike Bell's 6 in Week 11 were fluky. Continue to start Thomas as a RB2 with confidence.

Laurence Maroney, Patriots RB

There was a big question mark surrounding Maroney entering Week 12: How would Sammy Morris' return affect him? As you may remember, Morris was the dominant runner in the Patriots backfield before getting hurt. Bill Belichick showed great faith in Maroney, giving him 5 of 6 RZ carries, and all 3 GL carries (resulting in 2 TDs). Maroney remains a solid RB2 for the stretch run, and I'd call him a RB1 when he plays Carolina and Buffalo in Weeks 14 and 15.


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