HARTVIGSON – BOBBY RAINEY OVER DONALD BROWN
Last week, two relatively unknown running backs exploded onto the fantasy scene; Bobby Rainey and Donald Brown. As we start to make our postseason preparations, Jim and I debate: Which is the more likely contributor down the stretch as a low end/insurance RB2?
Anybody who’s ever watched the NFL Network has become inundated with Colts owner Jim Irsay’s annoying tweets. His most popular rant is calling out the Colts poor offensive line play (a world class motivator). Once disguised by the fast paced release of Payton Manning, Indy’s front five is now fully exposed. While Brown’s agility is better suited than the straight-line running of Trent Richardson, poor O-line play will be a major hindrance on Brown’s production. On the flip side, Rainey boasts one of the league’s top tier offensive lines marked by Pro Bowlers Carl Nicks, Donald Penn and Davin Joseph.
This argument really boils down to touches. As we all know, Brown is in constant competition for carries with fellow running mate Trent Richardson. And despite Brown’s superior athleticism (never thought I’d write that), spending a first rounder on T-Rich guarantees he and Brown will be locked into a full blown RBBC (the four ugliest letters in football). Meanwhile Rainey’s only competition is fullback Brian Leonard. When it’s all said and done, Rainey is going to have more touches (carries + targets) than Brown, thus equating to more opportunity to score fantasy points. It’s just that simple.
I was hoping schedule would put a cap on my argument. However, both Rainey and Brown have somewhat difficult matchups through the remainder of the season. This is the primary reason neither are under consideration as a sure fire every week starter. But the player most likely to be a low end RB2 is clearly Bobby Rainey.
BUKOWSKI – REBUTTAL
It’s hard to argue against Eric’s premise when he includes Colts owner Jim Irsay. But as I stated in my argument for Donald Brown below, you have to take a leap of faith that Colts head coach Chuck Pagano will finally do what is best for the team and give Donald Brown more playing time. Even Eric admits that Brown is the superior athlete to Richardson, so this is all going to come down to either proving a point or winning games.
The Colts have the best young quarterback in the game in Andrew Luck and need to do everything they can in order to facilitate his success, and playing Trent Richardson over Donald Brown does not help.
Also, Eric claims that there is no competition for touches, but I wouldn’t count out recently signed Michael Hill. Hill is a rookie from Missouri Western, go Griffons, who rushed for almost 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns in his college career.