It’s called risk-reward for a reason. Many fantasy advisors will tell you to take the “safe” pick. Safe picks will likely raise your probability of making your playoffs, but the high risk-high reward pick can win you championships. As Herman Edwards says, “You play to win the game.”
The following are two of the highest risk-reward running backs in this year’s draft:
Risk: Brown has had a major injury in two of his last three seasons. He has missed 16 games since 2007. He splits carries with a very capable (although aging) back in Ricky Williams. The rehab from the Lisfranc fracture in his foot is on schedule to return him to full practice duties early on in training camp. Another injury could leave you scratching your head wondering why you took him in the first place.
Before Brown’s 2009 season-ending injury, he had scored eight touchdowns in nine games. Over the last three years Brown has averaged 18 touches per game. He is dynamic in the “wildcat,” and even added a passing touchdown to his scoring. A 10-plus touchdown season is easily within his reach.
Brown is the kind of player that can propel your squad to the top. He scores three different ways (rushing, receiving and passing). FantasySharks has him listed at 29th in the 2010 running back projections, but I like him better than the six guys listed ahead of him. He has the potential to be a Top 10 back.
Risk: Jones has missed games every season since being the Cowboys’ first-round pick in 2008. His injury issues and running style remind me of a young Fred Taylor. Remember “fragile Freddy” and all of the fantasy heartbreak and disappointment that he brought on? However, just like
Reward: Jones was a workout warrior this offseason and added 10 pounds in anticipation of his extra workload. He is now faster and bigger than Marion Barber. His career 6.5 yards-per-carry speaks for itself about his ability to score from anywhere on the field.
My evaluation: Eight to 10 scores are well within his reach. FantasySharks has him listed as the 34th running back for 2010. I could only see a handful of guys that I would feel comfortable taking him ahead of.
Risk/reward can work both ways. “No guts, no glory” or “hindsight is 20-20”. Good luck.