Jets Have A Back

The Jets were in desperation mode, as news has been getting worse on Curtis Martin’s chances of playing in 2006. Last week they tried to acquire Cleveland Browns running back Lee Suggs, only to see the trade fall because of a failed physical. More rumors began swirling of other possible backs including TJ Duckett. Well, the back the Jets ended up with happens to be another Pittsburgh Panthers product. How will Kevan Barlow factor as a fantasy impact player in 2006?

Barlow is the type of back that for the last two years has been nothing but a player you could find on the waiver wire. Due to his inconsistencies and struggles with injuries he really has not had many carries over the past few seasons. In fact, even in his lone 1,000 yard season he only carried the football 201 times. So even though he has been in the league for awhile, he has never really taken on a full time load.

So his legs are fresh and he’ll be in a much better environment. Even though Frank Gore ousted him for the starting job in San Francisco, Barlow is a capable back. He is big, and shifty, sort of like an Eddie George. The New York Jets will split carries with Derrick Blaylock and potentially Cedric Houston. Where the impact of Kevan Barlow comes in, is that he’ll definitely be their short yardage and goal line back.

This will be huge for Bettis type touchdown numbers if Chad Pennington can hold onto the starting quarterback position. Already having a weak arm combined with two straight seasons of shoulder injuries, means the Jets would use a ball control style offense. Short and median passes that once inside the opponents fifty would almost always lead to red zone opportunities, instead of the big play at midfield.

Someone has to fill the void of the spectacular numbers Martin has put up in all his years with the Jets. Kevan Barlow will be given every opportunity to do so, and should take firm control of the Jets starting job. Expect Barlow to start off with ten to twelve carries, and soon reach fifteen to seventeen a game. The Jets will run a lot as they always have, and Barlow should get his yards per carry average back up in the four to five yard range.

Easily expect eight to ten rushing touchdowns, and seven to eight hundred yards rushing. This is a situation Barlow has been dying to get into for years. Now with a much better team and his experience, he should be a fantasy steal for touchdowns.


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