McAllister's Status

All the hoopla surrounding Reggie Bush slipping to the Saints has left a certain Pro Bowl running back not knowing his state. Obviously a player of Bush’s caliber isn’t going to visit the bench often. So how does this play out in terms of Deuce McAllister’s fantasy football draft status? After all, he has been a top five to ten fantasy football back for several years.

The New Orleans offense is going to be a team with a lot of different looks from previous seasons. Gone is Aaron Brooks and in is Drew Brees, who some people question will be ready opening day. The offensive line is being retooled and back will be Deuce McAllister. He only played three weeks last season before going down with a torn ACL injury.

Recovering from a serious knee injury often depends on the athlete but is usually a two year recovery cycle. So the carries that will drop for McAllister this upcoming season would have happened with or without Reggie Bush. It is just going to give McAllister the necessary rest he needs for his knee, instead of overworking it.

They will complement each other very well but over time you will obviously see more touches from Bush. He is the guy of the future and the Saints are trying to completely make over their franchise. They did that by letting Brooks go and soon the same will happen with McAllister and head coach Jim Haslett. The team is just set to go in a new direction and perhaps even a new city.

Expecting big numbers from McAllister may be the prediction a year from now when he is on a new squad. Stepping into this season, though, landing him in your fantasy football drafts will bite you all season. If you do land McAllister you better get the insurance numbers of Reggie Bush. Bush will likely be swooped up before McAllister in most drafts.

So which rounds would you reach or draft Bush, and what rounds to do you try to steal McAllister? We’d say Bush is worthy of a pick anywhere from rounds five to six, and McAllister at about the same time you would draft Jerome Bettis in previous years. McAllister’s value in drafts depends if you are in a yardage league or not. He should get around eight touchdowns, but his yardage totals will suffer to around six to seven hundred yards.

This situation is bad for any fantasy owner for several reasons. One, neither back will have the strong enough statistics to start any week. Two, you don’t know how effective the New Orleans offense can and will be. The upsides of each player though could be tremendous.

New Orleans will try to keep both backs happy, so maybe the Saints will try to utilize Bush as an all purpose athlete and get him on the field as much as possible. Any touches that he does get he could break for a long gainer and the Saints are not stupid enough to not reach their gamely quota of “Bush” touches. For Deuce McAllister giving him the Bettis treatment around the goal line will satisfy his thirst for reaching the end zone.

Like the Kansas City Chiefs had with Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson, they’re loaded at a position that few teams in the NFL could also say. Durability as an NFL running back has been dwindling down by the years so protecting both backs will be vital. It will also help alleviate pressure of Drew Brees in a new environment and let the Saints know if Bush can be a sole every down running back, and opt to let McAllister go via a trade or free agency.


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