Minus Two


By Zack Cimini


Trending for potential overall fantasy points is always looked at on the basis of a cumulative average of anticipated touchdowns and yards. Predicting those variables has become some what of a measurable task and decent assessment for most fantasy analysts. The part that is becoming more overlooked is in the area of turnovers. Side stepping those marks of fumbles and interceptions can be a deadly move. Just ask Jay Cutler and Jake Delhomme owners last season. Most owners predicate their drafts based on running backs. The intangible points that come from a back can suddenly be offset by that minus two. Nothing is more frustrating than glancing at your stat tracker and seeing points taken off the board.

We take a look at some backs that have to be looked at from this perspective. Goal line fumbling is a big no-no, Matt Forte.

I may be a sleeper but will coach give me enough carries?

The following backs did not have what you would call huge seasons last year. In fact they had around 100 to 125 carries for a seasons worth. Yet they had sky high numbers when it came to fumbling the football. All these backs except for Steve Slaton are expected to have similar amounts of carries or even higher. A quick tempered coach in the NFL does not put up with issues as such unless you’re Adrian Peterson. Before the yank comes in terms of a back to permanently being seated on your fantasy bench or sent to the waiver wire, consider this.

Shonne Greene- He did enough in the playoffs to make the Jets think that he is their capable back for the next five to seven years. With only 108 regular season carries though he fumbled the football three times. New York likes to pound the football quite a bit. An average of near twenty carries a game for Greene makes him a hot commodity for upcoming fantasy drafts. Who knows maybe Greene was trying to impress too much during his limited time last year. You can believe opposing defensive coordinators know that Greene will and can place that ball on the ground. They’ll attack him with an array of strip tactics with swarming gang tackling to test him.

Steve Slaton- Talk about a rough sophomore season. Slaton went extremely high in most drafts last season. Late first round status in most leagues in fact. Sorry for those fantasy owners that had to endure Slaton as their number one back. What an ugly season that made for you. More than likely Slaton will be relegated to a third down back as they look to rookie Ben Tate. Slaton just didn’t show the same durability and coughed up the football five times on 131 carries.

Matt Forte- Everyone’s target to curse about weekly when it came to why they’re team was not winning. It’s still mind boggling how a back so young can have a phenomenal rookie season and just lose all ability a year later. There was no excuse for it. Correlating his poor production with his fumbling issues would be a reasonable assessment, but we’re not buying it. Forte is scattered on most fantasy rankings but should belong as a bottom tier second back if that. He’ll be hard pressed to ever duplicate his rookie season.

Darren McFadden- Who would of thought that Felix Jones could end up being the better overall running back? It just goes to show how much different college football is compared to the NFL. It’s a mans world on so many different levels not just the aspect of talent that gets so many college athletes by. McFadden has yet to adjust to NFL speed and will likely be behind Michael Bush when week one comes. You’re a top five pick and carry the football 104 times and fumble four. As Chris Berman would say, “COME ON MAN”.

Take -10 please with Beanie Wells and Hightower

If Minnesota is using a purple overweight medicine ball shaped like a football to try and cure Adrian Peterson’s fumbling issues, than out in Arizona they will need too invent a one upper. Last year a prime reason Kurt Warner was drilled and laid flat on his back so often was because of Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells. Poor pass protectors and a knack for dropping the pigskin. Beanie Wells is probably going to earn a higher share of carries from the almost 50/50 last season. You’ve got to be worried on how he will handle the burden of an extra five to eight carries a game. Fumbling issues do not go away in one season. A territory of five fumbles could be in sight for Wells.

Take -12 please with Adrian Peterson

The constant talk of AP fixing his issues when it comes to fumbling are as prevalent as Brett Favre playing at age 41. Unless AP redefines the way he attacks opposing defenders than he will continue to be prone to this issue. Almost all his fumbles except against the Saints came when fighting for extra yards and trying to attack the opposing defender. Sure he can carry the ball higher and tighter to his chest. How many times though has he offset his fumbles with a daring leveling of a defender and then bursting for extra yardage? A ton. So with Peterson were not as worried that his fumbling will be as big a deal as advertised.


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