If Ronnie Brown hadn’t been injured in ’07 we could easily be talking about him with the likes of Adrian Peterson, MJD and Michael Turner, but he did and we have to read the tea leaves or if we are trying to see how much time he’ll split with Ricky Williams, the cannabis leaves. He’s a bust, he’s a sleeper, he’ll get more carries, he’ll get less carries, he can’t hold up with a full workload, there are a lot of projections for Brown, but the facts are, he’s over a year removed from his acl injury, he’s a powerful runner, he’s fast, he can catch the ball out of the backfield, he has an accurate ball control QB, and he is in a contract year (unless he gets reupped during camp).
The numbers for running backs always seem to increase the second season back from major injuries. Of course there are many factors for this and I am only the six-shooting, drunk kind of doctor, but hesitation seems to be a big problem for players just off major surgery. Tom Brady may feel some of that this year, but he also isn’t pounding into lineman and linebackers every play. With a season to get comfortable and another offseason to heal and condition, Brown should be poised for a good year.
In 2007, in just 7 games, Brown had 119 rushing attempts for 602 yards and 4 TD’s and 39 receptions for 389 yards and 1 TD. That’s 2265 projected total yards on a bad Dolphins team. Ricky Williams seems more concerned with giving his coaches massages and he is getting older by the day (unlike the rest us!). Reports are that Brown has regained all his speed and is in great condition (I know, could be bull), but who else are you going to draft with 2,000 total yard upside and an ADP of 28? I’ve been grabbing him toward the end of the 2nd round and beginning of the 3rd. When you look at the running backs going just before him it’s hard to find much stability. You can hear Brian Westbrook’s knee grinding bone on bone. Brandon Jacobs has the agility of a Mack truck so he doesn’t avoid contact all that often and because he is 8’6” 337 lbs. he has to be tackled at the knees to be brought down, a fairly vulnerable spot. Clinton Portis is so old he gets injured just putting on those George Clinton glasses.
Brown will always be an injury risk after his ACL surgery, but his upside and draft position make him a fine canidate for a breakout fantasy player this year. We’re projecting: rushing: 1250 yds/9 tds, receiving: 40 rec/375 yds/2 tds.