Sep 28, 2009

Are the Saints the new Broncos?

Look out fantasy football fans. The league's top offense, and one of the top fantasy football producers, has a firmly established running game.

Check out these stats through three week: 490 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. Those are great fantasy football numbers, but unfortunately, those rushing totals are shared by not two, not three, but four running backs. Now you see the Denver Broncos comparison.

Former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan was a well-known figure to fantasy football players. Shanahan's running back by committee approach killed many a fantasy team, but at the end of the season, Denver always ended up with a top running back who usually topped 1,000 yards.

Now look at the Saints this year. Mike Bell, who ironically got his NFL start in Denver, is the leading rusher with 229 yards and a touchdown, but he hurt his knee last week. Pierre Thomas is now second on the team in rushing after not even carrying the ball in the first half against the Bills. He has 126 yards and two touchdowns. Reggie Bush is still getting his touches and is involved in both rushing, receiving and returning punts. He has 111 yards rushing and a touchdown. Now throw in Lynell Hamilton, who got his first NFL carry this week and finished with 24 yards and a touchdown and you see the dilemma.

For fantasy fans, what do you do with Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and Mike Bell (when he returns healthy)? How is Sean Payton going to split up the workload? You know Reggie Bush will still be a big part of the offense but that doesn't mean in the running game, and Thomas and Bell will take carries from each other. Both Bell and Thomas looked great when they got the chance to carry the load, but both have knee injuries.

It looks like the Saints will soon have a three-headed-monster running attack and that means headaches for fantasy football owners. But for Saints fans, as long as the team keeps producing on the field and in the win column, they'll take the production any way they can get it. Heck, fullback Heath Evans has some big fantasy days on his resume. Don't be surprised to see him in the mix and take a few touchdowns away from the others.

The bad news for me, I have Reggie Bush on my fantasy team. I'll take wins by the Saints any day, but having a fantasy player on my favorite team adds a little something on Sundays. So look I look forward to the rest of the season and seeing what running back 1a, 1b and 1c can do. But determining which order the a, b and c go, I have no clue.

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