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Friday, August 30, 2013
Fantasy implications of Andre Brown injury

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com


Not that this is the top concern of the New York Giants or their fans, but Andre Brown's fractured leg affects the Giants' running back situation in a way that matters big-time to fantasy football players.

Second-year running back David Wilson, who has the kind of top-end speed and big-play ability that makes fantasy football players salivate, has been a hot name in fantasy drafts all summer. If you've been reading me regularly, you know that I've been pouring some cold water on Wilson's fantasy prospects, largely because of the presence of Brown, who was in line to steal touchdowns as the goal-line back and had been getting all of the third-down work in the preseason because the Giants' coaches trust him more in pass protection than they trust Wilson there. I've had Giants running backs in fantasy in the past, and the team's insistence on splitting carries makes them frustrating to own. So I've been preaching caution with regard to the Wilson hype.

But Brown's hurt now, and will have to miss at least some games, even though he said Thursday night he doesn't think he'll be out long. While this shakes up the Giants' plans for their running game, I think it helps you if you have Wilson on your fantasy team. The Giants may still look for another option (either internal or external) on third downs while Wilson continues to master their protection schemes, but it's possible they end up giving him a shot at three-down duty. And even if they don't, Wilson is likely to pick up those goal-line carries that were ticketed for Brown, since that arrangement was based on Brown's proficiency in that area rather than any deficiency on Wilson's part.

Wilson's average draft position in fantasy drafts has been the early part of the third round. Until last night, I felt like that was too high a price to pay for him because I didn't think he was in line for full-time starter's duty. But as long as Brown is out, Wilson's opportunity is likely to increase. And you only have to watch him run one time to see that he could be a huge fantasy asset if he gets enough chances.