Which Redskins Running Back Should You Draft?
Alfred Morris and Tim Hightower sat out the Washington Redskins preseason finale on Wednesday night, likely meaning one of the two running backs will start for the team in week one. While that appears to be a distinct possibility, both Roy Helu and Evan Roster may make it difficult for Mike Shanahan and co. to make a final decision heading into the first week.
In turn, the Redskins’ backfield situation is going to make it awfully hard for fantasy owners to make a call, as well.
Helu returned from soreness in both Achilles tendons to erupt for 124 total yards and two touchdowns in the preseason finale versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Helu once again displayed his impressive versatility and explosiveness, while Royster showed he was healthy by rushing for 44 yards and a touchdown of his own off of just 10 carries.
Royster is obviously the more pedestrian rusher of the two, but he’s very effective and is arguably the tougher and more durable option. If Morris and Hightower didn’t exist, it would be easy to assume Royster would get early and goal-line work, with Helu providing a change of pace and stepping in on third downs.
Unfortunately, it’s never that easy with a Mike Shanahan offense, and fantasy owners are in for a rough week trying to predict which runner to use heading into the first week of the season.
Helu remains the most explosive option, but Alfred Morris possesses and interesting combination of speed and strength, and certainly can’t be ignored. Now that he’s healthy again, I’m sheepishly putting Helu above all other Redskins backs heading into the season, but with little confidence.
I’m putting Morris second due to his talent and the likelihood that any of the other three backs can suffer an injury – quite easily considering their injury history. Royster falls in line as the third best option, while Hightower isn’t even healthy yet, and just can’t be trusted more than the others at this point.
The fact is, Washington’s backfield is a situation to avoid. All four backs make an argument as a flier pick, but none can be relied on as long as the team uses what appears to be a fluid RBBC approach. Look elsewhere for your gem back off your bench if you can.