Fantasy Football
July 12, 2012 posted by Steve DeAngelo

2012 Fantasy Football: Fantasy Impact, Running Backs

2012 Fantasy Football: Fantasy Impact, Running Backs
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Welcome to the 2012 Fantasy Football season. Props to you for beginning your preparation for the upcoming season and getting a head start on your fellow league members. Fantasy Football is fun, but if you wanna be the best, then you gotta work for it and go that extra mile or three. 

From now until Week 1, we will be breaking down and analyzing three RB’s a week to get you ready. If you have any questions or comments leave them below or you can email me directly at 

Roy Helu, Washington Redskins


It’s hard to win the trust of Mike Shanahan, but Helu finally did start earning that trust around Week 11 of the 2011 season. Tim Hightower failed to impress early on and then tore his ACL in Week 7 ending his year. Shanahan then turned to a back he coached in Denver and always showed a likeness to in Ryan Torain. But Torain had some miserable performances and finally Helu got his chance. Helu took full advantage rushing for over 100 yards in weeks 11, 12 and 13.  Helu also had a 14 catch 105 yard performance in Week 8 displaying his receiving skills. Once Helu really got the reigns, he showed his burst, soft hands, explosiveness, elusiveness and displayed good balance.

Helu comes into his Sophomore season the favorite to lead the Skins in carries, despite Tim Hightower supposedly going to be named the starter. It’s hard to trust Shanahan, but he knows the talent he has in Helu. Helu is the better runner and probably the better receiver as well. He will be a somewhat underrated pick this season with high upside and is a perfect grab for PPR and Dynasty leagues. Target him with confidence.

David Wilson, New York Giants


Selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New York Football Giants, David Wilson is expected to fill the void at RB after Brandon Jacobs departed for San Francisco. The Giants were extremely high on the 5’10, 206 pound Virginia Tech product who won the A.C.C. player of the year award as well as running for 1,700 yards last season. Giants G.M. Jerry Reese has a knack for making solid selections in the Draft and Wilson should prove to be no exception. Reese wasn’t just impressed with his on the field skills, but off the gridiron as well, praising his “love for the game” and “good attitude”. Wilson has excellent speed as he ran a 4.4 at the combine, he also shows great balance, runs with power, force and can make people miss with his agility. Wilson also adds the skill of being a quality kick returner and displays good hands. The only knock on him is he had 7 fumbles last year causing for some concern. Also, it’s always important how well a rookie back will be able to block and it’s plays a big part on how many snaps the back will receive. However, these are minor issues that can be fixed with coaching and practice and they should not steer you away from grabbing this kid.

Ahmad Bradshaw will still be the main back in NY, but has been struggling with ankle and foot Problems throughout his career. The Giants took Wilson knowing that he will play right away and get a good amount of touches in his rookie season. Wilson should at least approach 150 carries at the minimum since that is what Brandon Jacobs was averaging the last two years. But Wilson is the better back, you can just tell by watching the two. Wilson runs with speed, power, quickness, is the better receiver while Jacobs as we all know loved to tip toe into the hole like he was trying to step on feathers.

With the amount of upside Wilson has and the fact that the Giants are so high on him, look for Wilson to get plenty of burn and have a very successful rookie season. The Giants run game struggled last year ranking last in the league and they will be relying on their first round pick to give them a boost. With Bradshaw’s injury history, Wilson could be looking at a expanded role and should deliver when called upon. Wilson might arguably be the most talented back of this rookie class and could prove to be when it is all said and done.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs


Jamaal Charles was primed for a huge year into 2011, but tore his ACL in week 2 which ended his season. He was being touted by many as the No. 1 RB in Fantasy and for good reason. In 2009 Charles ran for 1120 yards on 190 carries averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Proving that performance was no fluke, Charles backed up his 2009 season with 1467 yards on just 230 carries, averaging an insane 6.4 yards per carry in 2010.

Charles said he “guarantees” to be fully ready for the start of training camp. The injury did occur in Week 2 of last season, so he has had plenty of time to rehab. The question is how will he respond from the injury, will he have the same speed and explosiveness? Many owners will be taking the injury into account and no doubt a lot will pass or wait on him.

In contrast to last year, this year Charles has a ton of value, since a lot of owners will have lower expectations for him. But the Chiefs still are geared towards the run game with defensive minded Romeo Crennel and still possess one of the best run blocking offensive lines in the game. K.C. did acquire Peyton Hillis and Hillis will definitely be used in a lot of short-yardage and goal line situations, but don’t let that, as well as the injury deter you from going after Jamaal. Charles has virtually no tread on his tires. He has only played three seasons, is just 24 years old and has yet to exceed over 300 carries in a season. Like Thomas Jones did, Hillis will keep Jamaal fresh. Hillis will grind on defenses and Jamaal will be there to benefit as a result. Charles has excelled in this role before and will again.

Charles had 230 carries in ’10, expect close to or even more in 2012. An 1,800 total yard and 10 TD season is not out of the realm of possibility for Charles this season. Again, many owners will not want to take the risk, but in this case the reward heavily outweighs the risk and for that reason, Jamaal Charles should be on everybody’s radar.




Steve DeAngelo has been playing Fantasy Football since 1996 when he got started at the age of 14. His first team consisted of names like Terry Allen, John Elway and Michael Jackson. He is a lifetime North Jersey resident and a passionate Yankee and Jets fan. You can follow him on twitter @FantasySavvy

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