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Friday tweetbag: Talking trades, Torain and (again) Tebow

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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Shanahan

Not surprisingly, the Washington Redskins backfield mess has been the subject of a significant number of Twitter questions this week. Part of me wants to redirect all of these inquiries to @YahooNoise — he's the one guru who actually seems to like this latest Shanahan pileup — but that would not be fair to him. So I've been answering your Ryan Torain and Tim Hightower questions, though I've done it without much enthusiasm.

Hightower was a limited participant in Friday's practice (shoulder issue). There's talk that he'll remain the starter for Washington, although there's no reason to expect him to be the finisher. Torain is coming off a 135-yard rushing performance at St. Louis, and, for a week, he's the Washington back I'd prefer to own. But that should not be considered an endorsement of this committee.

Here's the way I'd approach Torain, if I'd invested in him...

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tweet - Torain

The tweet above is part of a back-and-forth exchange that dealt with a sit/start dilemma and a proposed Torain deal. Again, I'm no fan of the Washington RB situation long-term, but you have to appreciate the match-ups over the next three weeks: vs. Philadelphia, then at Carolina and at Buffalo. So far this season, the Eagles defense has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs (by a mile); the Panthers rank third and the Bills rank ninth. If you're looking to perfectly time a Torain deal, I'd recommend holding for a week or two, then cashing out.

Here's another trade-related question...

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tweet - Nicks for Gore

If I were to re-rank the entire player pool right now, I might place Hakeem Nicks 8-10 spots ahead of Frank Gore. This deal is hardly a clear win. But if LeGarrette Blount is the best running back on your roster, then you need to make a move, desperately. (Blount won't play in Week 6 due to an MCL injury, and there's a strong chance he'll miss additional time. He reportedly has a Grade 2 tear). At this point in the fantasy season, trades are entirely about team needs. I can't say exactly what Kruggers' receiving corps looks like, but he obviously feels OK about it — and, more importantly, his fantasy backfield is a big flaming disaster. The Blount-and-scrubs approach won't carry anyone to the playoffs. So it can be worth taking a small hit in a trade if you nonetheless improve your starting roster.

Speaking of scrubs...

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tweet - Brown & Carter

I've responded to plenty of questions this week involving Donald Brown and Delone Carter. Both backs should see an increase in touches in Week 6, with Joseph Addai presumably sidelined by a hamstring injury. But hopefully I haven't given anyone the impression that I'm actually bullish on either Brown or Carter. That's not the case. As a team, Indianapolis ranks No. 30 in the NFL in rushing right now, per their usual. (The Colts have been a bottom-five rushing offense every season since '08). They're also facing a quality run defense on the road in Week 6; the Bengals' D has allowed just 3.2 yards per carry so far this year. Ideally, you won't have to start a Colts back this weekend. If you need to hit the discard pile for a one-week RB, I'd prefer Earnest Graham.

And here's one last tweet, because no blog post this week would be complete without a Tim Tebow mention...

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tweet - Tebow & Knowshon


Little else needs to be said about Tebow's fantasy potential, obviously. We've already discussed it here, here, here, here, here, here and here. So he's well covered.

Knowshon Moreno is a semi-interesting subject, however. He'd completely disappeared from Denver's offense until he took a screen pass 28 yards to the end zone last Sunday. Thousands of fantasy owners have kicked Moreno to the curb over the past two weeks, as Willis McGahee has emerged as the primary ball-carrier for the Broncos. There's really only one direction for Knowshon to move, value-wise, and we can reasonably expect John Fox's team to be unusually run/screen-heavy with Tebow at the controls. (The team has reportedly tossed Brandon Lloyd on the trade block, just for the record). So perhaps we should think of Moreno as a lottery ticket — scratch-off game, not the Powerball — and give him a second look. He's available in 47 percent of Yahoo! leagues. But no, I still wouldn't be eager to start him in Week 7.

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