SI Vault
 
5 Minute Fantasy
David Sabino
August 21, 2006
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK They were backfieldmates at Auburn, they were both top five picks in the 2005 draft, and they're both starters on playoff-caliber NFL teams. So which one should you pick for your fantasy team?
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 21, 2006

5 Minute Fantasy

View CoverRead All Articles

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
They were backfieldmates at Auburn, they were both top five picks in the 2005 draft, and they're both starters on playoff-caliber NFL teams. So which one should you pick for your fantasy team?

RONNIE BROWN
RB, DOLPHINS
The second pick in the '05 draft, Brown split time with Ricky Williams last year, averaging 4.4 yards on 207 carries with five total TDs. His big game came against Carolina in Week 3 (132 yards), but he had only one other 100-yard game. History is against him: The most rushing TDs scored by a back playing with Daunte Culpepper is Moe Williams's 11 in 2002.

VS

CADILLAC WILLIAMS
RB, BUCCANEERS
The fifth pick in the '05 draft, Williams averaged 4.1 yards on 290 carries last season as Tampa Bay's primary back, breaking the 100-yard mark six times. At 5'11" and 217 pounds, he's slightly smaller than the 6-foot, 232-pound Brown. History is against him, too: The most rushing TDs scored by a back under Jon Gruden is Tyrone Wheatley's nine in 2000.

THE VERDICT
It's a close call between the two players, who haven't yet reached the NFL's upper echelon. The edge goes to Brown based on increased playing time this season, an upgraded Dolphins offense and the lack of a quality change-of-pace back to spell him. -- David Sabino

DEEP THINKERS
Read Peter King's 10 Fantasy Things I Think I Think and analysis from David Sabino at SI.com/fantasy.

JEFFRI CHADIHA
THE INSIDE MAN
Comeback Kid
On the mend after knee surgery, Javon Walker is primed for a climb up the receiver rankings

JAVON WALKER decided one thing early on: He wasn't going to play with any sort of knee brace. The last thing the Broncos wide receiver wanted was another mental hurdle to clear during the rehab process. Walker, who suffered a torn right ACL last September with the Packers, wasn't swayed by the added comfort and support that even an elastic sleeve could provide for his surgically repaired knee. He would work it back to where he could play without worrying about it buckling.

Drafting a player who's coming back from a serious injury is always a gamble for fantasy owners, but Walker could very well prove to be worth the risk. By not babying himself he has been able to cut confidently on pass routes. Neither has he been tentative when it comes to leaping for balls in traffic. Most encouraging, he made it through his first two weeks of camp without any soreness or swelling in the joint.

Walker is about 10 months removed from surgery--doctors told him that it takes a year to get back to normal--and says he's about 80 to 85% recovered. At his rehab pace he looks like a solid No. 2 fantasy receiver. Even if he doesn't produce the stats he achieved during his breakout season of 2004 (89 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns), he should still put up good numbers in an offense that will be more aggressive this season.

Continue Story
1 2 3