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Shanahan's backs to keep people guessing again
Posted Apr. 30 at 10:08 PM
First in Denver and now in Washington, Mike Shanahan's depth chart at running back is annually fascinating. His tendency to roll out productive runners from late-round picks, undrafted players, and converted fullbacks is well-documented.
So although it was exciting in fantasy circles when Washington traded up to select Nebraska runner Roy Helu in yesterday's fourth round, that enthusiasm had to be tempered by the team selecting Penn State's Evan Royster two rounds later. Helu would seem to be the favorite to shove Shanahan favorite Ryan Torain and backup Keiland Williams out of the starting line next year, but don't rule out lesser light Royster, either.
While Shanahan's success with running backs hasn't been so pronounced in recent years -- remember, he once used a third-round pick on Maurice Clarett -- both Torain and Williams had weeks where they helped fantasy coaches last season. Next season, it seems likely that either Helu or Royster will do the same.
It's a situation to watch in training camp, assuming there is one, and the exhibition season. In the article, Shanahan lauds Helu's speed, and since they traded up for him, and took him two rounds earlier, you have to make him the early favorite. But Shanahan's history with guys like Mike Anderson and Reuben Droughns suggests Royster is also a strong possibility to emerge.
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