A Closer Look: Can Shonn Greene Finally Live Up To Fantasy Owners’ Expectations In 2012?

Can the Jets actually pick an identity and go with it?  One day you think they are going to be a team that is going to grind it out, using a rushing attack and strong defense.  The next day they are acquiring Tim Tebow and talking about using the Wildcat.  Then they are selecting Stephen Hill in the second round of the 2012 draft to strengthen their passing game.

So, what’s it going to be?  Are they going to bring the ground and pound led by Shonn Greene?

Is Tim Tebow ultimately going to be the focus of the offense?

Will they try to use Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Hill to throw the ball all across the field?

Well, I think we all know the last one is unlikely.  Impossible?  I guess not, but I wouldn’t be drafting Sanchez and company expecting huge results.  The fact is that, with Tebow waiting in the wings, all it is going to take is one or two bad quarters for the fans to start calling for a change at QB.

The truth is that the Jets should be a team focusing on their defense and running game, whether it’s Sanchez or Tebow under center.  We’ll soon find out if they actually go that way, which is one of the reasons that makes Shonn Greene such a questionable pick on draft day.

Unfortunately, his ability just adds to the question marks.

In 2009, without starting a single game, Greene picked up 540 yards on 108 carries (an average of 5.0 yards per carry).  He really flourished in the playoffs, rushing for over 125 yards in each of the first two games and totaling 304 yards on 54 carries (5.6 yards per carry).

It was understandable that fantasy owners got excited about what could be possible from Greene at that point.  He entered 2010 high on many draft boards but has since failed to live up to that hype:

  • 2010 – 766 yards (4.1 yards/carry) & 2 TD
  • 2011 – 1,054 yards (4.2 yards/carry) & 6 TD

He reached the 100 yard plateau just twice in 2011 and scored in just four games (he had 3 TD in one game).  In other words he did little to help fantasy owners to victory in most weeks.

Part of that is due to the team’s identity crisis and poor offensive line, though he also just simply didn’t get the job done.  There were 29 players with at least 100 carries in 2011 who posted a better average than Greene.  Also, a 226 lbs. back needs to be able to find the end zone more than he has throughout his career.

Before you trust Greene and select him on draft day, you need to realize that nothing may change in New York.  Yes, the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson leaves Greene with less competition for touches (Joe McKnight will operate as the second back)….  Well, you would think it would at least.  Don’t be surprised if Tebow starts to eat into Greene’s touches, especially at the goal line.

That means potentially no TD upside yet again for Greene, and no fantasy value either.  Considering he’s not going to add a lot of out of the passing game he needs to be scoring touchdowns to hold value.  If he’s not doing that, he’s a reserve fantasy option at best.

He’s one of the rare backs who could see the bulk of the carries, however, which does add to his potential appeal.  With a current ADP of 37.93, the 23rd running back off the board, it makes sense.  I would prefer to have him as a RB3 due to all the risk, though.  He does have potential, but there is also an awful lot of risk.  At this point, just be warned that Greene has the potential to be a complete bust.

What are your thoughts of Greene?  Do you think he will be successful in 2012?  Is he a player you are looking to target?

Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings:

ADP Analyses: Is Michael Vick Woth The Risk At His Current Draft Position?
Rookie Spotlight: A Look At Just How Good You Should Expect Trent Richardson To Be

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