(Photo by Headlines-News.com)
With running backs like Bilal Powell, Tevin Coleman, and, even PUP-listed Dion Lewis having fantasy ownership of 40 percent or higher in standardized fantasy football leagues, it could lead you to conclude, "at least there is not this high of ownership of Tony Romo."
Except, in a culture where fantasy players literally believe in "expert advise" in drafting a fancy starting running back's backup, it should be absurdly shocking that one of the backups not highly owned is Philadelphia Eagles running back Kenjon Barner.
Barner is listed as a third-string running back as Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews are listed ahead of him. However, this might be misinformation to say the least as Sproles is not a traditional running back. He has been a pass-catcher primarily throughout his ten-year career. If an offense wanted to pass frequently, like in New Orleans and San Diego where quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Philip Rivers were known to put up monster numbers, Sproles' insertion would occur.
And the idea of making him a passing-only back makes sense as he has only had three seasons of carrying the ball five times or more, two of which he averaged fewer than 4.0 yards per carry.
But with the Eagles likely having to run the ball this season, having Barner are as a backup in fantasy would make sense as he can run the ball more traditionally than Sproles. In five total games between Weeks 11 and 17, Barner either had carries or targets in the passing game. During that stretch, he rushed for 124 yards on 28 carries (4.4 yards per carry), and may have shown signs of getting better as a pass catcher with his five catches for 21 yards on five targets.
Having an eye on or fantasy roster spot for him makes a lot of sense as Mathews has only played 16 games one time in his whole career. After all, since history shows that Sproles cannot start and is a "specialty back," the Eagles will turn immediately to Barner, as his 4.4 yards per carry on 5.6 attempts per game in 2015 is a far better running alternative than Sproles could ever be.