Handicapping fantasy RB tandems

Why Johnathan Franklin could be better than Eddie Lacy and more

Originally Published: May 30, 2013
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Johnathan FranklinKelley L Cox/US PresswireJohnathan Franklin could end up getting more carries than Eddie Lacy in Green Bay.

In the world of NFL fantasy football running backs, carries are paramount to success. On teams with a bell cow ballcarrier, it is obvious who will be getting the bulk of those all-important rushing attempts and those players are the ones who end up as first-round picks.

When it comes to teams with split backfields, the carry distribution level oftentimes looks clear at first glance, as one back will seemingly have an edge in the battle for the top rushing role.

But that advantage can disappear upon closer examination, and the metrics and scouting eye notes can illustrate how some RBs that look like they will be filling a secondary role may actually end up as that team's leading fantasy rushing point-scorer.

Here are four instances where the favorite may give way to a perceived understudy during the 2013 NFL season.

Green Bay Packers

Perceived lead back: Eddie Lacy

Contender: Johnathan Franklin

There are many reasons to think Lacy will be Green Bay's No. 1 ballcarrier. He was rated much higher in most pre-draft analyses in large part because, according to ESPN Stats & Information, his 6.48 yards per carry was tops among BCS conference running backs with 200 or more rush attempts. That number is even more notable considering he posted the bulk of those yards against SEC-caliber defenses.


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