2013 Fantasy Football Week Three Bust: Willis McGahee

By Dustin Manko
Willis McGahee
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Soppe made a good analogy earlier today in reference to Trent Richardson now being the lead running back for the Indianapolis Colts, in which he compared Richardson to an experienced waiter who just started at a new restaurant on a busy evening. He concludes that Richardson might not be the best play this week due to lack of time to learn the playbook, timing and nuances of the Colts compared to the Cleveland Browns.

He has a valid point. That same point is why Willis McGahee will be a week three fantasy football bust. McGahee hasn’t played a down of NFL football since late November of 2012. He didn’t play the final six games of the regular season or play in the playoffs. He was cut by the Denver Broncos this summer after two seasons due to health concerns.

Let that sink in. Cut by the Broncos in favor of Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball.

McGahee had a respectable 4.4 yards per attempt in his last season in Denver. However, that was with arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in Peyton Manning at the helm. That was with weapons like Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Joel Dreessen. Oppositions rightly respected the passing attack of the Broncos, which in turn opened up the running game.

No offense to Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden, but they are nowhere near the same level as Manning. Without a Manning like threat at quarterback in Cleveland, McGahee will not have the same luxury of relatively empty boxes to run against.

Now add to that the Browns travel this weekend to play the Minnesota Vikings at home. The Vikings have a very solid defense, and are one of the preferred plug and plays for D/ST in fantasy football this week. Granted McGahee will receive the majority of the rushing attempts, but only has three days to learn the playbook, timing and nuances of the Cleveland offense. Not to mention that we all know you just don’t get back to football shape immediately, just ask Robert Griffin III.

Looking at the longer term, McGahee will be the back to own in Cleveland. But do you really want to put any fantasy eggs in that basket? Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon are the only real threats on the offense. There is a quarterback carousel going around, as reports are populating that Weeden might not have the job when he gets over his hand injury. On top of that, how many touches do you think McGahee will get from a team that figures to be losing almost every game for the rest of the season? Looking at their schedule I count three games where the Browns have at least a decent shot at winning, against the Buffalo Bills (week five) the Jacksonville Jaguars (week 13) and the New York Jets (week 16). I’ll even go so far to say that the Bills and Jets should win those games.

So before you go out and burn your waiver wire spot, or drop someone decent for McGahee, think for a second. Think about the schedule. Think about the lack of weapons around him. Think about the quarterback carousel. Think about RG3 still looking rusty after having less of a layoff than McGahee, and consider how much greater an athlete RG3 is.

Do you still think you want McGahee?

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/2013/09/18/2013-fantasy-football-how-does-richardson-trade-impact-jordan-cameron/

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