Andre Brown was out until November last season due to a preseason broken leg, but he immediately became worthy of a roster spot in fantasy football leagues with 424 rushing yards (two 100-yard games) over the next five games. He also landed on the radar of fantasy owners in 2012 with the New York Giants, with 385 yards and eight touchdowns, but Brown signed with the Houston Texans as a free agent and will become Arian Foster’s backup this year.
Brown has been productive around the goal line over the last two seasons, with 10 touchdowns on 17 carries inside the five-yard line in that span (8-for-11 in 2012). Brown had 20 receptions in eight games for the Giants last year, so his production as a pass catcher has a chance to bolster his fantasy value nicely if he gets a chance to step into an every-down role.
Foster missed essentially nine games last year with a back injury, and he’ll turn 28 before the season starts. If he misses multiple games again, Brown’s fantasy stock would rise significantly.
Brown has his own injury history, as he’s now broken his left leg twice and also suffered a concussion late last season. Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien has said he sees Brown as strictly an early down back, so even if Foster were to miss time he may not step into a workhorse role.
Brown averaged just 3.5 yards per carry with the Giants last season, so somewhere between that and 2012 (5.3 yards per carry) might be a reasonable expectation for him this year.
Foster is likely to take the majority of the goal line work for the Texans, and rightfully so with 41 rushing touchdowns from 2010-2012, which would further minimize Brown’s fantasy potential as his backup.
Brown has value as a handcuff for owners that draft Foster, but beyond that there’s not much appeal to fantasy owners that simply seek running back depth late in drafts and auctions. Even among backups to other top tier running backs, I’d rather have Christine Michael, James Starks, Knile Davis and a few others before Brown.
Bye Week: Week 10
Projected Round: 13th or 14th Round
Auction Value: $1
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter.