Since entering the NFL in 2009, RB Donald Brown has been somewhat of a disappointment. He’s never held ludicrous projections, but as a former first-round pick, the bar was set fairly high for the former Connecticut Huskies running back. But only one time has he placed within the top 30 among RBs.
That moderately successful season was his last and final season with the Indianapolis Colts. He posted a career best, 123 fantasy points, large in part due to his eight total touchdowns. That was while only starting five games; backing up Trent Richardson. Though he’s now with the San Diego Chargers, his situation hasn’t changed all that much, yet he’s being drafted outside the top 50 of his position.
The biggest reason why people aren’t keen on Brown this season is that he’s backing up Ryan Mathews as well as Danny Woodhead. Brown’s used to only seeing a two-way timeshare, and can manage decent production with that split. But with three backs to see action, touches will be minimal. So as the RB3 on a pass-first offense, I’m ready to say, “Sell Donald Brown”. However, like Mathews getting injured in 2011, things happen that open up doors for people.
If one of the two players in front of him on the depth chart were to miss some time, I’d say Brown is a good flex option at least. With potential as a top 30 RB, that makes him a good fit at your flex position. He may not be able to produce on a consistent basis, but given the right matchup and opportunity, he can post over 20 points in a game (as he showed twice last season).
That’s the elongated answer to the title. You should buy Brown only when you need to, and there are extenuating circumstances that can make Brown profitable for your team. But as his current situation stands, he’s hardly a player I’ll be looking to draft even at the tail of my draft. Just remember him when your looking for replacements on the waiver wire down the home stretch of the season.