As I was reading Chase Goodbread's piece, "Putting Kiffin's Talk to the Test: Identifying NFL's Top RB trios," it really left me feeling as if something was missing. The article begins on the topic of Alabama's offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin, confidently stating that his backfield trio is as good as any tri-stud combo. These are the five teams Goodbread puts to the test:
- Seattle Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael
- Buffalo Bills: C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown
- San Francisco 49ers: Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Carlos Hyde
- Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, James Starks, Jonathan Franklin
- Philadelphia Eagles: LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Chris Polk
Now, don't get me wrong, these are fantastic backfields--especially the well roundedness of the Buffalo Bills (which could be the scariest trio), Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Team We Aren't Talking About
However I believe that when looking at "trios," Seattle should not be thrown into the mix as Marshawn is the clear cut workhorse there, with some help from Turbin and that's about it. But there is one team I want to throw out there. Not because they belong in the top 5, but because they certainly haven't had the chance to establish being considered a top 5 (they may not even come close) but they have to leave you wondering--"What if?"
The Oakland Raiders
Their notable trio will be Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, and let's not forget the Pro Bowl full back Marcel Reece. The race for the starting running back position between MJD and Run DMC has got me on the edge of fantasy football ecstasy. Yes, MJD is about 2-3 years removed from his prime and McFadden never really hit a prime.
But the amount of talent and potential between just those two backs, IF--and that's a strong if--everything fell into place and neither catch the injury bug, then wow. With very high risk, but potentially great reward, this can be a backfield to grab some attention.
Although they think they are competing for that starting spot, they both will become a tandem that not many will want to reckon with. Between MJD being an inside wrecking ball and McFadden's ability to be an outside whirlwind... sprinkle in the pro bowl full back Marcel Reece here and there, and you can have yourself a trio to be talking about.
Getting back to my strong IF, to declare MJD and Run DMC's fantasy value--it is too early. We need to see progression in the race before making any assumptions. But as said before, their fantasy value contains very high risk, but has the potential to reward great performance.