So you might have heard that the Texans began purging extra running backs off their roster like Stephen Spielberg and credibility. Sleeper of mine, Andre Brown? Cut. Dennis Johnson? Cut. Tim Cornett? Cut. The backup job behind Arian Foster is one of the most important in all of fantasy football because, let’s face it, the dude is probably unlikely to play 16 games. I ran through the myriad injury problems that Foster has had in his career in the Andre Brown article and the point remains the same: this is a guy coming off major back surgery who will be crunched under the weight of 300 pound men. That’s a risky proposition at best. With Brown, Cornett and Johnson out of the picture, the back up job is now between former LSU Tiger Alfred Blue and former New York Jet, Jon Grimes.
|Name||College||Height (in)||Weight (lbs)||40 Yard||Speed Score||Bench Press||Vert Leap (in)||Broad Jump (in)||Shuttle||3Cone||Agility Score||nQBDR|
|Alfred Blue||Louisiana State||74||223||4.63||97||13||32||121||4.5||7.15||11.65||12.1|
|Jon Grimes||William and Mary||70||207||4.55||97||23||38||125||4.03||6.84||10.87||74.2|
I’m gonna be super real here with you guys: there is not much to like here with Alfred Blue. About the only thing he has going for him is superior size at the running back position, where guys his size fare a lot better than guys Grimes’ size do. Jon Bales did original research that found that small school RB’s are significantly undervalued in both the NFL and fantasy drafts and Grimes perfectly fits that bill. He dominated the carries while he was at William and Mary, has awesome explosion scores and an elite agility score that would put him on par with LeSean McCoy, Doug Martin and Le’Veon Bell as a prospect. Grimes has never really gotten a crack in the NFL. In his short 2 year career, he’s been passed around by the Jets, Jags and the Texans and for a short time, and made sandwiches at a Jimmy John’s. In his lone career start, he posted 16 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown with 6 catches on 6 targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. Obviously we can’t extrapolate this information and say “Well obviously Grimes has the job” but…
Alfred Blue kind of sucks. He wasn’t only the back up to Jeremy Hill last year in a run heavy scheme at LSU, he was third string behind Hill and returning RB Terrance Magee. In fact, he was almost tied with 4th string duties, recording 3 more carries than Kenny Hilliard and only catching 5 passes all season. In fact, in Blue’s collegiate career, he only touched the ball 225 times or approximately two Bishop Sankey games. It’s incredibly rare for a running back to literally make no impact for his college and then become an NFL star. Just from a probability standpoint, think about how unlikely it is that someone who couldn’t cut it at the college running back position has what it takes to be a difference maker in the NFL. Take it a step further and he is deficient in every single athletic category other than size. He’s slow, lacks explosion and is downright awful in agility timing.
So what do the Texans see in him? I’m not really sure, but it’s obviously something. It’s unlikely that the team would jettison the only other veteran running back on the roster, a promising rookie and their 3rd string back from last year if they didn’t feel confident in Blue’s chances of making the 53. The other options currently on the roster for the 3rd string job would be the immortal Ronnie Brown or William Powell. Before writing this article, I wasn’t sure which side of the aisle I would sit on, but after some simple analysis, the answer is clear. Grimes graded out as the better prospect and at least has a one game sample of being a good running back in the NFL. I will continue to believe that whoever is the handcuff to Arian Foster is an incredibly valuable fantasy football commodity and will be adding Jonathan Grimes to both my dynasty and redraft rosters.