Lions acquire veteran RB Brown from Eagles

Posted Oct. 18, 2011 @ 4:14 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Updated Oct. 18, 2011 @ 7:59 p.m. ET

The Lions, needing insurance for their rushing attack, have acquired RB Ronnie Brown from the Eagles for RB Jerome Harrison and a 2013 draft choice.

Brown, who was signed by the Eagles over the summer, will back up starter Jahvid Best in Detroit. Best has a history of injury concerns and had to leave the team's Week Six game because of a concussion. It is unknown if he will be able to play this upcoming Sunday vs. the Falcons.

Playing for the Dolphins for most of his career, Brown is a physical back who didn't really find a place in the Eagles offense. He was inactive the past two games after a costly goal-line fumble in Week Four against the 49ers.

Harrison re-joins the Eagles after playing eight games for the team last season. He saw very little playing time with the Lions, rushing just 14 times in four games. He'll likely be the third-stringer in Philadelphia, behind LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis.

 

The way we see it

This trade is a win for everybody involved. Brown, who had fallen out of favor in Philadelphia, gets a chance to play for a contending team that was in desperate need of a quality backup. The Eagles get a player in Harrison who they are comfortable with and who can play the short-yardage role.

 

PFW's fantasy spin

This is a great move for Fantasyland as the Lions have been hoping someone could step up and help keep Jahvid Best healthy enough to play a full season. Ronnie Brown, a veteran who can immediately contribute, is that player. Brown should be familiar with the playbook as Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was the Dolphins' coordinator in 2005, Brown's rookie season. 

Best is the starter, and although Brown took a statistical drop in 2010, going 200-734-5 rushing, 33-242-0 receiving, he should have enough gas in the tank to be productive in one of the league's more prolific offenses. If he has anything left, his role will grow into a time-share to keep both backs fresh. In the long run this could hurt Best's overall fantasy value.

Generally, the waiver wire is usually bereft of backs, so when a player like Brown is thrust into the position he's in, a potential weekly contributor, you grab and stash him. With Best's injury and concussion history, there's a good chance Brown could eventually start a game or two down the road.  He makes a handcuff to Best with upside and should be drafted by all owners.

Jerome Harrison, as an Eagle, has less value than he did as a Lion. At this time, he has no value outside the handcuff to LeSean McCoy.