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Wells sits and Moreno gets hurt, but other rookie RBs have solid debuts

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Michael Blunda

Coming off last season's bonanza of rookie rushers making an instant impact, fantasy owners are eager to see if the 2009 RB class can follow suit. So far, so good.

Other than first-rounders Knowshon Moreno (injured his knee at S.F., likely out 1-2 weeks) and Beanie Wells (sat out with a bad ankle), first-year backs made a solid showing in their preseason debuts. Here's a rundown of how the top drafted ones fared through Sunday:

  • No rookie RB had a better week than the Lions' Aaron Brown, who scored on a 32-yard run and again on a 45-yard receptions, finishing with six carries for 47 yards and two grabs for 51 yards vs. Atlanta. The sixth-rounder from TCU is far from a household name, but more performances like this could give him a shot to unseat Maurice Morris as Kevin Smith's primary backup. He's someone to watch in larger leagues.
  • Another Brown, the Colts' Donald, had himself an impressive first game vs. Minnesota, carrying the ball five times for 58 yards, including a 38-yard gallop. Although we still don't know how exactly he'll split time with Joseph Addai, it's obvious that the Connecticut product has some talent and deserves a sizable role.
  • LeSean McCoy has been drawing rave reviews at Eagles camp, and he showed why by picking up 55 yards on 10 carries and 12 yards on two catches vs. the Pats. With Brian Westbrook still bothered by an ankle injury, the former Pitt Panther should get more opportunities to showcase his skills this preseason, which could lead to a larger role when the games count.
  • With the Jets' backfield situation somewhat in flux, Shonn Greene has a chance to earn himself some playing time with a nice preseason. He got off to a pretty good start, running nine times for 45 yards vs. the Rams. Although 34 of those yards came on oen run, the bulky Iowa product at least showed the ability to break off a big run.
  • 49ers RB Glen Coffee further entrenched himself as Frank Gore's top backup with a 14-carry, 67-yard effort vs. Denver. He's a must-handcuff for Gore owners.
  • It technically wasn't his debut (he did little last week in the HOF Game), but Tennessee's Javon Ringer came to play this week vs. the Bucs, ripping off a 36-yard TD run and finishing with seven attempts for 51 yards. It would take an injury for him to have any fantasy value, but Chris Johnson owners might be wise to snag Ringer in the last couple rounds.
  • Considering that Cedric Benson is their No. 1 RB, it's very possible that the Bengals will need to rely on another back at some point this season. That guy could be Bernard Scott, a sixth-round pick with loads of potential. He fared OK in limited time at New Orleans (6-30 rushing, 1-12 receiving) and will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

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