2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics
Pros: Maroney still has the size to be a featured back; he ran a little tougher last year, absorbing more contact and challenging defenders more often overall. After a rough five-game opening stretch, he stepped up when injuries ravaged the backfield. He averaged 73.1 offensive yards, 0.9 rushing touchdowns and 3.9 red zone uses on 17.4 utilizations per game from Week 6 on. Not a bad recovery from a broken shoulder.
Cons: He had trouble hanging on to the pigskin. New England loves to get cute with its backfield use, incorporating Kevin Faulk, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. His average yards per carry declined as the year went on and he gained more work. Maroney remains tentative overall, often dancing too much before reaching the line of scrimmage. Would the Pats cut Maroney if he doesn't show improvement in camp? They rarely hesitate to plug in another piece if a vet isn't performing.
Fantasy tip: The 25-year-old has fallen short of expectations in fantasy and reality, but he still carries the upside to be a No. 3 fantasy back. The best part is he's being drafted as a No. 4 in most formats, so there's still some growth potential, as tiring as that saying becomes for him every year. Feeling lucky? A notable summer commitment to improving his ball security will go a long way toward increasing his workload. Just don't forget about the Pats' potential backfield roulette.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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