How much will LaDainian Tomlinson affect the fantasy value of Shonn Greene?
Is Greene ready for fantasy prime time? Few other questions have elicited more passionate responses heading into the 2010 season than that one. OK, so it's not exactly health-care or immigration reform, but it's as polarizing as it gets for this trivial pursuit of ours.
It's also not the question at the top of this page, but it's a very close relative. If you're in the camp that believes Greene is ready to be the man in New York, then Tomlinson's presence is moot. Think Chris Johnson and LenDale White in Tennessee in 2009. (Apologies for comparing L.T. to White.)
If, on the other hand, you don't believe that a couple of big postseason games is enough for you to drop a first-round fantasy draft pick on Greene, you're probably of the mindset that the 31-year-old Tomlinson will get enough touches to eat into Greene's value.
Here's one vote for the latter camp.
For one thing, coach Rex Ryan has already said as much. (About L.T.'s touches, that is; as far as we know, he hasn't commented on Greene's fantasy value.) Furthermore, the rush-heavy Jets likely have little interest in running Greene into the ground in just his second season. Tomlinson also is a better pass catcher than Greene and figures to be on the field on third down.
Add to that a couple of intangibles: L.T.'s exit from San Diego was not especially graceful, and there's a good chance he'll run with a bit of a chip on his shoulder as a member of the Jets. Tomlinson also has a nose for the goal line perhaps not seen since the likes of Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen.
Fantasy leaguers should also consider that at the age of 33, Allen joined the Chiefs in 1993. Presumed washed up after rushing for only 301 yards and two touchdowns in 1992, Allen flourished while carrying the ball 10 to 15 times a game with his new team. He ran for 764 yards, led the league with 12 rushing touchdowns, and went on to play four more seasons.
Bottom line: Tomlinson still has enough left in the tank to keep Greene from providing first-round fantasy value - for 2010, anyway.