"Can I count on Roy Helu as
the Redskins feature RB the rest of 2011?"
Roy Helu has a
semi-shocking game this week. The hands-down
starting RB was a bit of a shock, but even
more shocking was the 17 pass-targets and 14
receptions for 105 yards. Now Helu has
become the "it" player of the week. The
question we are getting most often this week
-- "Can he be trusted to be the feature
think part of the question is driven by the
erratic nature of Mike Shanahan. Some
of the issue is, is Helu that talented? I
will address those two concerns, and one
additional item...and you can decide which
lane to take.
Roy Helu's talent..
After the 2011 NFL Draft
we wrote the following in ranking Helu as
our 8th best long-term prospect among the RB
.......#8 = Roy Helu,
Washington Redskins (Nebraska)...Helu has many
great physical measureables, he is big (5'11,
219) and yet extremely fast and agile...possibly
the most agile RB in the draft. He has huge
hands, which should translate into being a very
good receiving RB. His on-field college
performance was decent, we would have hoped for
better based on the measureables...but not bad.
He needs to get stronger to become an every down
RB in the NFL...he had a red-flag level low
bench press at the NFL Combine, and he is a
higher injury risk by the numbers in our system
analysis. Helu walks into a great situation with
the Redskins, and he could be the "speed RB" or
3rd-down RB right away in 2011. BEST COLLEGE
DATA MATCH = Felix Jones (with some Jamaal
Roy Helu could very well be
the X-factor of this group. There are some
things we see in the numbers that get us
excited, but there are a few red-flags of
concern. He may have a hard time jumping right
in to the fray in 2011, but with some weight
room work -- he could be the best RB in this
Helu did play right away, but
sparingly. However, the signs of being a legit
NFL RB was evident. From a talent perspective,
Helu is not only a legit 3rd-down RB...he is
potentially a good/great NFL RB.
We do think Helu is a slight
injury-risk, but that's a more long-term
argument. As a starter in Week-10, I'd be
excited. We are higher on Helu, then we are
DeMarco Murray from a talent standpoint...but
there are a lot of similarities. Given the
choice, Helu has some metrics in our system that
are elite characteristics...which makes us lean
toward him. All that to say, we like Helu a lot.
The Mike Shanahan
The real X-factor. There is
seemingly no rhyme or reason to Shanahan's RB
usage. I don't mean that as bad or good from an
NFL standpoint...but for Fantasy Football, it's
If you think that this great
Helu performance meant anything for definitive
for Week-10, you don't know Mike Shanahan.
It wasn't a few weeks ago that the Fantasy
Football world was all a buzz about Ryan
Torain running for 135 yards versus St.
Louis...now Torain is in Fantasy purgatory. It's
just not Torain 2011. It's Torain 2010, Larry
Johnson 2010, James Davis 2010,
Keiland Williams 2010, Clinton Portis
2010. It doesn't take much for Shanahan to
switch gears...and all we know about Helu so far
is, that he can catch a lot of dump passes from
a weak QB in a beat-down via San Fran.
Tashard Choice was once
a highly rated RB prospect. What happens if he
enters the game with a nice few runs? Shanahan
will proclaim him the greats RB since Tim
Hightower or Terrell Davis...and
then it will be Choice starting, or splitting.
You would want to think
Shanahan goes with the young/hot talent, but
that would be defying his track record of the
past 1.5 years. Be very, very, very (hold on I
just dropped Ryan Torain in another
league) cautious on over-playing your Redskins
The Schedule Storm
I really want to go all in on
Helu. To us, this is our DeMarco Murray
opportunity. We had grabbed/stashed Helu a bunch
when Hightower went down, and Torain fell short
with his first opportunity. Now I am thinking,
"a ha...I found my mid-season waiver RB who
turns into a star." Lee Corso just said
his famous line...
The schedule ahead of
run-defenses, simply put, is one of doom and
gloom for Helu. The team names may not seem it,
but our internal data screams it. Not always
because the defense is that great, it may be
that teams choose to pass all over them...and
skip a heavy run plan. Either way, the schedule
ahead for Helu/Choice/Torain/Riggins/Hillis
etc...whatever Shanahan pulls out of his butt,
is as follows:
Week-10 vs. Miami = In
our internal metrics, Miami is allowing 4th
lowest amount of FF PPG to RBs, and is in our
top-10 toughest against the run
Week-11 vs. Dallas = up
until the last two weeks, Dallas was a top-3
against the run. Now just mediocre, but still a
threat because of what they have been capable
Week-12 vs. Seattle = a
top-10 internal vs. the run
Week-13 vs. the Jets =
have been much easier on the run this year, but
they always strike fear...at a minimum they
don't allow for huge upside games.
Week-14 vs. New England
= the one defensive thing they excel at...just a
little better than NFL/FF average
Week-15 vs. NY Giants =
best opportunity of the rest of 2011, if you can
make it this far
Week-16 vs. Minnesota =
have been stout against the run, partly because
so dreadful against the pass.
No real easy games, or nice
opponent stretches for Helu/Redskins RBs in
there...pair that with a disaster of a passing
game/bad QBs, and this may not be the home run
we all hope.
Helu is definitely worth the
look no doubt, and he is an exciting talent with
upside...just be very wary of counting on him
"for sure" the rest of 2011.
In terms of a 10-point scale.
Helu is probably worth a 7-8 on talent, but is
worth a 5-6 based on schedule and Shanahan.
However, he has heated up to a 8-9 value. I say,
if you can exchange him for 8-9 value...for
something more secure, I would do it. Prior to
this week, Helu was a 3-4 at best. One bad game
next week, send him sailing backwards in value.
The only thing that has been consistent in
weighing Helu big output games vs. Shanahan's
tendency for being fickle with RBs...is
Shanahan's track record...so beware.