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Marion Barber: Down But Not Out | 2010 NFL Fantasy Outlook

Dallas Cowboys Marion Barber against the Eagles in Texas

Can you hear that jingle-jangle sound?

It’s the sound of Marion Barber’s fantasy value dropping as rumors continue to swirl that Felix Jones could be the starting tailback  in Dallas this season. While Barber may end up as the second running back for the Cowboys, I do believe writer David Moore is correct that he will still be a factor in this offense.

Disappointment Sets In

For the past couple seasons Barber’s fantasy value has been in the top three rounds or so. In 2008, many thought that Barber would dominate as Julius Jones finally left the team and Barber would be the feature running back. Barber did start the season strong but injury and ineffectiveness killed fantasy owners down the stretch.

Coming into last season most fantasy owners weren’t fooled by the hopes of Barber’s hype from the year before and the talented runner fell a few rounds down as many teams had him pegged for a strong No.2 fantasy back.

Again Barber had poor returns in his starting role and struggled to play the way he did just a few years before.

Time To Buy Low

I hate to say it, but I’m actually routing for Barber to lose his starting job as fantasy owners will drop him farther down the list on their cheat sheets and go for the talented (injury prone) Jones instead. Especially when you factor in that Tashard Choice is still on the team, it’s easy to see that Barber won’t be the runner many had projected him to be just a few short years ago.

That disappointment could make Barber drop even further down the rankings this summer when fantasy owners engage at draft day. There will probably even be a few hecklers in the room that scuff when Barber’s name is called in the draft room.

Laughter is perfectly fine with me because the way I see it, this is the exactly when he will bounce back and start producing once again.

Fantasy Outlook for Marion Barber

While I do like Barber’s chances this season if he returns to the No.2 spot in the running rotation, I’m not suggesting you should draft him as a No.2 for your fantasy team. Make sure his value is at least low enough to take him as a reasonable flex play option to start the year.

With Barber coming in as the closer he should return to his roots of being the aggressive running back he used to be. Some won’t believe he can still do this because they haven’t seen him perform that way for the past two seasons.

Those that doubt him fail to remember that it’s much harder to be a feature running back or even a starter and maintain that type of physical aggression on an NFL football field. No, a runner needs to be rested as he comes into the proper setting of a game to play at that level and be good.

There are the exceptions like former Houston Oiler Earl Campbell as he played that way from the start of a game to the end but remember his career was short lived. He’s also spent his later years will horrible knee problems and has trouble walking.

While Campbell could  play at that level Barber wasn’t up to the challenge in a full time role. I anticipate a return to his aggressive nature if he does become the backup runner. Draft Barber and you will be singing the Pete’s Dragon song, “Money By the Pound” like me as we watch the profits come rolling in.

Sorry I just couldn’t help myself but to put this video in. Go Barber!

NFL fantasy football player rankings writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com

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