Fantasy spin: Giants franchise RB Jacobs

(Al Bello / Getty Images)

(Al Bello / Getty Images)

The Giants have placed their franchise tag on Brandon Jacobs, making it likely that he’ll remain with Big Blue in 2009. He is still free to negotiate with other teams, but the price tag of two first-round picks as compensation almost guarantees his return.

Jacobs is coming off a monster fantasy season, rushing for 1,089 yards with 15 touchdowns and an outstanding 5.0 yards-per-carry average. He’ll remain the top back on the Giants’ depth chart and will be seen as a high-end No. 2 fantasy runner in drafts.

With Jacobs now expected to return and Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware under contract, the Giants are less likely to retain Derrick Ward.

Jacobs and Ward became the first duo of running backs to record 1,000 rushing yards on the same team since 1985, when Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack did it for the Cleveland Browns.

Ward, who finished with 1,025 yards on the ground and a solid 5.6 yards-per-carry average, also showed off his versatility with 41 receptions for 384 yards.

Based on his skills and the fact that he has just 342 career carries in five NFL seasons, Ward will be high on the list of available running backs this offseason. A definite sleeper choice, Ward will no doubt be allowed a chance to start for another team.

The Denver Broncos would be a perfect fit.

If we assume that Ward is out of the mix, Bradshaw should be favored ahead of Ware to become the next fantasy handcuff for Jacobs. Based on the level of success Ward recorded last season, Bradshaw could be worth as much as a middle-round selection.

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