Clinton Portis was once considered one of the best running backs in fantasy football. Whether it was earlier in his career with the Broncos or more recently with the Redskins, he was a virtual lock to rush for well over 1,000 yards and score double-digit touchdowns.
But as is the case with most great running backs, time and the wear and tear of a featured role at the NFL level has left Portis a shell of his former self.
That was evident last season, as a concussion limited him to eight games.
According to the Washington Post, he still hasn’t been medically cleared from the concussion all these months later. Regardless, Portis thinks he can still be an effective option for coach Mike Shanahan in 2010.
“I’m far from washed up or done,” Portis said. “I will walk away from this game when I’m ready. The game’s not gonna pass me by.”
Portis might think he still had something left in the tank, but I don’t see it.
While he still hasn’t reach that dreaded age of 30, Portis has seen more rushing attempts during his career than most backs. Since 2004, he has carried the ball 325 or more times in four of six seasons.
The two seasons he failed to reach that mark were shortened due to injuries.
His past greatness aside, fantasy football is all about the present and more importantly, the future. And while his reunion with Shanahan is seen as a positive, I doubt Portis will return to his elite status or become a reliable option for owners.
That’s if the Redskins even decide to bring him back.
Assuming he remains in Washington, I project Portis as more than a borderline, risk-reward No. 2 fantasy back or flex starter. But his heavy career workload and recent injuries make him someone I’d rather avoid in drafts.