L.J. clouds the value of Portis for 2010

Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson used to be two of the elite running backs in fantasy football. Now they’ll be together in the same backfield.

The Redskins have signed Johnson to a three-year deal, a move that almost ensures that fantasy owners will have to deal with yet another committee situation.

Unlike the ones in Arizona, Carolina and Miami, though, this is a backfield to avoid in drafts.

Portis, who missed half of the 2009 campaign due to a concussion, will be 29 years old when the season starts and isn’t the same player who thrived for the better part of the last decade.

While he’s still considered the favorite to start for coach Mike Shanahan, Portis is clearly past his prime and can no longer be seen as a featured back with Johnson in the mix.

As for L.J., he’s been a shell of his former self since carrying the football an NFL-record 416 times in 2006.

Over the last three seasons, he’s missed numerous games due to injuries and experienced a dramatic decrease in statistical success. That’s a trend that will continue in 2010, as L.J., 30, will likely see a secondary role in what will be one of the league’s least attractive committees from a fantasy perspective.

Even with Shanahan at the helm, I’d avoid Portis and Johnson like the plague.

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