Who are the statistically worst short-yardage backs?

The Dallas Morning News presented a pretty interesting statistic Monday, illustrating some of the least-effective running backs on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 situations last season.

Some of the names will surprise you, but others might scare you.

The list is a who’s who of prominent fantasy football players: Lions RB Kevin Smith (all right, maybe not him), Cardinals RB Beanie Wells, Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall, Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno and Cowboys RB Marion Barber.

Mendenhall is a first-rounder, and that isn’t going to change. Unless you think Frank Summers will steal some carries.

Wells and Moreno are heading for breakout seasons. Wells’ numbers likely will improve thanks to the revamped Cardinals offensive line. Moreno’s numbers are startling, but what other options do the Broncos have?

Barber is probably the most surprising, though, converting just 10 of 17 of those short-yardage situations. Especially when you consider Barber is counted on as the Cowboys’ short-yardage back.

I’m not sure how much this will impact Barber’s standing in Dallas, and you certainly don’t want to overreact to numbers like this. But with so many weapons available to the Cowboys, you wonder if they will ever lose confidence in Barber.

This isn’t enough to shake Barber’s standing as a mid-round selection in fantasy leagues, but it’s still interesting.

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