Fumbles will cost Greene time, fantasy value

Shonn Greene was one of the more prominent sleeper/breakout players heading into this season, but his disappointing stat line in Week 1 is a cause for concern.

What’s more of a concern is that the Iowa product had a case of fumbilitis against the Ravens, leading him to lose playing time to LaDainian Tomlinson.

This isn’t the first time Greene has had issues holding onto the football. As a rookie, he lost three fumbles in his first 71 carries before improving his ball security during the 2009 playoffs.

If he can’t cure his recent case of the fumbles — and cut down on it fast — we’re going to see less of Greene and more of L.T. The proof was in the play-by-play recap of Monday’s night tilt.

Once Greene coughed up the football, he didn’t even sniff the gridiron for the next 16 offensive snaps. At the same time, Tomlinson touched the ball half of the time. Greene also didn’t play during the entire third quarter and returned to the game with less than five minutes left.

He came in and immediately dropped a pass from Mark Sanchez.

After failing to catch the pass out in the flat, Greene was back on the sidelines for the final eight offensive snaps. In all, he finished with a mere five carries for 18 yards and scored 7.1 fewer fantasy points than Tomlinson.

I’d still lean on Greene as a No. 2 fantasy back or flex starter this week against the Patriots this week (unless I was able to snag Brandon Jackson off the waiver wire, of course). But if he continues to have ball-control issues, it’s going to be very tough to trust Greene this season.

– Michael Fabiano

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