Can Gore be a top-10 back in 2010?

“Can I tell you something about apricots? One in 30 is a good one. It’s such a low percentage fruit.”Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm

In life, whether it’s picking fruit or drafting your fantasy football team, you’re going to encounter some risks. That’s exactly the situation countless owners will encounter when deciding to draft Frank Gore in 2011. Is Gore worth a roll of the dice in the first round, or will he be like a lot of bad apricots?

Well, there has been some positive reports about the injury-prone back this week.

CSNBayArea.com reports that Gore has been cleared to begin running Feb. 28, as he continues to recover from a hairline fracture in his right hip. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, also said at the Senior Bowl that his client is “feeling great.”

This comes on the heels of new coach Jim Harbaugh telling CSNBayArea.com that he plans to utilize Gore prominently in his West Coast offense.

“Having studied our team and our own personnel and other backs across the league, I really think Frank Gore is one of the best running backs in the National Football League and one of the most complete backs,” Harbaugh said. “Frank Gore is the kind of guy who doesn’t want to come out. He wants to be in there every single down.”

Clearly, Gore has a chance to be a good apricot.

He’s one of the lone true featured backs left in the league and also proven in the past that he can be a stat-sheet stuffer. The problem, though, is that Gore hasn’t been durable. And that’s been a constant issue. His most recent ailment cost him five games in 2010. He also hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2006.

So the question remains: Should you take a chance on Gore in Round 1?

If I can draft him late in that stanza, I would roll the dice. After all, he plays a position where committees have damaged the statistical success of countless players. And before he was hurt last season, Gore was on pace to score 227.6 fantasy points — that would have been good enough to finish sixth at the position.

Just be aware that like Larry’s apricot, Gore could also wind up playing a sour note for your fantasy team.

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