FFL: Goal-Line Frustration

In setting up one of my new leagues this season, I had a discussion with one owner regarding the proposed scoring system. It seems this owner had a fair share of concern about being too generous to goal-line backs, players who come in for only a couple of touches a game, yet rack up oodles of fantasy points by stealing touchdowns away from the men who spend the rest of the game racking up big yardage between the 20s.

I couldn't help but wonder whether this particular person was a Carnell Williams owner in 2005, having watched as his starting running back averaged 79 rushing yards per game in a four-game span in November-December, yet actually wound up the less desirable fantasy back on his own team during that span. Goal-line back Mike Alstott managed four touchdowns in those weeks despite getting only 16 carries.

It's a trend increasingly common in the NFL world, and incredibly frustrating in the fantasy world. These days, it seems more teams are emulating the successful blueprints the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have used the past half-decade, going with a speedy runner for the bulk of the work and a bulky, powerhouse back to punch the ball in for a score in the red zone. Last year's Willie Parker-Jerome Bettis tandem, which helped the Steelers on their way to a Super Bowl title, is a perfect such example.