It looks as though the Philadelphia Eagles won't be the only NFC East team adopting an active multi-back system in 2013, because with Ahmad Bradshaw now out of the picture, the New York Giants have two unproven but extremely talented running backs on the roster.
All signs point to both David Wilson and Andre Brown getting plenty of work in New York's backfield next season, but there are lingering questions attached to both.
Wilson came on late in his rookie season, amassing 273 yards from scrimmage on 46 touches while scoring four touchdowns during the final four weeks of the year. He also appeared to improve at picking up blitzes and pass blocking in general, but there's lots of progress left for the No. 32 overall pick to make.
Brown, for starters, is slated to become a restricted free agent. I see no reason why the Giants would let him go, but that's something to be dealt with.
Of bigger concern is the fact that the guy's been bouncing around the league since 2009 but has just two starts under his belt. He exploded with an impressive 113-yard effort in Week 3 this past season, but faded after that and missed the final month of the year with a broken fibula.
This will likely be framed as a competition in August, with Wilson and Brown both vying for a starting spot by proving to head coach Tom Coughlin that they can be consistently productive as runners and consistently efficient as blockers.
But the reality is that the best strategy—assuming neither falls on his face—is for the Giants to mix and match their backs.
Not only does such a strategy make it more difficult for defenses to gameplan against, but it will also keep both backs fresh. That's something the team wasn't able to do when Bradshaw was carrying the load, and it's a big reason why his career might be beyond its peak despite the fact he's only 26 years old.
The Giants used a first-round pick on the extremely gifted Wilson. They have to treat him carefully so he'll last. Brown's presence, especially on third downs but also as a regular contributor in an array of situations, will make that a lot easier.
And thus you might want to avoid both in your fantasy football drafts.