New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson hasn't scored a touchdown since Week Three. He hasn't gained more than 46 all-purpose yards in either of the past three games, gaining 62 combined yards in those games. During that same three-week span, he has accumulated just twelve carries and five receptions. But Tomlinson will start Sunday for the New York Jets because they are playing his former team, the San Diego Chargers.
All of which begs the question: Is he worth starting this weekend in fantasy football?
The answer really comes down to two key factors:
1) Is Rex Ryan giving Tomlinson a token start, like a bench-warming senior on senior night, or will Tomlinson shoulder the load of carries for the entire game?
2) Since we don't know exactly how Ryan plans to use Tomlinson, are you comfortable leaving him in the lineup, knowing how diminished his role has been lately, knowing he hasn't been a factor in fantasy football in three weeks, knowing that numberFire projections predict Tomlinson will tally just 3.58 points on Sunday?
As a (not-so-proud) fantasy owner of Tomlinson, I implore you not to risk your fantasy weekend on a running back whose opportunities have lately gone to Shonn Greene. I encourage you to wonder whether Rex Ryan would really keep his second-stringer in the lineup all game, knowing how badly the 3-3 Jets need a win. I ask you to ponder whether the risk is worth the potential reward.
And then I leave you with the opinion of Tomlinson's former teammate, Lorenzo Neal.
"LT has been looking forward to this game," said Neal, who said he speaks to his former teammate every week or so. "You know San Diego is going to want to save face and try to key on stopping LT, but they don't have the will that he has. There is no way LaDainian Tomlinson won't have a big game Sunday."
Maybe Tomlinson will have a big game after all. Then again, maybe not.