Just when you thought his career couldn't be resurrected after being cut by the Broncos, Willis McGahee has resurfaced as the new face of the Browns backfield. Cleveland put McGahee through a physical after the team made headlines by sending Trent Richardson to the Colts for a future first-round pick.
The most obvious question is whether or not McGahee, who will now be playing for his 4th team in his career, has anything left to offer fantasy football owners.
When news broke Thursday night about the Richardson trade, I was feverishly working the waiver wire because I owned Ahmad Bradshaw in a couple leagues. Obviously Bradshaw's fantasy value is all but gone. But in a season where the waiver wire for running backs is quite bare this time of year, I picked McGahee up in most of them even before he signed. Looking at what the Browns had at running back behind Richardson in Week 2, I think there could be some value left.
While the backfield remained in limbo Wednesday night, Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey were the only players left on the depth chart. You might remember Ogbonnaya. He was one of my sleeper running backs many many moons ago. Unfortunately, that sleeper status never panned out. In 3 years, Ogbonnaya has totaled 95 carries, with an average of 4.26 yards-per-rush. Not bad, but the guy was never consistent enough.
Rookie Rainey was currently listed as the starting running back, but I highly doubt the Browns dumped Richardson with Rainey in mind as their workhorse back. At 5'8/205, his body isn't built for that kind of workload.
So the question is now is/was McGahee worth picking up off waiver wire's after the Richardson trade? Of course. After analyzing a couple news items, it looks like McGahee will eventually be inserted as the starter. The biggest question is when. He only has a couple days to learn the playbook. But for a guy who has been playing since 2004, I doubt it takes long for McGahee to get himself in the offense as soon as this weekend. How much work he will get isn't known. I know I won't be playing him if only for the fact that Brian Hoyer is the starting quarterback. Josh Gordon is set to make his 2013 debut, but he isn't going to be enough to take pressure off the running game when the Browns play the Vikings. Consider McGahee a flex option at best this year. If he had landed on a better team, I might consider him a more valuable commodity. But c'mon, it's the Browns. Although, getting a veteran running back who will eventually start on your fantasy squad rarely happens this time of the year. Lets just hope health is on McGahee's side.