White people friendly with the Bucs RB are known as “Graham’s Crackers”
Photo Credit: Matthew Sowell
People forget this, but there was once a time where everything was different. Jonah Hill was fat, two girls did sensational things with one cup, and people had countless explanations for why a guy named “Mims” was hot (pause). The time was 2007, and crazy shit ruled our lives. Things were so out of whack, in fact, that some random dude named Earnest Graham came out of nowhere to tally 10 TDs and over 1,200 yards.
Ah but sometimes things come full circle. Graham, who from 2008-2010 operated in relative obscurity, crept back into the fantasy spotlight the moment LeGarrette Blount went down with a knee injury in Week Five. Most labeled Graham a bye-week fill-in and nothing more. Perhaps this is because the Bucs have not trusted Graham with a serious offensive role since ‘07, or maybe his age (31) threw people off. Regardless of the reason, no one really viewed Graham as a legit, long-term fantasy solution... until he racked up 131 yards against a pretty damn good run defense.
Now owners want to know if there are any legs to this Earnest Graham thing, and the answer is... “possibly” (what? I’m scared of commitment). Of course, your boy Dudley Do Work can’t just come on here and flat out tell you that Graham will be the lead back even after Blount returns, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be universally owned right now. He’s always had great hands, and is currently sixth among all RBs in targets (30), which is excellent considering the limited playing time he’s had for most of the season. He’s also capable of handling full-time RB duties. Aside from his impressive 2007 campaign, Graham has spent time working as full back over the last few years, which is a very physical position. The transition to feature back shouldn’t pose a problem.
Yes Blount is the incumbent and displayed good power last year, but his 4.3 YPC is over a full yard lower than Graham’s (5.5) and he straight up doesn’t have the versatility in his game that Graham possesses. In fact, for a guy that’s labeled as a bruising RB, Blount hasn’t even been that great in short-yardage situations.
The bottom line is that Blount isn’t some superstar back who has earned the right to have his feature title handed back to him upon his return. If Graham continues to put up numbers, fight for tough yards, and wreak havoc in the passing game, there’s a solid chance he earns enough playing time to warrant flex status (and possibly more) for the remainder of the season.
NFL Real Talk continues after the jump: