The Curious Case of Willie Parker


What to make of Willie Parker? After participating in a handful of mock drafts, SRB has reached the conclusion that Parker is extremely undervalued. An injury-riddled and disappointing 2008 campaign has left the Steeler workhorse out in the cold.

He eclipsed 1400 total yards each season from 2005-2007. Sure, he’s never been a touchdown machine, save for the ’06 mirage that netted him 16 scores, but he’s being treated as a number four back by some Fantasy owners. Maybe the 658 carries in ’06 and ’07 burned the undersized runner out. Were his ’08 miseries a sign that his days as the top option in Pittsburgh are over? Is last year’s first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall ready to ascend to a starting role?

Our spies tell us, no. We believe the 28-year-old Parker isn’t washed-up. We envision a similar situation to the Titans’ split-back rotation surfacing in Steel City. Mendenhall will get his carries and either he or bowling ball rookie Frank Summers will assume goal-line duties.

However, Willie will be the primary ball carrier. 1200 total yards and a half dozen touchdowns is within reach, making Parker a serviceable number two back and an excellent third option in your RB stable. Don’t sleep on “Fast” Willie. He’s still got some giddy-up in his go.

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