Player Points - Marion Barber III
By Chase Stuart
June 29th, 2010

As of early July, Marion Barber has an ADP of RB27. That means he's a high end RB3 in 12-team leagues, but not considered worthy of being a starter in standard leagues. You could probably get him at the end of the 5th round in standard leagues and at the end of the 6th in PPR leagues. I think a winning strategy in leagues this year will be to come out of the first four rounds with 1 RB, 2 WRs, and either a stud TE or stud QB, followed by selecting Barber in the fifth round.

With Felix Jones and Tashard Choice in the mix, fantasy owners are skeptical about the number of touches Barber will receive in 2010. Drafting Dez Bryant may signal the Cowboys' desire to pass more often in 2010, further limiting Barber's carries. But I think all of the talent on the Cowboys offense will mean two things: Dallas will finish in the top five in touchdowns scored in 2010, and Barber will get at least 10 of those touchdowns.

Over the past 20 seasons, there have been 15 teams to score 55+ offensive touchdowns. Projecting a monster season out of any offense is always a risky proposition -- let's be clear that this is a straight-from-the-gut player point article -- and any statistician will tell you that's not a good strategy for long-term success. But when I read the tea leaves, I see the Cowboys ending up as the next team on that list, and if that's the case, you're going to want to roster their goal-line specialist.

The table below lists the starting QB, RB, TE and top two WRs for each of those 15 teams.

Year
Team
TDs
Quarterback
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Wide Receiver
Tight End
2007
NWE
67
Tom Brady
Laurence Maroney
Randy Moss
Wes Welker
Ben Watson
2000
STL
63
Kurt Warner
Marshall Faulk
Torry Holt
Isaac Bruce
Roland Williams
2004
IND
61
Peyton Manning
Edgerrin James
Reggie Wayne
Marvin Harrison
Dallas Clark
1998
SFO
60
Steve Young
Garrison Hearst
Jerry Rice
Terrell Owens
Irv Smith
1994
SFO
60
Steve Young
Ricky Watters
Jerry Rice
John Taylor
Brent Jones
2004
KAN
58
Trent Green
Priest Holmes
Eddie Kennison
Johnnie Morton
Tony Gonzalez
1998
MIN
58
Randall Cunningham
Robert Smith
Randy Moss
Cris Carter
Andrew Glover
1998
DEN
58
John Elway
Terrell Davis
Rod Smith
Ed McCaffrey
Shannon Sharpe
2001
STL
57
Kurt Warner
Marshall Faulk
Torry Holt
Isaac Bruce
Ernie Conwell
2006
SDG
56
Philip Rivers
LaDainian Tomlinson
Eric Parker
Vincent Jackson
Antonio Gates
2003
KAN
56
Trent Green
Priest Holmes
Eddie Kennison
Johnnie Morton
Tony Gonzalez
2009
NOR
55
Drew Brees
Pierre Thomas
Marques Colston
Devery Henderson
Jeremy Shockey
1999
STL
55
Kurt Warner
Marshall Faulk
Isaac Bruce
Torry Holt
Roland Williams
1993
SFO
55
Steve Young
Ricky Watters
Jerry Rice
John Taylor
Brent Jones
1991
BUF
55
Jim Kelly
Thurman Thomas
Andre Reed
James Lofton
Keith McKeller

As long as they stay healthy, Tony Romo, Marion Barber, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten would be appear to have the talent to join the groups listed above. That's ignoring Dallas' great depth on offense, as Roy Williams makes a great WR3, and Patrick Crayton, Kevin Ogletree and Sam Hurd are solid depth receivers. Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, along with TE Martellus Bennett, enable the Cowboys to attack offenses with a variety of packages and have a ton of speed on the field. Obviously Tony Romo looks to be the big beneficiary of a high-powered offense, but don't forget about Barber. As the backup to Julius Jones, Barber rushed for 14 touchdowns as the short-yardage back for the Cowboys in 2006. In '07, he scored 12 touchdowns while splitting time with Jones. The past two seasons, Barber has failed to live up to his ADP, but he still scored 16 touchdowns in 28 games. Felix Jones and Jason Witten are talented players, but neither has emerged as a touchdown vulture so far. I expect the Cowboys offense to explode this season, and Barber will score more than enough touchdowns to make him a value pick in the fifth or sixth round.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to stuart@footballguys.com.