Touchdown Poachers

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Is there any worse feeling than when your running back carries the ball all the way down the field, and then the head coach turns the goal line work over to another back?

For fantasy owners of the "workhorse" the answer is a resounding - NO!

Sure when Ray Rice runs the ball 65 yards and gets pushed out at the three yard line, he's going to be winded and it's reasonable to bring in Willis McGahee. But not in every situation.

There seems to be more of these workhorse-goal line situation than ever...or maybe it's just that they're all working against my teams this year.

As a Rice owner, I was happy to see him get two one-yard runs on Sunday against the Broncos. And I was ecstatic when I heard Ravens head coach John Harbaugh imply that Rice would continue to get some short yardage carries.

"I think all three of those guys (Rice, McGahee and fullback Le'Ron McClain) can carry the ball on the goal line," Harbaugh said. "I don't think we ever felt Ray couldn't do it. It's just that Willis had such a hot hand and Willis was so good at it."

McGahee owners beware, Harbaugh has warned you that he may not get every opportunity from here on out.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Ryan Mathews owners. The San Diego Chargers rookie was highly sought after on draft day (RapidDraft ADP 23.7) because he was supposed to be the replacement for LaDainian Tomlinson. He's a nice running back, but he's no "LT." He's also seeing "bench time" when San Diego gets close to the goal line because they bring in a big bruiser - 243 pound Mike Tolbert. Tolbert has four touchdowns this season, Mathews just one. The total combined distance of Tolbert's four touchdown runs - 10 yards.

Rice and Mathews are hardly alone in their "plight."

The Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw has Brandon Jacobs, in Dallas Felix Jones has always shared time with Marion Barber, Carolina's DeAngelo Williams has Jonathan Stewart, Chris Wells in Arizona gives way to Tim Hightower and Justin Forsett will likely give way to newly acquired Marshawn Lynch in Seattle.

For those with the workhorse, you may still be able to trade them to an unsuspecting owner, but most likely you will either have to take less in return or hold on to him and pray that he starts scoring from the 25-yard line.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at