|8/12/2013 1:25:00 PM||Description: Newly signed running back Curtis Brinkley will have a chance to win the No. 3 spot behind Matt Forte and Michael Bush.||Insight: Brinkley will have to beat out Armando Allen, but Allen is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury. Brinkley did nothing in his opportunities with the Chargers over the past two seasons to make any fantasy contribution likely unless the Bears backfield takes multiple major hits this season.|
|9/17/2012 11:45:00 AM||Description: Chargers RB Curtis Brinkley saw the most carries (six) after starter Ryan Mathews went down with a season-ending injury.||Insight: We're not sure which of the Chargers running backs will take over for Mathews. Ronnie Brown is likely the top choice, but he is dealing with a hamstring issue. Jackie Battle might play more in running situations with Brinkley in passing situations, but it is too soon to know if one of them can take over the majority of the work and be fantasy worthy.|
|9/16/2012 3:36:00 PM||Description: Chargers RB Curtis Brinkley is starting Sunday's game in favor of Ronnie Brown.||Insight: Brown is on his last legs. Brinkley handled more carries than the veteran in Week 1 but neither did much against the Raiders. Oakland is getting shredded by Reggie Bush Sunday so it's more likely Brown and Brinkley just aren't very good. Only start Brinkley if you're desperate.|
|9/12/2012 11:55:00 AM||Description: Chargers RB Curtis Brinkley was on the field for 31 of 58 plays against the Raiders on Monday night and rushed the ball a team-high 10 times for just 12 yards.||Insight: Neither Brinkley or Ronnie Brown is a viable fantasy option. All fantasy owners eagerly await the return of Ryan Mathews, but realistically that may not be until Week 3.|
|11/4/2011 3:24:00 PM||Description: Chargers RB Curtis Brinkley (concussion) has been medically cleared for Week 9.
Source: Michael Ghelken via Twitter||Insight: Brinkley appears to be a change of pace or backup for Tolbert in week 9, as it appears he may only get 5-7 carries this week.|
|11/1/2011 11:56:00 AM||Description: So Ryan Mathews goes out of tonight's Monday Night Football game in the 4th quarter with a groin injury. He was having a pretty good game with 57 yards rushing and 55 yards receiving on six catches before the injury.
With Mike Tolbert inactive, I was under the impression the Chargers might use FB Jacob Hester as they did a few weeks ago. Instead, out trots little-known Curtis Brinkley who proceeds to rush for 43 yards and a TD on 10 carries and adds 3 receptions for 24 yards. Who? What? Curtis who?
My thoughts exactly. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I actually had to check my rosters to see who this kid was and how I could have possibly missed him when doing my rankings for this week.
Luckily, I scoured the Internet for ANY stories on Brinkley and I couldn't find anything in the San Diego media mentioning anything about Brinkley. So if the San Diego media isn't talking about this guy, how can I be asked to do it?
Well, I know who he is now... and anyone who is serious about fantasy football knows who he is too.
Brinkley will likely be a hot waiver wire commodity this week even though he's clearly behind Mathews and Tolbert on the depth chart. That's just how we work in this business. We see a free agent have a good game and we want him... NOW!!
Brinkley was signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent from Syracuse in 2009, but suffered nearly fatal gunshot wounds by an unknown gunman on July 10 of that same year. Upon recovery, Brinkley went on to participate with the Chargers in training camp and the pre-season. He's had quite an NFL roller coaster ride since being drafted, though, and it's a major surprise that he's stuck around as long as he has.
Check this out (courtesy of Wikipedia.com):
Brinkley was waived on September 4, 2010, but was re-signed the following day to the practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster on September 25, only to be waived on September 28 and re-signed to the practice squad on October 1. The Chargers promoted him to the active roster again on November 22.
Brinkley was waived on December 16 and re-signed to the practice squad on December 19. However, he was promoted to the active roster again on December 31, where he finished the season. The following season (2011, this year), he was waived during final cuts again and was later re-signed to the practice squad on September 12, 2011.
On September 15, he was released, only to be re-added to the practice squad on September 17. The Chargers released him again a week later, but again re-signed him on September 28. Brinkley was promoted to the active roster on October 22 and finally got to see the playing field on Halloween night, 2011, scoring his first career touchdown in a Monday Night Football game at Kansas City.
So, where did he come from?
Well, in a word, Syracuse. He's an East Coaster who is now living out his dream on the West Coast. Brinkley was an absolute STUD in high school, rushing for over 300 yards in a game on five separate occasions and amassing over 1,000 career high school carries.
During his high school career, he was named All-City, rushing for 2,813 yards while he was a senior, rushing for 7,429 yards and scoring 85 touchdowns in four years of school ball.
In college at Syracuse, Brinkley didn't get to see the field much until he was a senior where he ran for 1,165 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on 237 carries. Before he picked Syracuse, Brinkley was named a PrepStar All-American and was rated as the 12th best running back by Rivals.com.
So, now you know a little bit about Curtis Brinkley. Now what?
Well, for starters, there's a reason he's behind Tolbert and Mathews. There's also a reason he never cracked the starting lineup ahead of LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles. So before you go spending 90% of your FAAB budget on this guy, please understand that he's got a long way to go.
Having said that, I was very impressed with what I saw in limited action. For starters, the catch that he made on the little RB wheel-route down near the KC goal line was spectacular. He finished the game with three catches in one quarter of play. Not bad for 15 minutes of work, eh?
I also watched him run very fast and very hard (for a little bowling ball). Remember, he's between 5-8 and 5-9 but he weighs in somewhere around 215 lbs. Being a running back, however, takes more than just raw speed and power... it takes vision and patience and balance and the "it factor". Honestly, watching Brinkley last night makes me believe he might have a little bit of all those.
When he leaped over the offensive line and stuck the ball out just long enough for it to break the plane of the goal line, I knew this kid understood the game and just wanted to do whatever he could to help his team get a win.
Brinkley won't see the field much when Tolbert and Mathews are healthy, but in fantasy football he's at least worth a roster spot in deeper leagues... in case one of those two can't go.
Now, let's get ready for Two Feet In Bounds. (12 noon ET)||Insight: So Ryan Mathews goes out of tonight's Monday Night Football game in the 4th quarter with a groin injury. He was having a pretty good game with 57 yards rushing and 55 yards receiving on six catches before the injury.|