Roster Chris Rainey In Leagues That Score Return Yards

A Flex Option For A Rainey Day
Byron Lambert,

Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the official Steelers depth chart, released on September 3rd, shows that rookie RB Chris Rainey is penciled in as the starting kick and punt returner. Rainey is an explosive speedster that flashed his big play ability in the return game during the preseason.

While he isn’t the same type of overall talent Percy Harvin is, we do think he is superior to Dexter McCluster whom new Steelers OC Todd Haley gave 160 offensive touches in Kansas City last year. McCluster averaged almost 7 fantasy points/game in 2011 with minimal activity on special teams. Factor in Pittsburgh’s plight at RB, and their willingness to play the rookie as a RB/WR wildcard in the preseason and the circumstances begin to set up nicely for Rainey.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the same WR eligibility in fantasy that Percy Harvin maintains. So, of course we are talking about rostering Rainey as a spot-play/flex guy in 12+ team leagues that score special teams production, and nothing more at this point. Standard return scoring is 1 point for every 25 return yards. Those numbers project a 3-4 point weekly floor for Rainey. A floor similar to many of the RBs and WRs commonly used as flex plays.

It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a foundation to build on. Throw in one big play, or a touchdown that Rainey is very capable of, and you have a 10+ point game. On occasion, that big play will result in a touchdown and all of the sudden, Rainey has a very respectable 15-20 point ceiling. He should at least match McCluster’s 6-7 point average in 2011, with the potential to be an 8-point guy with upside.

Currently, Chris Rainey can be drafted in the very late rounds or picked up directly off of the waiver wire in many leagues. All numbers that suggest a spin on your roster.

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