How does this affect fantasy football? Well, for the purposes of trying to win in 2006, it doesn't, but Tiki is one of the most sought after players in keeper leagues as well. Back in the summer, our own sage Scott Engel listed his top 100 keepers, and Barber was ranked 14th. Too high? Too low? Well, I would have made Tiki a top 10 pick, since he was generally viewed as the No. 4 option to go in drafts. I play for now and figure if a guy is good this season, will he automatically slip so far the next? Scott had Tiki ninth among running backs, and with the info we have now, I wouldn't keep Edgerrin James or LaMont Jordan over him.
Tiki is, to me, a young 31, with not nearly as much mileage on the tires, so to speak, as Curtis Martin or other older backs had. There is ample evidence that running backs on the other side of 30 tend to suffer a steep decline, however. Another of our sage writers Tristan Cockcroft discussed the typical age progression of running backs in his summer article and concluded nobody was in danger of doing what Martin did last year, and hitting the wall to quite that degree. Not Tiki, nor Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn, etc.