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If everybody stays healthy, Shonn Greene is probably going to the be the Jets' top running back in 2010. The Jets might say there will be an open competition, but Greene is probably going to beat LaDainian Tomlinson. He is a vastly more effective runner at this point.
The Jets are going to find a role for Tomlinson, though. They did not sign him to a contract in excess of $5 million to sit on the bench. One area where he could see time is on the goal line. While his numbers were ugly last year, LT ran for 12 touchdowns. That put him in the top ten in the league.
The running back position in the NFL has become very specialized in recent years. Teams have been finding niches for all kinds of backs. I personally find it a bit silly. I would rather have one complete back, but I don't run a team. It seems logical the Jets would view the area near the end zone as Tomlinson's real estate.
Truth be told, Tomlinson was about as ineffective near the goal line as he was at any other spot on the field. The reason his touchdown total was so high was he got the second most carries inside the 5 in the league. He only converted 9 of 28 into scores. Even so, Greene's fumbling struggles last year might lead them to give LT's sure hands the critical goal line touches.
This is something to considern in your fantasy leagues. Greene is rated highly and likely to go off the board early in a lot of drafts. Tomlinson is probably late round material. Depending on your league's scoring system, Greene might not get enough carries near the end zone to justify a high ranking. Tomlinson, meanwhile, might be a nice late round find for depth.