Update: All right, maybe Shanahan isn't pure evil.
You can't remember where you were when you heard the news. A snap-cold streak of fear surged up your veins and through your brain where it whisked away your short-term memory and planted just a trace of itself: One pure modicum of fear that germinated, spouted, bloomed and grew a spore that exploded (kaboom!) into a thousand modica that spread and brutishly planted themselves until your head was filled nothing but fear. They say don't blame the messenger, but the messenger should have known better. Jason La Canfora, you bastard:
Mike Shanahan hates you, Alfred Morris fantasy owner. He wanted to pull the rug out from under you sooner but Roy Helu is dealing with turf toe and Evan Royster has a problem with his knee, and he probably actually planned this all along now that I think about it.
Shanahan let us believe that he was okay with Morris playing a feature role, averaging 87 yards and one touchdown on over 20 carries per game. "'Ol Shanny has turned a new leaf," we said. "He would never bring in the exact same running back except in 29-year-old form. Like that has ever happened."
We believed, then Shanahan pulled us into his world where everything you know and love and hate still exists except in disquieting shades of shifting color. In 2011, four different ball carriers had games of over 100 total yards. Ryan Torain, the team's leading rusher in 2010, did not record a carry for the first three weeks of the season but was handed the ball 19 times for 135 yards and a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams. He did little the rest of the season before being released. Roy Helu rushed for over 100 yards each game in Weeks 13-15, and cries went up around the D.C. area that a savior had been anointed. Then Evan Royster took over the job in Weeks 16 and 17 and rushed for two games of 100-plus of his own.
Shanahan pulled similar shenanigans in 2010, and in 2008 and 2007 with the Denver Broncos, and now with Grant in the fold he may be setting up to do it again. The current Redskins depth chart reads: 1. Evan Morris, 2. Roy Grant, 3. Ryan Royster, 4. Alfred Helu 5. Mike Bell. It's all the same to Shanahan, who only sees a prototypical build and a hot hand and has no regard for what his decisions do to good, simple folk like you and me.
But perhaps he does, and maybe, just maybe, he will stick with Morris this time. He will lean back in a crushed red velvet throne located in his palatial home, and with his headset still on his head, Shanahan will crack a satisfied smile and decide, then and there, that it is time to settle down and just let his rookie running back quietly rush for 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
Gosh, wouldn't that be something?
Fantasy Impact: Christmas is canceled.