Every fantasy football team owner knows that injuries play a large role in the success your team will have. If one of your top players gets severely injured it could be curtains for your fantasy football season. This happened to numerous owners last season (myself included) when they saw Maurice Jones-Drew play just 6 games because of a foot injury. Worse yet, he had to have Lisfranc surgery this offseason to repair a tear. Rest assured, Fantasy Forecasters is here to break everything down for you.
Jones-Drew just turned 28-years-old back in March, which isn’t young and nor is it old for an NFL running back. He may not have many years left in the tank, but I there’s just no way I don’t see him outproducing his average draft position (ADP) of 24.7 this season on Yahoo Sports. Injuries (especially foot injuries) are always a major concern for running backs. For what it’s worth, he’s stated that his foot is healed and he will start to strengthen his ankle. Maurice Jones-Drew is questionable for the start of training camp.
MJD has played in 93 of a possible 96 career games before last season’s injury. Though last year’s injury was rather significant, he’s been a durable workhorse running back his entire career. From 2009-2011, Jones-Drew averaged 1,440 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns (both rushing and receiving) over these 3 seasons. He is an asset to points per reception league owners as he’s averaged 43 receptions per season over this 3 year span. When he gets roughly 300 or more carries in a season, he rushes for over 1,300 yards.
Am I saying he’ll outproduce the likes of top fantasy running backs such as Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster? Absolutely not. I’m saying for where he’s being drafted early on his fantasy football season, (Steven Jackson’s ADP is 27.2 on Yahoo) I’d be more than willing to take a chance on MJD over other running backs. If he can stay healthy, you’ll have a first round value pick for a second or even third round price tag. Taking risks that could potentially pay large dividends is how many fantasy football owners win their leagues year in and year out. I expect his value to be higher and his ADP to lower if news comes out that he’s healthy and running with the starters during training camp.
The overall point of this article is to bring in to perspective how good of a fantasy football running back Maurice Jones-Drew is when healthy. Don’t get me wrong, there definitely are some question marks with him this season. I’m just saying if I could get him in the third round right now, I’d take the chance and jump all over the opportunity.
Note: Maurice Jones-Drew is also in a contract year. This may not mean much to the general fantasy football owner, but the fact is that NFL teams will have a close eye on his production this year. Jones-Drew is trying to have the best season he can so he can get that hefty contract for years to come!
What are your predictions for Maurice Jones-Drew this season?