Rashad Jennings Looks Primed to Back Up Maurice Jones-Drew
This off-season has brought on much change for the Jacksonville Jaguars, as they look to rebound from a very bad 2008 season. With this turn over in the organization the team now has a new out look at the running back position.
Long time veteran and captain Fred Taylor is now gone and playing with the New England Patriots. With Taylor leaving the team it made just about every fantasy football owners ears perk up as we all knew Maurice Jones-Drew was going to finally be the feature runner in Jacksonville.
This summer many fantasy experts and magazines have MJD ranked in the top five running backs for fantasy football. I’ve even seen Jones-Drew ranked as high as number 2 or 3 for runners in fantasy mags.
While no one can question Jones talent or his ability to score (38 touchdowns in his first 3 season’s in the league) fantasy football owners should be a little concerned about his ability to hold up with a feature role.
Barber was much like Jones at this point in numbers as well. Like Jones Barber was entering his forth season in football and also like Drew he had a high touchdown total of 33 in his first three seasons.
Both of these runners were used as players that would come in after the starter had worked the defense over a little. Then this physical runners would finish off the defense by wearing them down and beating them up.
Last year started out strong for Barber as he had 611 rushing yards and had 7 touchdowns in the first 8 games of the season. But in the second half he broke down and only amassed 274 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Marion missed one game in the last month and really was never there the other three games he suited up in December.
Fantasy football owners found out the hard way that Marion was not able to handle the full load on his own. For fantasy football analysts to rank Maurice just one season later as high as 2nd or 3rd overall, tells me they aren’t learning from history.
Don’t get me wrong Maurice is a very talented player but I need to see him actually put a year together before I rank him that high over players like Michael Turner, Matt Forte or LaDainian Tomlinson.
Who will carry the ball is Jones-Drew Breaks Down
If Maurice should suffer the same fiat as Marion then look for either Greg Jones or 7th round pick rookie Rashad Jennings to take over in the running game. Right now Jones is listed as the backup but many in Jacksonville believe that Jennings could take that role away in the pre-season.
Jennings is a kid that obviously teams didn’t see as a runner that was very important, this is self evident by just looking at where he was drafted. But never the less this young player has impressed the Jaguars coaching staff a lot this off-season so far.
This young runner has the size at 6’1 and 231 pounds to hurt defenses and wear them out. If this rookie finishes off his strong first camp with the Jags strong in the pre-season, then I do believe he will take Greg Jones as Drew backup.
This promotion for Jennings in turn will be a big step in his career as he is only one play away from being a attractive fantasy waiver wire pickup this season.
Fantasy Football Information on Rashad Jennings and Maurice Jones-Drew
While their is no doubt that Maurice should be a first round pick in just about every fantasy football draft around, keep Jennings in the back of your mind as the season moves along. Rashad has the size and strength to have some fun for your fantasy team if he is given a chance, with fresh legs at the end of the season.
While I’m just about certain Drew will do fine the first 10 games or so (like Barber last year) I will be a little concerned as we get closer to the end of the season, if this guy will hold up or not. If you happen to own Drew for this year then enjoy the show in the first half of the year.
But as you get into November and you have an extra space on your roster to hold a backup runner, then consider picking up Jennings for safe keeping. It really hurts when your star runner goes down and then you watch as another fantasy owner has success with his backup.
Fantasy Football Information Writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com