Evan says: ‘Ride MJD to Glory’
I cannot believe we even have to debate it, of course you want Maurice Jones-Drew as a part of your keeper league fantasy team. 2012 was a frustrating year for Maurice Jones-Drew. He struggled to get a contract he felt was suitable from the Jacksonville Jaguars and then suffered several injuries that kept him from contributing to the Jags success on the field. 2013 presents a chance for one of the best running backs in the game to again put his mark on fantasy leagues everywhere. Jones-Drew should enter the season healthy and refreshed, after carrying the ball only 86 times last season.
Jones-Drew will enter the season at 28 years of age, an age where many running backs start to decline. There is no reason to expect Jones-Drew to suffer the same fate as many of his predecessors when he has been used so sparingly over his 7 years in the league. In only 3 of his 7 seasons in the NFL has Jones-Drew carried the ball more than 200 times. At the same time, in the 3 years in which he has been the feature back (which he figures to be in 2013 when his new coach Gus Bradley says things like this), Jones-Drew has averaged more than 1700 total yards and 10 TDs a season. While the Jaguars do not look to be all that competitive over the next few seasons, Jones-Drew continues to provide reasons for his teammates to want to support him- support that should help Jones-Drew put up great numbers over the next few seasons.
If you have Jones-Drew, keep him. If an owner in your league no longer wants him, get him on your roster and enjoy the results.
Frank says: ‘Send Pocket Hercules Packing’
Pocket Hercules is such a catchy nickname. It fits MJD and his compact, yet powerful running style perfectly. Prior to last season MJD had been virtually injury free but there is something to consider. Prior to MJD missing 10 games in 2012 with a foot injury he had only 3 games in 6 prior seasons.
While it seems like his 2012 injury could be fluke, when you couple that with his career high in rushing attempts the previous year (343 carries in 2011), I see the beginning of a very dangerous pattern starting to form. MJD has amassed 1570 carries so far in his career and is surging towards the 2000 carry mark which doesn’t bode well for running backs.
Look at Marshall Faulk’s chart below to see his drop in production after he passed the 2000 carry mark.
Marshall Faulk (2002 - 2005)
Faulk's rushing totals after his 2,155th carry.
|Games||Rushing Att||Rushing Yds||Rushing Y/A||Rushing Y/G
Same thing for Ladainian Tomlinson. Look at the production drop off after he surpassed 2000 rushing attempts.
Ladainian Tomlinson (2007 - 2011)
Ladainian Tomlinson's production after his 2,050th carry.
|Games||Rushing Att||Rushing Yds||Rushing Y/A||Y/G
The main thing to take from all this is MJD likely has one or two great seasons left in the tank but it’s clear he seen more good years than he has left.
Bottom line, if you have a MJD in your dynasty fantasy football league and your team is a sure title contender you may want to hold on to him for this season but if you are rebuilding your team MJD is likely to be more nothing more than dead weight by the time you are ready to compete for league supremacy.
Whatever your situation , MJD should be able to fetch a haul of young players and draft picks put him on the trading block and see what comes back.