Javhid Best Could Prove to Be a Steal for Fantasy Football Owners

Chris PetersonAnalyst IJune 26, 2012

Javhid Best has big-time potential as a fantasy running back in 2012.
Javhid Best has big-time potential as a fantasy running back in 2012.Leon Halip/Getty Images

Javhid Best was well on his way to a breakout season in 2011, and as a fantasy player in point per reception leagues, Best was truly dominant.

That was until, of course, he suffered an injury that robbed the electrifying Lions running back of all but six games, giving fantasy football owners a major cause for concern about his value going forward.

However, in fantasy football, often times sleepers come in the way of players who are coming off injuries.

There is certainly an inherent risk when taking a player who missed a large part of the previous season, but at the same time, those players come cheaper than normal and offer great value for owners willing to take a calculated risk.

Best is the perfect example of a player whose value has been depleted by injury.

Right now, he doesn't have value in the eyes of fantasy owners. His average draft position among running backs in PPR leagues is 28th, according to the fantasyfootballcalculator.com, and his overall average draft position is 61st, which, depending on the size of the league, equates to a late fifth- or early sixth-round pick.

Keeping his injury history in mind, that's not a bad spot to take a player who averaged 18.8 fantasy points per game in PPR formats in his six games, which ranked as the fifth-highest points per game total among running backs last season.

Despite playing in only six games, Best still totaled 677 total yards, rushing 84 times for 390 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and two rushing touchdowns, while also adding 27 receptions for 287 yards and a touchdown.

Before his injury, Best was on pace for 1,030 rushing yards, as well as 763 receiving yards,  72 total receptions and eight total touchdowns—numbers that would have easily made him one of the best fantasy PPR running backs of the 2011 season.

The question now facing fantasy owners: Can they trust Best to stay healthy for 16 games if they choose to invest a mid-round draft choice on him?

The answer when it comes to injuries is always murky, but considering the extremely high upside of a player like Best, taking a shot on him in the sixth round is a no-brainer.

At the the end of the day, he has the potential to be a top-10 fantasy PPR running back, and if healthy, he will offer a great reward for those willing to take a risk.