2012 NFL Fantasy Football Running Backs (RB) Rankings, Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIJuly 16, 2012

Don't sleep on Jennings during your draft.
Don't sleep on Jennings during your draft.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images


Don’t Sleep on Rashard Jennings

With all the talk about Maurice Jones-Drew’s possibility of a long holdout through training camp, fantasy owners would be wise to remember Rashard Jennings as an option to stash in the later rounds.

A talented runner, Jennings has proven to be effective (he averaged 5.2 and 5.5 yards per carry in 2009 and 2010, respectively) when given an opportunity in the past, and it appears he’s ready to start if called upon.

Jennings has RB2 upside if he should start at any time, and with a full offseason to recover from his torn ACL last summer, we should feel good about his odds of delivering such lofty expectations, if Jones-Drew should miss time for any reason.

Last summer I was down on MJD not because he was playing on a team with a poor passing attack, but mainly because he was coming out of microfracture knee surgery that offseason.

While Jones-Drew proved his doubters wrong as he won the rushing title, the fact still remains that he’s had knee problems in the past, and that problem can crop up again. That’s before we start to discuss the ramifications of what can happen if he should have a long holdout deep into August or early September.


Staying Conditioned


I’m going to go out on a limb and say Jones-Drew cares about being dedicated to his craft more than someone like, oh, Chris Johnson, for example, and even if he has a slow start he should still rebound for a quality second half.

That’s fine, but for those of you who are considering him as your RB1 this summer, handcuffing him with Jennings is a must. The talent this young running back possesses is phenomenal, and furthermore, we shouldn’t feel good about other options Montell Owens, DuJuan Harris, Richard Murphy, Jalen Parmale or Greg Jones being serious competition to share time with Jennings.

Some hometown homers from Jacksonville may disagree with me on that, but in this age of football, any time a coach can mix in a little help in the running game to give his star a breather is welcomed, and the Jaguars didn’t seem to trust anyone but Jones-Drew as the season moved along.

Target Jennings as a late-round stash on your roster, but don’t be surprised if he’s a name we hear more about.

2012 Position Rankings: Top 200 | QBWR | TE | Cheat Sheets