Jacquizz Rodgers: Breaking Down RBs Fantasy Value for Remainder of 2012 Season

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IISeptember 19, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 16:  Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Atlanta Falcons against the Cincinnati Bengals at Georgia Dome on August 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons need to deeply explore their options at running back for the first time since Michael Turner arrived, and Jacquizz Rodgers’ fantasy value will sharply increase going forward.

Turner is 30 years old, which is a terrifying age for RBs. He is a bruising back who has carried the ball 300 times or more in three of the past four years.

To make matters worse for the former All-Pro back, he is averaging just 2.6 yards per carry in his first two games and was arrested for driving under the influence following the Falcons’ win over the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, as reported by Russ Bynum of the Associated Press (via Yahoo Sports).

The Falcons have not released any statement on how they will deal with Turner, and this has been a catastrophic start to the season for the veteran runner. Those who have Turner on their fantasy teams would be wise to be cautious with him going forward.

Fantasy owners who were previously counting on Turner’s production will be looking to the waiver wire for a replacement, and Rodgers presents an excellent option. 

The second-year back has game-changing speed and agility, but at 5’6” and just 196 pounds, he will not be Atlanta’s featured back.

The Falcons re-signed Jason Snelling this summer, and head coach Mike Smith already committed to limiting Turner’s carries and giving Snelling and Rodgers more time. With Turner’s recent transgressions, this is now certain to happen.

Turner has 28 carries this season, while Rodgers has just 10. Without Turner’s presence in the power running game, Atlanta will take to the air more often, and this will benefit Rodgers. 

He is an excellent pass-catcher and an explosive open-field runner. As a rookie, Rodgers was targeted 27 times and caught 21 passes for 188 yards. With an increased role, he will continue to be an excellent check-down option for Matt Ryan.

A decreased role for Turner likely will lead a sharper increase in carries for Snelling than for Rodgers, because the former has a more similar skill set to the Falcons' starter. However, the team will make an effort to rely less on the run without a dominant force in the backfield. 

This will lead to more passing plays and opportunities for Rodgers. He is certainly not worth starting right now, but he has the potential to develop into a sold flex play this season and has added value in PPR leagues. 

If fantasy owners have a player on their roster they are looking to replace, they would be wise to stay ahead of the curve and add Rodgers now.