Jahvid Best: Lions RB Will Never Be Reliable Fantasy Football Option This Season

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IOctober 11, 2012

DETROIT - OCTOBER 16: Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit Lions watches the action from the bench during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field on October 16, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The 49ers defeated the Lions 25-19.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

With a tremendous burst, blazing speed and fine lateral agility, Jahvid Best seems like an ideal fantasy running back option. Especially in PPR leagues. 

However, his unfortunate bout with lingering concussion problems make him a player you simply cannot bet on as a reliable fantasy commodity for the remainder of the 2012 season. 

According to the Oakland Press, on Friday, Best will learn the results of "a battery of concussion tests" he took on Monday and will either be cleared for contact or not. 

Let's give Best the benefit of the doubt and say he's cleared for contact. That means, theoretically, he'll be able to suit up for the Lions' Week 7 contest on the road against the Chicago Bears. 

In all likelihood, Detroit's coaching staff would slowly acclimate Best back into the offensive game plan against a Bears run defense that's currently allowing a rather pedestrian 3.6 yards per carry in 2012. 

Sure, Best's skill set is ideal for the complementary back who catches a ton of passes out of the backfield, but frankly, the Lions don't feature their running backs very frequently. 

Through the first four games, the quartet of Mikel Leshoure, Kevin Smith, Joique Bell and Keiland Williams have averaged a total of 20.5 carries per game and combined for 28 receptions.

In 2011, appearing in six games, Best averaged 14 carries a game and 4.5 grabs. 

Not bad, right? 

Well, yeah. 

However, the injury concerns are far too worrisome. 

Best has yet to show any remote semblance of durability, and there's nothing more frustrating than acquiring a guy in fantasy who cannot stay healthy. Especially when he's as naturally talented as Best. 

This is not to say that if and when Best returns, he won't have a good game here and there. He may. But with Leshoure as the team's definitive feature back and Joique Bell recently showing his prowess as a receiver out of the backfield, Best will clearly be in, at least, a three-way timeshare.