Jahvid Best: Lions Running Back Is Worth Fantasy Flier
According to a report in the Detroit Free Press by Dave Birkett, Best will find out results from his latest slew of concussion tests on Friday. That will determine whether he can be taken off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as early as Monday.
If those results come back positively and the Lions are willing to toss their valuable back into the fire, Best is worth inserting into your lineup immediately.
Best will have to work his way back into the flow of the game since he has missed the entire season with post-concussion symptoms. He also sat out over half of last season to address the issue. Exercising that amount of caution with such a scary, unknown injury is a wise move, especially considering the shelf life of NFL running backs in the modern era.
Some players only sit out one or two weeks with a concussion, but Best has had three officially diagnosed concussions in his very short career and points out that each one is determined on a "case by case" basis. The last one was particularly threatening, which further contributes to the ominous nature of the injury.
With all that said, the extended hiatus that Best has taken combined with his natural skill set should itself him the opportunity to readjust to the pro game rather quickly.
If it's any consolation—maybe it's slightly wishful thinking—Best's teammates certainly believe in him.
In a Wednesday piece also written by Birkett, he quoted offensive guard Robert Sims, who humorously highlighted the potential the former Cal running back brings to the table:
You can't cover him out of the backfield, and when he gets the ball and gets going -- he was over my house a couple weeks ago and we were watching highlight films of him at Cal. I couldn't believe it. I was like, "You're my friend?" He's unbelievable.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford and Co. have a dynamic passing attack, but have failed to find a long-term answer in the backfield. Mikel Leshoure looked to be the answer in Week 3, but the Tennessee Titans defense he ran for 100 yards on has proven to be among the worst in the league.
The next week, Leshoure's production was very lackluster. He may be explosive, but Best is among the biggest home run threats every time he touches the ball. Not only is Best an asset as a runner with his incredible speed, but he can catch the ball out of the backfield with the league's best.
Competing for touches shouldn't be an issue for Best, who will have to vie for them against Leshoure and Joique Bell. It isn't even a question as to who the best of that trio is.
Dumping the ball short to Best will help shield Stafford from big hits, which is why it's probable that Best will be targeted frequently.
Even if the rushing attack still struggles with Best in the fold, he at least has the ability to make something happen after the catch. Lining him up outside in man-to-man coverage against linebackers will open up the offense that much more.
In leagues where a point is awarded for each reception, he is likely to rack up some big-time numbers.
It hasn't been the best strategy to lean on the Lions' backfield recently, but grabbing Jahvid Best while you can is a must for those seeking to plug a hole in their fantasy lineups.
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