Rashad Jennings: Breaking Down Jaguars RB's Fantasy Value Going Forward
Rashad Jennings will get his chance to start at running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars following Maurice Jones-Drew’s foot injury, and he will certainly be a popular player on this week’s waiver wire.
Jones-Drew went down in the first quarter of the Jaguars' overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders. He has already been ruled out of next week’s game against the Green Bay Packers, and the team fears he may have a Lisfranc injury, according to ESPN.
Now, Jennings is the feature back in a run-heavy offense for at least a week and possibly much longer.
Here is what fantasy owners can expect from the Jaguars backup going forward.
Why He Will Be a Star
The Jaguars have ranked in the top five in the NFL in rushing attempts during the past two seasons and have not demonstrated any ability to move the ball through the air.
Jacksonville currently ranks last in the NFL is passing yardage per game. The offense will be centered on the running game out of necessity.
This was evident when Jennings took over for Jones-Drew and received 21 carries against the Raiders. Backs who receive around 20 carries per game are exceedingly rare in the NFL, and Jennings has a chance to be one of these players if Jones-Drew misses significant time.
Jennings is a big, powerful back who finishes runs well, and with this many opportunities, he has an excellent chance to put up impressive fantasy numbers.
Why He Will Be a Bust
Carries are an important measure when evaluating a running back in fantasy football, but they can sometimes be misleading.
Even if he receives a significant number of touches each game he starts in place of Jones-Drew, he may not produce.
The Jaguars offense is completely one-dimensional and Jennings is a less versatile back than Jones-Drew. Running up the middle may be the only offensive area in which the Jaguars can excel with him in backfield, and opposing teams will surely make stopping this their first priority.
Jennings only averaged 2.1 yards per carry against the Raiders and if he did not get into the end zone, he would have had an awful fantasy performance. As long as teams stack the box against Jacksonville, Jennings will find it difficult to pick up yards on a consistent basis and touchdowns will be rare.
Is Rashad Jennings a fantasy starter with Maurice Jones-Drew out?
Part of what made Jones-Drew a remarkable player was his ability to consistently average well above four yards per carry despite defenses knowing exactly what the Jaguars were going to do.
Jennings is a solid back, but he is not a superstar like Jones-Drew. Without any semblance of a passing game, defenses will load up against the run and force the Jaguars to throw the ball.
This will make life extremely difficult for Jennings. While he will receive plenty of carries as long as Jones-Drew is on the sidelines, his production will be inconsistent.
A favorable matchup may allow for an occasional impressive performance, but Jennings will not be a player fantasy owners can rely on most weeks.
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