Rashad Jennings: Fantasy Outlook for Jaguars RB with Maurice Jones-Drew Hurt

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 07:   Rashad Jennings #23 of the Jacksonville Jaguars rushes during a game against the Chicago Bears at EverBank Field on October 7, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It's been a crazy season in the Jacksonville Jaguars' backfield. The latest twist came last weekend when starter Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a foot injury. It will cause Rashad Jennings to return to the starting lineup in Week 8.

No concrete timetable has been announced for Jones-Drew's possible return, but Adam Schefter of ESPN reports he will be forced to miss multiple games even though surgery isn't necessary. He did avoid a Lisfranc diagnosis, though.

Fantasy football owners, especially those who own Jones-Drew, should be making sure they have a waiver wire claim in for Jennings. He's going to possess plenty of value for as long as he remains the starter, and it could be quite some time.

Jennings first broke onto the fantasy radar during training camp when Jones-Drew was holding out for a new contract. He even drew the Week 1 start, gaining 31 yards on eight carries, before giving way to the team's biggest star.

He returned to his oft-used reserve role after coming back from a knee injury, leading a lot of owners to drop him. So he's widely available in leagues again. That won't last long.

Jennings will be one of the most popular targets this week, and rightfully so. The Jaguars have struggled to find any consistency in the passing game, which means Jennings should see a heavy workload, making him a valuable fantasy commodity.

He received 28 touches in relief of Jones-Drew last week, gaining 102 yards and scoring a touchdown. Since he doesn't haven't any experienced options behind him on the depth chart, he should continue being the focal point of the offense.

The other thing working in his favor is his ability to make plays out of the backfield, as evidenced by his seven catches against the Oakland Raiders. That should ensure his role as a three-down back, similar to Jones-Drew when healthy.

It all adds up to Jennings becoming a solid No. 2 running back for the time being. If Jones-Drew is forced to miss a lot of time, he could even end up being one of the most valuable pickups of the entire season.

His run as starter begins against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Green Bay's defense ranks in the middle of the league, meaning Jennings should be in line for another strong fantasy performance.

Expect him to tally around 15 fantasy points in Week 8, and he'll be a safe bet to crack the double-digit barrier on a regular basis while Jones-Drew is sidelined.