Maurice Jones-Drew, Chad Henne's Fantasy Outlook After Blaine Gabbert's Injury
If you're looking to pick up an emergency quarterback option for your fantasy team, Chad Henne could be your man. If you're hoping for a reason that Maurice Jones-Drew can get back to his former dominant style of play, well, you might not be so lucky.
The Jacksonville Jaguars confirmed on Twitter that Blaine Gabbert will miss the team's next game against the Oakland Raiders.
Blaine Gabbert will not play this week due to laceration on his hand. #Jaguars— Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) September 9, 2013
Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union reported how Gabbert got hurt.
Bradley said gabbert's injury was pretty severe and ripped off part of his skin.— Vito Stellino (@vitostellino) September 9, 2013
The Associated Press' Mark Long went a little more in depth regarding the injury Gabbert suffered.
Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert sliced his right hand on a defender's facemask and is missing some skin. Fear of infection the top concern— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) September 9, 2013
ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed that Henne will be getting the start with the former first-round pick out of action.
Jaguars HC Gus Bradley ruled out QB Blaine Gabbert from starting Sunday at Oakland. Chad Henne now gets start.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 9, 2013
The six-year veteran came on for Gabbert in Week 1, completing 3 of 6 passes for 36 yards and no touchdowns. He made six starts last season, throwing for 2,084 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The best year of Henne's career was 2010, when he had 3,301, 15 touchdowns and 19 interceptions with the Miami Dolphins.
Unless you're in a very deep league or one where each team has two starting quarterbacks in the lineup, it's probably smart to avoid Henne altogether. He doesn't bring all that much value, even as a potential No. 2 quarterback.
Is Chad Henne worth picking up as a fantasy option?
Henne is in the high-risk, high-reward mold of fantasy quarterbacks: Sometimes he'll produce terrible stat lines and wreck fantasy lineups; other times he can have a huge performance out of nowhere that can make the difference between a win and a loss.
The problem with Henne is that the risk is almost certainly not worth the reward. He's not like other quarterbacks that can be up and down, such as Eli Manning, Philip Rivers or Carson Palmer, where even their bad performances stuff the stat sheet and end up amounting to enough points.
Sure, fantasy owners could end up starting Henne on a day he throws for 354 yards and four touchdowns like he did against the Houston Texans in Week 11 last year. There was also Week 16, when Henne threw for 348 yards and a touchdown.
However, in the other seven games in which Henne had at least 10 attempts, he combined to average 194 yards and less than a touchdown a game. So that's two really good weeks and then seven other weeks where he was on average really, really bad fantasy-wise.
The two extremes are just too far from one another to make such a roster move viable. Unless you're very desperate, keep away from Henne.
Just how much this move affects Maurice Jones-Drew is a much tougher question.
Will MJD see a significant fantasy boost with Henne at quarterback?
The one thing you can count on is that MJD won't put up huge receiving numbers. If anything, he'll be close to his averages over his last three healthy seasons (43 receptions, 373 yards). It's not a huge improvement over what you get from many other backs.
There's also the issue of Jones-Drew's age (28) and the foot injury that cost him most of last year. Both factors will limit his effectiveness in 2013. Gus Bradley may lean on MJD more and more, but he's not the same running back he was two years ago, when he ran for 1,606 yards.
In fact, defenses might start keying in on Jones-Drew even more now that Gabbert is out. They'll know the eight-year veteran will have a bigger role and adjust accordingly, thus making it harder for the back to accrue plenty of fantasy points.
Getting 20-plus carries a game isn't going to help all that much if he's averaging three or four yards a carry. Jones-Drew will be a steady fantasy back. He may have a huge performance where he has 100 yards rushing and three total touchdowns. For the most part, MJD will remain a steady back who has a good chance to break 1,000 yards.
Jones-Drew figured to be a No. 2 RB before the season, and he looks to be in that same category heading into Week 2.
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