Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew finally found some running room in Sunday's Week 12 showdown with the Houston Texans, which the Jags won 13-6.
Jones-Drew scampered for a 44-yard gain in the first quarter and even had a one-yard touchdown thereafter, but don't count on him as anything more than a No. 2 or flex option in fantasy football for the rest of the year.
Credit head coach Gus Bradley for counting on Jones-Drew on a fourth-down situation at the goal line:
Jags go for it on 4th and goal Maurice jones-drew scores— trey wingo (@wingoz) November 24, 2013
But the longest run the 28-year-old powerful runner had in 2013 before the big gain at Reliant Stadium was 30 yards, and the AFC South rival Texans had the 23rd-ranked rush defense entering Sunday's action.
It also helps that Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne is playing at a high level against Houston's previously top-ranked pass defense. Other than the 44-yard burst, though, Jones-Drew had 13 other carries for a total of 40 yards, or 3.25 yards per rush.
Henne found Jones-Drew often for six catches and 60 yards, continuing his increased involvement as a receiver. In the prior two games, Jones-Drew has a combined 10 receptions after he'd had no more than two catches in a single contest.
That is the only upside Jones-Drew offers moving forward—especially in fantasy leagues that award a point for every reception.
Barring a massive improvement over the 2.9 yards per carry he was averaging before an early explosion against the Texans, Jones-Drew is still going to disappoint from a fantasy standpoint given his level of talent and past production.
With more competent quarterback play and better defense to allow the Jags to establish the run better, there is a chance for Jones-Drew to succeed. However, that development seems likelier to materialize next season, and Jones-Drew may be gone as a free agent by then.