Why Maurice Jones-Drew Should Be Considered a No. 1 Fantasy Pick

Aaron WadeContributor IJuly 27, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 13:  Yeremiah Bell #37 of the Miami Dolphins attempts to tackle Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

With the 2010 NFL football season right around the corner, that can only mean one thing; time for fantasy football drafts.

Who should go first?

What late rounder will have a breakthrough year?

People have been debating for weeks now, with no signs of letting up.

At the running back spot, there has been no shortage of controversy for who should claim the No. 1 spot.

Some people would say it should be Titans breakout star Chris Johnson, who ran for over 2,000 yards last season.

Others would argue that it should be perennial favorite Adrian Peterson, who has been in the top three every season in fantasy points every season.

However, there is one player that is getting overlooked that could be in that same class:

Maurice Jones-Drew.

Now before I get all sort of hate comments, here are my thoughts on Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson.

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There is no doubt that Johnson had an amazing year last season but, I don’t see him doing it again.

He was largely underestimated throughout the whole season but that will change this year.

Teams will be stacking the box and focusing on him, which means he will not have as many yards.

Also, consider this; Johnson had seven rushing touchdowns of 30 or more yards.

He tied the great Jim Brown for that record but, Jim Brown only had two rushing touchdowns over 30 yards the next season.

Another stunning fact is that, other than Barry Sanders, every player that ran for 2,000 yards in a season rushed for less than 1,200 yards the following year.

While Johnson will not get as many yards, it might be the same for Peterson.

If Brett Favre comes back again this season, it is clear that they will be a big passing team.

Peterson saw his carries drop by 50 when Favre joined the team.

Peterson is also not really known as a pass-catching back, with only one touchdown reception.

Favre had another great year last season, looking a much like his old Green Bay form.

With that confidence, plus the confidence gained by his receiving corps including Percy Harvin, who broke out during his rookie season; and Visanthe Shiancoe, who had 11 touchdown receptions; they could become even more of a pass-friendly team.

If you add that to rookie Toby Gerhart, who will be looking for lots of touches in his rookie season, the odds are stacked against him to do as much damage as usual.

Maurice Jones-Drew has proven to be a workhorse.

He had more rushing yards than Peterson last season, and had more targets in the passing game.

He had a career year last season because he was the feature back with the departure of Fred Jackson in the off season last year.

He had over 300 rushing attempts last season, which was on par with Peterson and Johnson.

He will get just as many if not more touches this season, because of the virtual nonexistent backup because David Garrard had the second most rushing attempts last season.

Also, with no real passing threat in Jacksonville other than Mike Sims-Walker, they will be handing the ball off a lot to Jones-Drew.

They can also use Jones-Drew as another potential target for David Garrard, because he had 53 receptions last season which was second on the team.

He only had 7.1 yard per reception but, he is not much of a downfield threat.

However, he can move the chains with a short catch, making him dangerous in both the rushing game and passing game.

If he showed us anything last season, however; the best is yet to come.