2.9. That is the number of yards that Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging per carry through the first two weeks of the season. He has carried the ball 25 times for 72 yards and caught 1 pass for 1 yard, and has yet to find the endzone. To make things worse, he picked up an ankle injury that leaves him questionable for this week.
For the last few seasons, Larry Fitzgerald has been the player who had little fantasy value in spite of his exceptional talent, entirely due to the ineptitude of the team around him. However, MJD has now taken over that mantle. The Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL by far, and their abysmal offense is going to be historically bad.
This is no fault of Jones-Drew’s, as he is a very good running back who used to be among fantasy’s elite. Most drafts saw him go in the second or third round, and owners will not like the idea of moving on from such a high draft pick so early in the season. However, given his rough start and the disaster of team around, it is time for owners to bail on MJD.
Obviously, it will be very difficult to find a taker for Jones-Drew, and owners who trade him will be getting pennies on the dollar. I’m not advising dropping him just yet, but that is coming with another game or two of little to no production. Selling low is never ideal, but it is what owners must do.
This is the most important thing to remember when making the decision to trade Jones-Drew: his name is not worth any fantasy points, only his production is. So yes, trading a big name running back for, say, an average wide receiver may seem bad, but Jones-Drew is producing like a below average running back. There is no reason to hang onto him just because of name value. This has been an extremely common mistake with Fitzgerald over the last few years. Don’t make the same error with Jones-Drew.
Again, the problem here is not MJD. He is a very talented player with plenty left in the tank. However, the Jaguars have nothing that resembles an effective passing game and a below average offensive line. Defenses are committing 8 players to stop Jones-Drew at all times, and the Jags haven’t found creative ways to get him the ball in space.
MJD can’t overcome his horrible situation, and that means that it is time for fantasy owners to move on.