It has not been a spectacular season for Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, as he has just 455 rushing yards and four touchdowns (2.9 yards per carry) along with 24 receptions for 155 yards while playing all 10 games. Even the most optimistic fantasy football owner at the start of the season has been largely left disappointed with Jones-Drew’s production, though a Jaguars’ offense that is among the league’s worst by any measure has not helped his situation.
With a touchdown in back-to-back games, is Jones-Drew in line for a late-season resurgence?
In Week 12 the Jaguars take on the Houston Texans , who enter the week in the middle of the pack against opposing running backs (14.7 fantasy points per game, ESPN scoring). But they have allowed at least 94 rushing yards to the position in six of their last seven games, with the only outlier over that span coming in Week 9 when the Indianapolis Colts’ running backs had just 14 carries (for 69 yards).
The only matchup that stands out as particularly favorable on Jacksonville’s remaining schedule will come in Week 16 against the Tennessee Titans, who enter Week 12 allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs (19.8 per game, ESPN scoring). After that comes fairly neutral matchups against the Cleveland Browns (Week 13) and the Texans (Week 14) before a tough matchup against the Buffalo Bills, who have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs so far this season (13.0 per game), in Week 15. It’s worth mentioning that the Bills’ stinginess against opposing running backs largely stems from allowing just one rushing touchdown to the position over their first nine games, and they are among the worst in the league against wide receivers (27.5 fantasy points per game, ESPN scoring).
Jones-Drew is trending the right direction, however marginally, with a rushing touchdown or at least 70 combined yards (both twice) in four of his last five games along with 18 receptions in that timeframe. He is clearly not the player he once was, but his overall workload is not going away and that alone makes him a viable RB2 as the fantasy playoffs approach.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.