2014 Fantasy Football: Understanding the Value of RB Maurice Jones-Drew
With a quiet start to free agency, the market value for running back Maurice Jones-Drew has apparently skyrocketed in a matter of days. As more information is revealed, however, teams may not have been as interested in the former back for the Jacksonville Jaguars as was thought.
The reported landing spots for Jones-Drew in recent days has been the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets. The Dolphins and Jets would allow Jones-Drew to become the lead back if he can prove his effectiveness, but he would be regulated to a backup role with the Patriots and Steelers. Conflicting reports are now surfacing about the actual demand for this running back, and CSN New England reported that the Patriots have not expressed an interest in signing Jones-Drew.
If you have been considering taking the veteran running back in your 2014 fantasy football draft, you may want to reconsider. Jones-Drew has not only proven himself as a dominant force in fantasy leagues, but he has remained fantasy relevant through most of his career. He has slowed down because of injuries, age and a poor offense, but a healthy Jones-Drew on a new team is a very appealing idea. The problem, however, is that the fantasy value for this running back will be hindered by the teams that are apparently interested in him.
If the Patriots did have any interest in signing him, he would have a huge timeshare committee on his hands with Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Similar to the Patriots, Jones-Drew would have to split carries on both the Dolphins and Jets. Committee approaches obviously kill the value of running backs, and Jones-Drew would have a difficult time becoming fantasy relevant.
Finally, unless he suffered a severe injury, there is not any type of possibility that Jones-Drew would replace Le’Veon Bell as the starter for the Steelers. At this time, it seems like the most likely landing spot for this running back will either be the Steelers or Jets, and he will not find any fantasy value with either team.
The type of season Jones-Drew can have in 2014 will depend on several factors, but his current outlook does not look bright with the teams that are reportedly interested in him.
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