2014 Fantasy Football: Maurice Jones-Drew’s Value Plummets with Oakland Signing
Maurice Jones-Drew will be playing with a new team for the next three seasons. He signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders lost backup running back Rashad Jennings, leaving Darren McFadden as the only viable rusher.
The Raiders needed another running back to support the oft-injured McFadden. MJD has played in 16 games four times in his eight-year career. McFadden has yet to play a full season, which is why Jennings was so valuable to fantasy owners in 2013. MJD finished as the 19th fantasy running back, Jennings was the 22nd rusher and McFadden ended at No. 47.
Jones-Drew did not face any competition from teammates. Jordan Todman played only when MJD needed a rest. McFadden started the season as the starter, but Jennings played much better in DMC’s absence and took over the starting job. While the same thing may not happen with MJD and McFadden, but both players are talented enough to steal carries from the other.
However, Jones-Drew may be on the decline for his career. He didn’t record 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season. He also finished with 3.4 yards per carry, the worst of his career. The Raiders offense is one of the worst offenses in the league. Matt Schaub is a sub-par quarterback and the offensive line allowed 37 combined sacks.
As a result, Jones-Drew will be heavily relied on in a time where running backs’ roles are diminishing more and more. In 2013, only two running backs finished with over 300 attempts. There were five in 2012 and seven in 2010. That high of rushing attempts could see MJD on the IR for a period of time, especially at the age of 29.
As of right now, Jones-Drew is no more than a high-end RB3 and McFadden drops to an RB4. With Latavius Murray, who management is really high on, waiting in the wings, Jones-Drew will not be the superstar running back he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars.