Even though Jennings has been in the league since 2009, he has never carried the ball more than 165 times in a season. It is true that his legs are fresher than most 29-year-old backs, but we have little precedent to help predict his future success. He proved that he could be a dual-threat back with the Oakland Raiders, as he compiled 292 receiving yards last season, but all we have is speculation on how he could handle a starting gig in New York.
The Giants ranked 29th in rushing yards last season, but that was due to the injuries of David Wilson and Andre Brown. Jennings does not have a clear-cut path to a strong fantasy season, however, as some of the running backs from last year are still sticking around. Wilson recently tweeted that he was clear to play, and Peyton Hillis is a big bruiser who could dominate the goal line. Hillis was more involved in the offense last season than people think, as he averaged 35.3 rushing yards and 13.7 receiving yards per game.
Not only are Wilson and Hillis potential roadblocks, but fourth-round pick Andre Williams recently worked out with the first-team goal-line offense. The Giants will want to find more consistency in their rushing attack, but that could mean trying out all its options until things click.
I am actually a fan of Jennings, but I only want him if I can get him at a good price. I don’t want to blindly draft him, expecting he will be a stud in 2014, and his lack of experience and a deep roster are causes for concern. Backs Frank Gore and Chris Johnson are both being drafted after Jennings according to fantasyfootballcalculator.com, which puts you in a difficult predicament. If you draft two strong running backs early on, I would go with the upside of Jennings if I am drafting another back in the fourth round. If I am weak, I will go for the reliability of Gore and Johnson, even though they are aging and have their own question marks.
Jennings could turn out to be a top-10 back in 2014, but just make sure you understand the risks in drafting him.