October 19, 2010

Maurice Jones-Drew: Bust or Buy Low?

If you look at the bottom of the standings in your league, I can pretty much guarantee that one of the bottom 3 teams (most of the time THE worst) has Maurice Jones-Drew on their team. MJD's line looks like what I would expect out of him over four weeks. Unfortunately, its taken him 6 weeks to get there, and he has only found pay dirt once. Blasphemy! This is a guy who has scored over 12 TDs the last two seasons. Why the sudden drop off?

 It could be that hes just off to a slow start, just biding his time, in which case he would be an excellent buy low candidate. In 2008, he came out of the gate ice cold. But that was with Fred Taylor in town, still taking the majority of the carries. At this point last year, MJD was averaging 110 yards from scrimmage a game, and most importantly, he crossed the end zone an average of 1.3 times per game. That kind of a line puts to rest any slow starter theories, but does it eliminate Jones-Drew as a buy low target?

In my eyes, no, but make sure you aren't selling out your squad for him. Let's start with why he has caused so many of his fantasy teams to tank, David Garrard and the Jags' passing game. Through six games, he has managed the exact same amount of rushing yards as he did in '09, but the rest of his numbers pale in comparison to his past self. His TDs, receptions and receiving yards have all taken major hits, all due to the fact that opposing defenses are crowding the line and challenging David Garrard to throw the ball, a challenge he has yet to succeed at.

As witnessed in Monday night's debacle with the Titans, teams have been able to solely focus their efforts on MJD and the running game, as David Garrard and the excuses they call wide receivers struggle to repeat their success from last year. I believe that if Garrard (or dare I say Trent Edwards), Sims-Walker and his distant cousin Mike Walker find a way to finally move the ball through the air, the Jags will not be stuck on their side of the 50, and maybe MJD can finally get some goal-line work.

MJD's future value rides solely on the shoulders of the Jaguars passing game. I think they can slowly improve through the air, I mean keep in mind, David Garrard was a Pro-Bowler last year. When things start clicking, MJD will start to get more and more chances to score, as well as more catches on check-downs. So here's my advice, find a disgruntled owner and see if you can't get the Jags' star for a relatively low price. If you can move a guy like Rashard Mendenhall or even Joseph Addai and a lesser star on your team, go get MJD before he starts to finally find the end-zone. Its only a matter of time.