Is Jahvid Best Overvalued in Fantasy Drafts?
Jahvid Best is an explosive running back. That is without question. The question is whether or not he can hold up to the punishment he’ll take as an NFL running back. Best has already had numerous surgeries (elbow, hip, shoulder) and missed time with a concussion. That is before playing a snap in the league where the defenders are bigger and faster than anything his played against to this point.
Best is in a good situation, playing for a young team like the Lions, that can allow him to learn on the job. His ability to break a long run at any time will offset some of the rookie mistakes. He’s also playing his home games on a turf field, which plays into his hand as a burner. On the flip side, though, is the injury concerns that come with playing on turf.
He doesn’t have very stiff competition for the starting gig. Kevin Smith, who has had a couple of solid seasons for the Lions, is coming off an torn ACL that came at the end of the season. Even if he gets back on the field, his explosiveness won’t return until at least next season. In fact, the only competition he is facing is the ghost of Barry Sanders.
The Lions have struggled to replace the face of their franchise. James Stewart ran for 1184 yards and 10 TDs in 2000, but missed 13 games the next two seasons. Kevin Jones had a strong rookie showing with 1133 yards in 2004 before injuries set in. Kevin Smith had 976 yards in 2008 before getting hurt the next year. The hope is that Jahvid Best will not only be productive this year, but for many years to come. His injury history worries me though.
Another thing that worries me is their defense. They should be a better unit with the additions of Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch, but still will they keep the team in games long enough for them to establish the run?
It’s not like I dislike Jahvid Best, but I am way more skeptical than where he’s going in fantasy drafts (click to see where he ranks among RBs). According to Mock Draft Central, Best is going 37th overall (20th RB). There are too many questions to invest a late third/early fourth round pick on him.
Best is going ahead of proven RBs like Joseph Addai and Matt Forte. He’s also going ahead of QBs like Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, and Matt Schaub; WRs like both Steve Smiths, Michael Crabtree, and Chad Ochocinco; and every TE including Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark. Personally I would rather take a commodity that I have come to trust, rather than gamble on an oft-injured rookie RB.
What are your thoughts on Jahvid Best?