Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Draft Prep: Best will be among the best

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Everyone is excited about the Lions this year and for obvious reasons. Their franchise quarterback, Matthew Stafford, looks poised for a big season, and the defense could be a force behind Ndamukong Suh.

But for as much optimism as there is for Stafford and the offense, CBS analyst Steve Beuerlein said the Lions will only go as far as their running game. And that's where Jahvid Best comes in.

He has the potential to help the Lions become a respectable team this year and possibly a playoff contender. And if he plays to his ability then he will be a standout Fantasy option, which is something we expect to happen.

The prediction here is Best will be a Top 15 Fantasy running back in 2011. There is too much talent to overlook even with some potential red flags.

If you go back to last year, Best was the No. 1 Fantasy rookie rusher ahead of LeGarrette Blount, Ryan Mathews and C.J. Spiller. He finished as the No. 23 Fantasy running back overall in standard leagues.

But Best didn't have the best rookie campaign. He struggled with turf toe for most of the season and finished with 171 carries for 555 yards and four touchdowns and 58 catches for 487 yards and two touchdowns.

Taking a further look, Best averaged just 3.2 yards per carry, had zero 100-yard rushing games and went 13 games in a row without a rushing touchdown. I'm going to chalk up the negative performances to the turf toe, which he sustained in Week 3 at Minnesota.

In his first two games, Best had 268 total yards and five touchdowns, and that's the running back I expect to see this year. The Lions have no other choice but to rely on him, and he feels healthy with his toe and following a concussion he sustained in the preseason.

Detroit didn't want to be all in on Best. The Lions drafted rookie Mikel Leshoure to split carries, but Leshoure is out for the season after suffering a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Now, Best will carry a heavy load.

He isn't going to be a dominant runner between the tackles, but he doesn't have to be. His receiving skills will definitely be on display, and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield will help offset any deficiencies on Detroit's offensive line.

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Football.

Best had 80 targets last season, which was No. 4 among running backs behind LeSean McCoy (90 targets), Arian Foster (84) and Ray Rice (82). Best's targets should rise, and he had six games in 2010 with at least five catches. He should be viewed as a similar talent to McCoy, and Best should be excellent in leagues where receptions count.

My projections for Best are 188 carries for 904 yards and five touchdowns and 52 catches for 403 yards and three touchdowns. That comes out to 178 Fantasy points, and last year that would put him as the No. 14 running back in standard leagues.

Look, I can understand why you'd be skeptical of Best in standard Fantasy leagues. There's injury risk following the toe injury last year and the concussion history (he also had one in college at Cal). But an NFL talent scout once told me you should "not let injury confuse you as to who the player is." And Best is a special player.

His Average Draft Position is the No. 20 running back at No. 48 overall in Round 4, and here's a strategy you can use with Best on Draft Day. It's an approach I've used several times.

If you're picking toward the end of Round 1 and have the chance at two of the Top 3 wide receivers in Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson or Roddy White then you should take them with your first two picks. Then when it comes back to you in Round 3 and 4 you need to get two good running backs with upside.

You'll be looking at a group of Shonn Greene, DeAngelo Williams, Knowshon Moreno, Best, Felix Jones or Mark Ingram based on their ADP. I usually target two out of Greene, Best, Jones or Ingram. Then in Round 5, you can look at another running back to cover yourself like Beanie Wells, Mike Tolbert or Tim Hightower and still get a quarterback in Round 6 like Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Freeman or Matthew Stafford.

In Round 7 you can look at tight end with Kellen Winslow, Jimmy Graham or Greg Olsen. And in Round 8 you can get your No. 3 receiver in Julio Jones, Kenny Britt or Santana Moss.

I'd be happy with a core lineup of Roethlisberger at quarterback, Greene, Best and Hightower at running back, Calvin Johnson, White and Moss at wide receiver and Graham at tight end. And Best is someone I would start in Week 1 at Tampa Bay with confidence.

If he stays healthy, Best will post quality stats this season. And by the end of the year he will be a Top 15 Fantasy running back.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Lions PK Prater recovers from block to help Lions win
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:34 pm ET) Lions placekicker Matt Prater had a 37-yard field goal attempt blocked Sunday against Chicago, but was otherwise fine. He nailed a 39-yarder in the third quarter, added a 30-yarder in the fourth and hit two extra points through the uprights.

Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham nails two field goals in win
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:32 pm ET) Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham made both of his field goal attempts as well as both of his extra points in Pittsburgh's 20-12 win over Kansas City.

Both of Suisham's field goals were from 23 yards out. He is now 27 for 30 on field goal attempts this year. 

The Steelers will take on the Bengals in Week 17. 


Bears PK Jay Feely all but shut out in Week 16
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:31 pm ET) Bears placekicker Jay Feely did little but sit on the sideline Sunday against Detroit. He was called upon for two extra points and hit them both, but attempted no field goals.

Martavis Bryant manages just one catch in Pittsburgh's win
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:29 pm ET) Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant had just one catch for 44 yards in Pittsburgh's 20-12 win over Kansas City. 

Bryant's only catch came in the first quarter when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger faked the run and threw a fade to the receiver on the right side.

This is Bryant's second consecutive week under 50 yards receiving.

Bryant will look to bounce back in Week 17 against the Bengals. He had four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown in their last game.


Colts QB Andrew Luck lifted in third quarter of blowout
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:29 pm ET) Trailing 35-0 in the third quarter at Dallas, the Colts pulled franchise quarterback Andrew Luck and replaced him with Matt Hasselbeck. Luck hit 15 of 22 throws for a career-low 109 yards with two interceptions.

It was Luck's first game without a touchdown this season.

The Colts have wrapped up the AFC South, and don't want to put Luck at further risk of injury. He was hit five times by a fired-up Cowboys' defense.

Luck is scheduled to visit Tennessee in the regular-season finale.


Panthers PK Graham Gano misses long one Sunday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:28 pm ET) Panthers placekicker Graham Gano blew his first field goal attempt wide right Sunday against Cleveland, but did boot through a 23-yarder later in the first quarter.

He also hit both extra point tries in the win.


Branden Oliver nothing special
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6:27 pm ET) For a two-week stretch in his first stint replacing Ryan Mathews earlier this year, Chargers running back Branden Oliver looked like a legitimate standout in Fantasy, rushing for 100 yards in back-to-back games with some receiving yards to boot. But he faded in the weeks thereafter, making it easy for the Chargers to go back to Mathews when he returned from a shoulder injury in Week 11.

Unfortunately, in the two weeks since Mathews went down with what may be a season-ending ankle injury, Oliver hasn't regained his form from those two 100-yard games, averaging 39.5 rushing yards and 36.0 receiving yards.

One difference is that Donald Brown, who was second on the depth chart coming into the year, is healthy now and cutting into Oliver's production. The two actually had a combined 20 carries Week 16 at San Francisco, but Brown got seven of them. As much the issue, though, is that the Chargers aren't playing from ahead as often as they were earlier in the season. The turn actually began in Week 7, which was also when Oliver's production slipped.

Obviously, if you're still in the hunt for a championship in your league but have major issues at running back, you won't find too many players who are their team's primary ball carrier on waivers this time of year. But Oliver shouldn't be a priority for any Fantasy owner right now, whether or not Mathews returns for Week 17.


Falcons' Julio Jones works past injured hip, racks up 107 yards
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:26 pm ET) Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones told reporters following a 30-14 victory over New Orleans his injured hip is not 100 percent.

Jones shrugged off the injury and racked up 107 yards on seven catches. He was targeted eight times. Through 14 games, Jones has 1,535 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

He indicated he expects to play Week 17 against the Panthers. The winner clinches the NFC South division.


Browns PK Hartley perfect in Week 16 defeat
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:25 pm ET) Browns new placekicker Garrett Hartley received no opportunities upon his arrival in Week 15, but knocked down both chances Sunday at Carolina.

Hartley booted a 43-yarder to tie the game early in the second quarter and added a 31-yarder late in the third. He also nailed his lone extra point attempt.


Texans kicker Randy Bullock converts six field goals in win
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:23 pm ET) With the Texans starting their third quarterback of the season, the team relied heavily on kicker Randy Bullock during the Texans’ 25-13 win over the Ravens Week 16.

Bullock set a franchise record by converting all six of his field goal attempts. Bullock converted from 35, 25, 30, 20, 39 and 33 yards. He also made his lone extra point attempt. Before converting all six field goals, Bullock had never made more than three field goals in any game during his career.

The Texans host the Jaguars Week 17.


 
 
 
Rankings