It has been a long road to recovery for Lions running back Jahvid Best but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a great fantasy season in 2012. Best’s numbers suggest that if he can stay healthy for an entire season, he possibly could be a top ranked running back. Last season, he suffered a season ending concussion that put him out early after just six games. A full season on the field can only help the Lions to victory but can help your fantasy squad as well.
Though Best is a ticking injury time bomb, he may be extremely valuable as a mid-round selection. In 2011, he started off the season very hot. He rushed 84 times for 390 yards and two touchdowns. Now that may not seem all that great, but adding 27 receptions for 287 yards and another score does. Bests combined 677 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in six games set him on pace for almost 1700 yards and 8 touchdowns. To put that into prospective, that’s roughly the same numbers or better than top ten running backs, LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch. Now I am not saying that Best is in anyway as good as these three studs but I am suggesting the numbers say he could be. Best’s fantasy season really only relies on one thing; Injuries.
Due to the fact that he has been so banged up during his time in the NFL, it is encouraged to be very cautious when you take him. Best should be viewed as a mid round pick. With the value of running backs not being as high this year, he may tend to slip in many drafts and could even slip into late rounds. Where you chose him is subjective on whether you want a high risk, high rewards player in your lineup. PPR leagues may have the ground to stand on when they take him in higher rounds, closer to five, six and seven. Not only does he get an average number of carries, he always is a main target in the pass game. The Lions tend to use a lot of screen passes and check downs as running plays so he may get a large amount of receptions this year. Keeper leagues get dicey. The risk is a bit higher in keeper leagues just based on the fact that he could have a great season and make you look like a genius or end up on the sideline half way through the year and make you look stupid.
None the less Best can have a very productive year in 2012. If he can stay in the backfield and out of the locker room, he can be very successful. His third year in the league has the potential to be his breakout season. Though running backs Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith will also get reps, they also have question marks when it comes to health and shouldn’t effect Best’s touches in the short term. Jahvid Best is a fantasy sleeper that just may shock us all.
2011 Season: 84 carries, 390 yards, 2 TD’s
27 receptions, 287 yards, 1 TD
2012 Projected: 183 carries, 822 yards, 6 TD’s
62 receptions, 446 yards, 3 TD’s