Sell Low Running Backs: Maurice Jones-Drew & Ryan Mathews

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Wait, shouldn’t the title read Sell High Running Backs?  Maybe it was a typo and should read Buy Low Running Backs?  Unfortunately that’s not the case.  Sometimes players just haven’t produced and there’s little hope going forward, so we have to take what we can get and move on.  Let’s take a look at Maurice Jones-Drew and Ryan Mathews to see if they fall into this category:

Maurice Jones-Drew
The Jacksonville Jaguars are simply a bad football team and things just don’t appear to be looking up. First they traded away Eugene Moore than saw Luke Joeckel lost for the year due to injury. As if things weren’t bad enough, their offensive line is now completely in shambles.

As it is they fall behind early and often, leaving the team to abandon the run and throw the ball in an attempt to keep up. That has helped limit Jones-Drew’s touches, but he’s struggled even when he has been given the football averaging just 2.8 yards per carry (he has one game averaging more than 3.0 yards per carry). Throw in that he’s no longer an asset in the passing game (6 receptions after 14 in 2012) and where is the upside?

The names to own in Jacksonville are Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon. Outside of that, what’s the point? If you can find a taker, you almost have to take the deal if the price is reasonable.

As it is, a free agent at the end of the season, you have to wonder if the Jaguars will start trying to see if a younger back (i.e. Denard Robinson) could be an impact player moving forward.

Ryan Matthews
Always injury prone, Mathews was forced from Week 5 due to a concussion. It’s just icing on the cake for a running back who has been ceding touches to Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown all season long.

It’s hard to imagine the Chargers suddenly trusting him, and he’s not a goal line or third down back. So what is he? A fantasy black hole, that’s what. Try finding someone in your league that still believes.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 Rankings:

Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Jimmy Graham, Danny Amendola, CJ Spiller & More
Fantasy Fallout: Giants vs. Bears: Brandon Jacobs' Turns Back The Clock, Brandon Marshall Breaks Out & More


  1. Vince says:

    Would you trade mjd and kenbrall thomkins for Giovanni benard?

    • While Bernard is hardly a must use option, I think I would at this point. He has the much higher upside for the second half of the season.

      Thompkins isn’t the biggest loss, but do you have enough WR depth?

      • Vince says:

        I’m good at receiver and wouldn’t use Tompkins unless I have more than 2 we on bye on the same week. also I’ll have to start either mjd or Bernard on week 8

        • I’d have to check the matchup, but Bernard has the higher upside for the rest of the season at this point.

          It’s a sell low, to be sure, but I’d probably do it.

          • Vince says:

            Thanks I did the trade. Not really using either player anyways. Hope benard gets 75+% of the plays for the rest of the year.

  2. Ozzy says:

    I’m stacked at Wr but every other position is just plain bad- I’m now finding myself at 1-4 and streaming every position except for rb and Wr- I’m looking at 2 targets in my league right now- one guy who lost Julio and has marshawn, his only other Wr is brown. And another guy who really wants my garçon and has Doug Martin. Who can I trade??
    My team:
    McGahee, Stacy, mjd, dmc, Donald brown, Lamar miller
    Torrey smith, Cobb, Blackmon, Fitzgerald, garçon, aldpn

  3. Jesse says:

    I Have a really good question, been tryin to get brees off this guy in a league of mine. He turned down a trade I proposed and countered with Brees/Stevie Johnson for Brady/Moreno. That would leave me withspiller/lacy. I love moreno, but i WANT brees. What do you think.

  4. Jesse says:

    I countered with Brady/Moreno for Brees/Gates, he’s kinda dumb so he might go for it. I think I would get the better deal, but he needs a RB bad.

  5. Jesse says:

    Or should I just stick with what I have?

  6. Terry says:

    I have been offered a trade request- I give up Doug Martin and Brandon Marshall and I receive Eddy Lacy, Darren Sproles, and Mike Wallace. What do you think? Thanks

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