by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Generally “older” running backs are not recommended, with 30-years old viewed as the downside of their careers. The Giants’ newly signed Rashad Jennings is right on the border, at 29-years old, but he also doesn’t have the same mileage on his tires as many others at his age. Does that make him a viable Top 50 selection? He’s not quite there, at this point, with an average ADP of 55.4. That doesn’t mean he isn’t worth reaching a few spots earlier for, however. That’s take a look:
For much of his career Jennings has played second fiddle, never getting more than 163 carries in a season (and that came last year). He’s also never played a full slate of games and has just 387 carries and 97 receptions for his entire NFL career.
Just as a comparison, look at how many touches some of the younger backs in the league have already amasses:
- Alfred Morris (25-years old) – 611 carries and 20 receptions (16 additional post season carries)
- Ryan Mathews (26-years old) – 849 carries and 137 receptions (18 carries and 2 receptions in post season)
- Le’Veon Bell (22-years old) – 244 carries and 45 receptions
In other words, the touches Jennings has had can generally be achieved in two seasons or less if you are the lead back for your team. The age, then, is not an issue as it would be with some other “older” running backs.
Is David Wilson’s career in jeopardy? Even if he is able to play (something that is seriously in doubt after his recent injury), can the Giants really plan on counting on him (or trust him enough to give him significant carries, given his history of fumbles)? How about rookie Andre Williams, who isn’t known for his ability to catch the football (though could be shaping up as a touchdown vulture)? Peyton Hillis? Do we really need to go into more detail than that…
Jennings has always shown an ability to catch the football, and proved it again last season with 36 receptions. He also managed 4.5 yards per carry, while scoring 6 TD, in limited opportunities. While the Giants will surely rotate backs (as best they can, anyways), Jennings should be viewed as the top option from Day 1. That’s a great situation to be in, as the team remakes their offense. In fact, he should top 1,000 total yards for the first time in his career.
When we look at the opportunity and the potential production, it’s hard not to target Jennings within the Top 50 selections. He’s going after several wide receivers (there are 22 with an ADP ahead of Jennings), and you could easily argue that he has more upside than a few of the running backs (like Frank Gore). Considering the opportunity and upside, selecting him in the fourth round makes a lot of sense.
Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: