Thomas Jones was without question one of the best bargains in fantasy football last season.
Coming off a 2007 campaign where he had just one rushing touchdown, the veteran was seen as no better than a No. 2 fantasy back in 2008 drafts.
Jones went on to score 15 times and finished in the top five in fantasy points among running backs on NFL.com.
But as quickly as his value rose, Jones’ stock is now experiencing a significant fall.
According to Newsday, the Jets have no plans to meet Jones’ request at a pay raise. He’s still expected to report to training camp on time, but his role in the offense is certain to diminish.
The Jets plan to utilize the explosive Leon Washington more often out of the backfield, and rookie Shonn Greene is certain to see a role on a team that will lean on the run under new coach Rex Ryan.
That sure sounds like an imminent backfield committee to me, not unlike the one Ryan was familiar with in Baltimore last season. That committee also featured a trio of backs, Willis McGahee, Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain, who filled certain roles in different sets.
That situation caused fantasy owners a lot of headaches and sleepless nights.
Another reason to expect less from Jones is the absence of an experienced quarterback. No longer is Brett Favre under center to keep defenses honest. Instead, it looks like Mark Sanchez will be under center for the new-look Men in Green.
Sanchez does have long-term potential at the NFL level, but he’s not going to scare defenses in his rookie season.
With an expected decrease in carries in what looks like an imminent backfield committee, not to mention the prospect of facing more eight-man fronts, Jones shouldn’t be leaned on like he was in 2008.
In fact, fantasy leaguers should consider him no more than a middle-round selection as a borderline No. 2 or 3 fantasy back.
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