Consider Lions rookie Best a No. 2 fantasy back

When the Detroit Lions traded up to take RB Jahvid Best late in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, it was a strong signal over the in-house feelings regarding injured RB Kevin Smith. A recent report from that labeled Best the “featured back” seems to confirm that thinking.

Coach Jim Schwartz liked what he saw from his rookie runner┬áin the team’s recent minicamp.

“He sort of got his feet under him as the weekend went on,” Schwartz told “He started off a little bit lethargic and then all of a sudden exploded. You can see what you saw on film with him. He obviously has speed, he obviously has instincts and quickness and those kinds of things.”

I don’t think Best will be a true featured back (Maurice Morris remains in the mix, and Smith will see carries when he comes back from ACL surgery) as a rookie, but it’s pretty easy to predict that he’ll see the majority of his team’s backfield touches in 2010.

Considering his physical talent, along with a passing attack that should be much improved, Best is suddenly a potential No. 2 fantasy runner and worth a low middle-round pick in seasonal leagues. In fact, I’ve moved him to No. 21 among running backs on my updated fantasy draft board.

Best will be even more valuable in dynasty formats, where he’ll be a first-round lock.

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