One player I recommend avoiding in 2012, at least at his current 1.09 ADP, is Maurice Jones-Drew. I realize the runner is coming off of a phenomenal 2011 fantasy campaign, where he rushed for 1,606 yards and scored 11 total touchdowns, but several rumors have surfaced this off-season, one by CBSSports, that suggest that the little guy has lost some explosiveness. Coach Mike Mularkey shot those reports down, but he’s going to defend his player… we believe the reports suggesting MJD has lost that step and a touch of quickness, and at 27 years of age, and with six highly-productive NFL seasons in the rear view, it’s hard to imagine Jones-Drew holding up much longer at his size. He redefined how teams and fantasy worlds view smaller-type running backs, but it’s time to let someone else take the risk when we’re talking about having to draft MJD at 1.09-type value.
Now, the age of decline for NFL rushers is usually 29-30, but a few elite runners have dropped off the face of the earth as early as 27-28 (for example, Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson)… then you toss in the fact that MJD is in the middle of a holdout, I can’t help but feel that the Jaguars’ rusher will disappoint in 2012.
If Jones-Drew inks a new deal somewhat soon, it will be fitting to revisit this topic (at least for 2012, as we absolutely have him pegged to drop off production-wise heading into 2013)… I still can’t see liking MJD at 1.09 value, even if signed soon, but it’s worth revisiting at least… If MJD’s holdout lasts into even the beginning of August, this advice will not change from my perspective, and I’m going to be predicting multiple-missed games out of the runner in 2012.