It isn’t too often that I get the feeling … the one where I feel I need to put in strong buy attempts for a certain player. However, one player that fell off many people’s radar screens lately, and who should show vast improvement fantasy-wise the remainder of the season is Thomas Jones.
Jones, as you may remember, started the season on fire. Against Miami, he finished with 101 yards rushing with a TD, along with three receptions to boot. Many people expected that type of outcome more often from Jones this year after the Jets made significant upgrades on their offensive line and added Brett Favre under center — who was expected to air out the offense and open big rushing lanes for Jones.
However, Jones hit the proverbial wall in week two against the New England Patriots. He finished with 70 yards on the ground and two receptions for five yards and no TDs. Those who chalked the dip in production to the matchup with New England’s defense were disappointed again in week three, as Jones stumbled along for just 37 yards rushing and two receptions against San Diego.
In week 4, Thomas Jones again struggled to live up to expectations. Finishing with a pedestrian 46 yards rushing and two receptions for 23 yards receiving against the Arizona Cardinals, Jones found his way to many fantasy owners benches (the week 5 bye had a part in that, but Jones’ production has soured many owners for the rest of the season).
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, as I said before, I have been aggressively trying to buy Jones in many of my leagues. The reasoning for my madness:
1. Favre proved in week 4 that he is still a huge threat and that defenses must respect the passing game.
2. Jones is officially past his bye week — meaning you can start him on your roster and not have to worry about plugging in a replacement down the road.
3. He’s completely healthy, which is more than can be said about many running backs in the league today. At this point, knock on wood, there’s no weekly drama of whether or not he’ll play.
4. Thomas Jones is still the bonafide ball carrier on the offense. There is no “RBBC” with the Jets. Through the first four weeks, Jones has 67 of the team’s 91 overall carries (including Brett Favre scrambles), or 73.6% of the team’s carries. It’s just a matter of time until that translates into better stats.
5. The big advantage, in my mind, factoring in all the rest I listed here is that Jones’ schedule is incredibly favorable moving forward. The Jets play, in order, Cincinnati, Oakland, Kansas City, Buffalo, St. Louis, New England, Tennessee, Denver, San Francisco, Buffalo, Seattle and Miami. Notice the two fantasy playoff teams.
The bottom line is that Jones is a huge buy-low guy in my book. Happy hunting.