With all the hype on Chris Johnnson and Arian Foster heading into the 2011 Fantasy Football draft, I took a more conservative pick with my #1 selection and went with Adrian Peterson. However, later on in the draft I may have picked up the real jewel of jewels in running backs. Long story short – I took a fantasy flyer on NY Giants RB Brandon Jacobs.
Now, he’s not a starting RB. He doesn’t catch out of the backfield, and he won’t be getting many carries. I know all that. But — I think he’s poised to have a great season for the Giants even though he’s flying under the radar of Ahmad Bradshaw and under the hype of Da’Rel Scott.
Here’s my thinking:
1) Splitting carries isn’t bad. Jacobs for the first time in a long time is healthy and looking powerful but nimble at the same time. Part of the reason is that Ahmad Bradshaw has shouldered the workload instead of Jacobs, affording him more rest between snaps and a nice change of pace schedule that will keep the defenses guessing when he does take the handoffs for the Giants.
2) Slight scheme adjustment. Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride committed Jacobs to run between the tackles most of the time last year. However, Jacobs speed to get the edge has never gone away, and his desire to break big runs to the outside has only increased. If Jacobs gets 12-15 carries — I have no doubt he can break 2-3 for big chunks of yards and break into the end zone. I see Jacobs capable of producing 60-70 yards a game and 1 TD… not bad for a #2 RB.
3) Consistency. Jacobs has been the foundation of the Giants running game for years, you know what you get with him. He’s still running hard, and this year he looks to be fired up for another very physical year running the ball for Big Blue. Whether he’s still on the Giants next year, or whether he’s running hard for a new contract elsewhere — that remains to be seen. Either way, game in and game out I look for BJ27 to have an impressive 2011 campaign averaging 5 yards a carry, 850-900 yards total yards rushing, and at least 8 TDs for the season.