Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams.
RBs-New York Giants
Average draft position (ADP)-Jennings-49 and Williams-138
Summary-Draft Jennings with the hope he comes close to last seasons per game numbers, somewhere around his ADP. I would bump it up a round in PPR leagues, down a round for dynasty leagues. Draft Williams as a solid handcuff, with high sleeper upside, anywhere after the 11th round.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of quarterbacks, it was the age of dual backfields.” The New York football Giants come into the 2014 season hoping to return to the “best of times” after last season’s “worst of times”. The best of times; AKA, being able to run the ball, play defense, and beat Tom Brady twice in the Super Bowl. The worst of times being, the forgettable season of 2013. I think they will fall somewhere in the middle; a team that wins 7-10 games, plays better defense, and returns to that impressive Coughlin power run game. After suffering a significant loss to their backfield (David Wilson’s injury/retirement); the Giants now turn to Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams to tote the rock for their 2014 campaign, should you?
You look familiar, have we met?
Let’s first take a look at Jennings. He is a 6’ 1”, 231 lb brawler. His strengths lie in his size, strength, and decisiveness; over his speed and big play ability. He has good hands and appears to have a big role in the passing game. When he hits a defender with momentum, he usually breaks the tackle or falls for another 2-3 yards. He enters his fifth season in the league with the chance to finally prove he is a 16 game feature back. After backing up MJD in Jacksonville for a few seasons; he rode the pine behind the glass legs of Darren McFadden in 2013. And when the glass cracked in week 9, he took full advantage of his opportunity. From weeks 9-16 he played a significant role in 7 games (missed week 14 due to concussion protocol) and tallied 113.1 fantasy points. During that stretch he was consistent; his worst game and only non-double digit effort was a respectable 7.2 points. That comes out to around 16 points per game; which places him between Forte and Lynch, on a per game basis. I will note in full disclosure; week seventeen he scored a meager, 1.7 points. I left this out of the equation for two reasons. It was a week he ran the ball only four times (due to the blowout from Denver) and who plays in week seventeen? If you are playing in week seventeen, don’t. Nobody should lose their championship because three of their stars are wearing headsets, instead of helmets. Ask the commissioner to change this; if they won’t, proceed with impeachment protocol
“LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLLE” (use a Michael Buffer voice to read the first sentence)
“And now…introducing…standing at five feet, eleven inches……weighing in at TWO hundred THIRTY lbs…a fourth round pick out of Boston College….ANDREEEEE WILLLLIAMMMS!!!!!” Will the crowd boo or will they cheer? I’m going to do a little bit of both. I will cheer his running ability, 2177 yards (6.1YPC) and 18 TDS his senior year. But, I will boo his non-existent receiving presence and his lack of pass protection skills. Believe me when I say non-existent; Williams had zero catches his senior year. To his credit, Boston College ran the ball at an almost 2:1 ratio last season. They only completed 164 passes all year (11 to RBs); this could explain his lack of third down skills. Explain maybe, but it will not excuse. Coach Coughlin has been known to keep his rookie RBs on a short leash if they make frequent and/or costly mistakes; however, I don’t believe he gets many chances to make the mistakes on third down. It seems that role will primarily go to Jennings. So let’s focus on what he will be doing, running. This pre-season Williams has taken some time with the first team offense, which is a good sign. He and Jennings have been in a time share with the first team offense, with the majority of the carries going to Jennings. Williams has come in on the 3rd or 4th series in the first three games. He has made good use of his opportunity; 22 carries, for 102 yards, and 1 score. For me the problem with Williams is the competition. He is no sure thing to get the goal line carries this season; which is where most of his fantasy potential could stem from. All three of the Giants projected opening day RBs are big power backs, who could all see their chance to reach short yardage pay dirt. My concerns of his goal-line work aside, I still very much like the value and the raw talent. He is currently being drafted 138th overall and the 6th rookie RB off the board.
If I take Jennings in the 5th-7th, I am going to use a 12th-14th round pick to get Williams. At worst you get a flex player and his handcuff. But if this situation turns into the 2010 Giants backfield, you will have struck gold twice. At the end of the season, I think Jennings will be a top 15 back and Williams will be a good match up play or bye week fill in.