AFTER HIS 16-TDrookie campaign in 2006, Maurice Jones-Drew was grabbed up in the second roundof most fantasy drafts. But in his first two games this year the 5' 7"Jones-Drew has, pardon the expression, come up short (18 rushes, 63 yards, noTDs). One reason is that Jacksonville just hasn't run the ball much. After anopening loss to Tennessee in which the team all but abandoned the ground game,coach Jack Del¬†Rio urged patience: "It's one game." Now it's twogames, after the Jaguars backs combined for just 93 yards on 29 carries in a13-7 win over Atlanta.
So is it time topanic and bench Jones-Drew, or trade him while he still has value? Neither. TheJags' offense is bound to improve as young QB David Garrard and first-yearcoordinator Dirk Koetter get in sync and as the team attains better fieldposition. (Its average drive has started on its 27.) Moreover, Jones-Drewdoesn't need many chances to score. In '06 he had eight TDs in games in whichhe carried the ball 13 times or fewer. Our advice: Hang tough--and don't sellJones-Drew short.
Read Will Carroll's analysis of the latest injuryreports, every Thursday at SI.com/fantasy.
The math is simple: Deuce (4.4 yards per carry) is getting it done; ReggieBush (3.0) isn‚Äôt. Until Saints coach Sean Payton notices, swap in a substituteback.
The writing is on the wall. Marion Barber is Dallas‚Äôs No.¬†1 whetherWade Phillips likes it or not. Try finagling a trade before Jones‚Äôs 20-carrydays become a memory.
Think he misses Norv Turner? In two weeks the 49ers QB has gone from fringefantasy starter to fringe backup. Don‚Äôt waste roster space on him.
An up-and-down WR in a ball-sharing offense? Oy. But stand pat with thisPat. His best games come in bunches; sit Stallworth for now but watch for aroll to begin.
DONN JONES (JONES-DREW)
¬†TWOBAD¬†Thus far Jones-Drew has just 63 rushing yards and noTDs.
AL TIELEMANS (MCALLISTER)
PETER READ MILLER (SMITH)