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Thomas Jones

One guy I've never been able to figure out is RB Thomas Jones. Over the past two seasons he's put up great totals - 2,545 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns -- but he never seems to get credit for being a great fantasy back. Part of that is because he's had to share the spotlight in Chicago with Cedric Benson and being in a RRBC tends to downgrade fantasy backs. But I think a lot of it has to do with how quietly Jones has gone about racking up those stats. Jones only had four games with 100+ rushing yards and only one game with multiple touchdowns. Last season he produced a very quiet 1210 yards.

Now Jones heads out to the Meadowlands in a trade with the Jets. Coach Mangini has cleaned out the House of a Thousand Running Backs and sent Kevan Barlow and Derrick Blaylock packing. Jones will take over as the starting running back with Leon Washington backing him up and Cedric Houston the #3. Finally, Jones will get his shot to be the man. Or maybe not.

Last year Jones had to deal with Cedric Benson taking carries away from him. This year he has to deal with Leon Washington doing the same. Take a look at the 2007 stats for Benson and Washington:

Player Att Yds Avg Rush TD
Benson 157 647 4.1 6
Washington 151 650 4.3 4

They're practically the same running back. Considering that Benson has had an extra year of experience and was playing for the NFC Champions, you could argue that Leon Washington was a better back than Cedric Benson last season.

Twelve-hundred yards or not, I don't assume that Thomas Jones will get more carries than the 296 he had last season - to the contrary, I think he'll see fewer carries. The Jets may have traded for Jones in order to stabilize their RB corps, but that's not the same thing as trading for him to be the sole starter.