Matt Jones didn’t play in the Redskins third preseason game because of a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. Just the latest of a number of issues with him.
Undrafted rookie running back Rob Kelley did — and he looked just as able.
Starting in place of Jones and Chris Thompson (who is also hurt with a sore knee), Kelley was a physical runner who took advantage of some good blocking and picked up small chunks of yardage. He collected 51 yards on 12 carries. He also was particularly good in pass protection, which might not mean boo when it comes to Fantasy but does mean a lot when it comes to playing time.
|ATT: 9||YDS: 32||TD: 0|
|ATT: 5||YDS: 18||TD: 0||REC: 1||REC YDS: 9|
|ATT: 22||YDS: 99||TD: 1||REC: 3||REC YDS: 12||REC TD: 0|
Kelley’s play should earn him a roster spot. He could also be the primary backup to Jones, a good role considering how often Jones gets hurt/fumbles the ball/doesn’t play consistently well. But neither will work on passing downs, which is Thompson’s gig.
Knowing this, how much can you trust Jones in Fantasy when he’s got one guy taking third downs away from him and another guy playing just as well as he has?
Make no mistake, Jones is the starter for now. Coach Jay Gruden said as much when he talked about Jones after Friday’s game, stressing that his big back needs to get back to practicing “so we can get (him) the looks he’s going to see against Pittsburgh [in Week 1].”
But with so many red flags, why draft him? Why draft any of them?!
Don’t target them. Any of them. Jones won’t fall to Round 7 in your drafts because someone will pick him up before then, but if he does miraculously make it there then it won’t hurt to have him. Thompson is a decent late-round pick in PPR. Kelley, now a deep sleeper candidate, is worth a late-round stash in drafts that go 16 or more rounds or have 14-plus teams.
Just keep expectations low.