As a fake football geek I don’t have the same ill feelings I once had for whole organizations (except you Washington) or as much blind homerism either. So when I say I think the Cowboys are a team that you must mine for fantasy talent this season it comes from my fake football geekery, not from any deep seeded love for the Cowboys. But for some reason just saying that you like a Cowboys’ player makes people want to throat punch you. This is fake football. Always, always take your allegiances out of your evaluations and shove them somewhere you can find it later and resume your jackassery. I know that is old news, but for some reason I still see it rear it’s ugly rear sometimes. So onto Felix Jones. God I hate the Cowboys! Oh, yeah, Jones is the Cowboys feature back now.
Last season was the best of Felix Jones’ career when he rushed for 800 yards on 185 attempts and had 450 receiving yards on 48 receptions. The Cowboys running backs finished with Tashard Choice at 88 looks, Marion Barber with 129 and Felix Jones with 237. It looked like Jones would start the season as the main guy, but Barber had more opportunities in the first three games of the season and then split time with Jones until the Barbarian was hurt in week 12. So Jones was not “the guy” for all of 2010, but did finish as the lead back. Now with Barber in Chicago it is all Jones with his backups being rookie DeMarco Murray and possibly Tashard Choice, both of which have been hurting this preseason and will miss at least the first 2 preseason games. So Jones has a bit of a stranglehold on the job at the moment. Opportunity is the foremost in evaluating a fantasy player. No opportunity, no fake points.
So what can we expect from Felix? Like I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, Jones had his best season last year, but, and this is a Ted Washington sized but, he had a total of two, count them, 1, 2, touchdowns. How do you kill a fantasy cat? Give them Felix’s TD total. Last season Barber had the majority of the red zone plays with 31 and 16 inside the 5. While Barber was injured Jones saw an uptick in plays inside the 5, but Tashard Choice benefited the most. Is Felix Jones going to be a goal line back? Not in the slightest, at least when you think of the traditional usage of a goal line back, but do they have a traditional goal line back? Choice is the closest and he’s been on the verge of being released all preseason. The best players on the Cowboys team are receivers and the QB. They will spread out and throw and run draw plays, even near the goal line. I’m not going to predict 10 TDs for Jones, but I do see a possible 6-8 TDs through rushing and receiving. Add to that a nice combo of rushing and receiving yards you have a #2 RB in standard leagues, but a possible #1 RB in PPR leagues. I’ve got him in the 15-20 RB range right now, but this Dallas team is going to score a lot of touchdowns and Jones is going to get a piece of that action.
Touchdowns and Marion Barber the Third were the only things holding Jones back last season and I just don’t see him only having 2 touchdowns this season! His ADP is as the 21st RB in PPR leagues (4th rd) and 24th RB in non-PPR leagues (5th rd). Yes, he has an injury past, but did play in all 16 games last season and has been the only back in Cowboys’ camp to be healthy this summer. His upside is as a 3rd rounder so getting him in the 4th or 5th is valuable. My projections are somewhat conservative in yards and receptions compared to what he did last season, but a decent uptick in touchdowns: 210 carries, 900 yards (4.3 yds/c), 6 TDs — 55 receptions, 450 yards (8 yds/rec), 1 TD