Maurice Jones-Drew: Rising or Falling?
The metric analyzed here, as usual, is our net expected points per rush. This tells us how many points a runner was adding towards his team’s total score on a per attempt basis over the course of a season. Among 200-plus attempt runners, Jones-Drew has ranked in the top 10 in each of [the 2009-2011] seasons, and finished in the top 50 percent in two of them. It’s not so much that he’s been the best in any of those seasons. It’s more impressive, to me, that he was consistently so efficient during the stretch, especially at a position that fluctuates so much year to year.
…Jones-Drew’s rushing efficiency metric in 2012 was equivalent to the one he had in 2010, a season where he rushed for over 1,300 yards. If he were to keep this up, game situations may have allowed him to post similar stat lines as he posted in the past. Therefore, it may not be accurate to assume that, if Jones-Drew continued to play throughout the season, he would have simply performed poorly.
J.J. Zachariason argues in his Number Fire article that the fall of MJD can be attributed to a recency bias, or rather, fantasy owners questioning, “What have you done for me lately?” While Maurice Jones-Drew certainly did not put up stellar numbers last year, he argues that too many people are quickly dropping MJD off their fantasy radar going into 2013.
But in his analysis of MJD’s 2009-2012 seasons, Zachariason finds that MJD’s net expected points per rush and rushing efficiency metric were both positive signs that Jones-Drew will have a productive 2013 season. But while Jones-Drew might have a very good 2013 season, we here at Rotoviz believe that selecting MJD depends on the price at which you can get him. Check out at this piece on Maurice Jones-Drew’s injury history. While not complete proof that MJD is injury prone, take into consideration that he will also be 28 this season, so a regression might be expected. While some believe the outlook for MJD might be good, remember to consider his injury history and other cheaper options at running backs before you overdraft him in 2013.