With 340 rushing yards in his last three games, Rashad Jennings is making the most of his opportunity in Oakland and might be making a push for a permanent starting gig. With the fantasy playoffs on the horizon, Jennings looks to be one of best non-household name RBs you can have in your lineup.
There are some certainties in life… death, taxes and at least one Darren McFadden injury per NFL season. That’s the case this season as McFadden has a bad hamstring. With him missing time, the Raiders have turned to Rashad Jennings who is fresh off a 150 yard game on 22 carries at Houston. At his current pace, it would not be a surprise if Jennings surpasses McFadden as the Raiders’ starting RB. McFadden has consistently proven… that he’s inconsistent.
Consistency is vital for both players and their fantasy owners. It’s the reason why players like Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch went early in the first round of most drafts months ago. If Rashad Jennings continues to get the bulk of the carries once McFadden is active, then it would seem that the torch has been passed.
Of Jennings, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen told the Contra Costa Times, “He’s earned the right to carry the ball. Whether he starts or doesn’t start, I don’t think that’s really much of a factor. He’s going to get his touches.”
In addition to his running ability, Rashad Jennings has shown signs of being a great PPR back. In week 4 he had 8 receptions for 71 yards. In week 9 he had 7 receptions for 74 yards. Unfortunately, he has not been used consistently in the passing game and his third best showing was in week 12 when he had 2 receptions for 19 yards.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor may be on the verge of losing his starting job to rookie Matthew McGloin, who passed for 193 yards and 3 TDs in a 28-23 win over the Texans last Sunday. In eight starts, Pryor had only passed for 5 TDs. If a shift is made from Pryor to McGloin, defenses will need to pay more attention to the Raiders’ passing game. With Pryor as the starter, defenses played up more often and were in a better positions to stop the Raiders’ running backs.
Rashad Jennings Game Log
While he’s no McFadden when it comes to injuries, Jennings has had his own issues. In 2011 and 2012 with the Jaguars, Jennings’ season ended on IR. He did not play at all in 2011 due to a knee injury. In 2102 Jennings played in 10 games (mostly as the back-up to Maurice Jones-Drew) and posted mediocre numbers before going on IR.
When healthy, you can’t doubt his skills. At 6’1” and 231 lbs with 4.5 speed, Rashad Jennings has the build to be an elite RB. His 80-yard touchdown run against the Texans showed that he has big-play ability. He can lower his head and power his way to yards after contact.
Fantasy Outlook: Since Darren McFadden could be back in the coming weeks, Jennings’ value could drop. You likely don’t want to use Jennings as anything more than a flex play if McFadden is active. Marcel Reece is already around to possibly cut into his totals and you will be better off without someone who is part of a RB by committee (RBBC) system.
With McFadden out, Jennings can have RB2 value and at times can put up RB1 numbers. You can even give Jennings a small boast if McGloin stays under center. Also, keep in mind that Jennings has PPR upside and could see an uptick in receptions soon. At 28-years-old, he has some value in dynasty leagues, but does have a little mileage and an injury history.
See where the Gridiron Experts have Rashad Jennings ranked going into week 2
With over five years of fantasy football experience Darren has won a high percentage of leagues and is an expert on IDP. When not setting a line-up, he works as a freelance writer for The Miami Herald.