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Fancy fantasy football: Jahvid Best

By Nicholas Minnix

Fantasy owners are right to be dubious about Jahvid Best's value. One good bump on his coconut and he's probably down for the count.

The Detroit Lions, however, have been eager to get him back in any capacity. We've heard speculation that they've been hoping to have him sit for a full year, like other athletes who have had multiple concussions, to improve his chances of remaining healthy. We've heard that they aspire to use him like the New Orleans Saints do Darren Sproles when he does return.

I'm not optimistic about Best's long-term outlook, either, but he should be owned. He's not, in four-fifths of the leagues at one popular league host, in two-thirds of another, and in about three-fifths of another.

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure
Leshoure would be nice to own Best

That's ridiculous. I was surprised. I don't own him because, in all my leagues, I didn't draft him. My league-mates haven't been foolish enough to give me or anyone else a shot at him on waivers, either, though.

Best could be two weeks away from a return to NFL action. He's a superb athlete who's reportedly in excellent condition (both mentally - with an improved understanding of Motown's O - and physically). And he matters because, when he's on the field, he allows the Lions to do what they're most comfortable doing: pass, pass and pass some more.

Detroit is third in the league in yards per game (412.2) and tied for 11th in points per game (25). If it wasn't for their furious comeback against the Tennessee Titans in Week 3, in which they put up 41 points and sent the game to overtime on a Shaun Hill Hail Mary to Titus Young, they would be glaringly middling. In four games, Matthew Stafford has thrown three TD passes.

The Lions are looking for ways to jump-start what has been a pretty predictable plan. Best adds the kind of dimension that could help them do so.

After the 2011 NFL Draft, this organization envisioned an attack that featured a mixture of Best's slashing and Mikel Leshoure's pounding. Obviously, injuries have delayed that program, but they're only a few weeks from putting it back together.

Apparently, most fantasy owners have decided that they're not interested in the sparkplug. Even if they believe that he's incredibly unlikely to avoid another concussion, however, they must realize that his upside is greater than many of the roster-filler types who probably round out rosters in many of the leagues in which he's available. He's worth that shot.

The Lions don't want - or have - to heap touches on Best because of the presence of Leshoure. But the damage that Best can do - particularly in PPR leagues - with the touches he does get make the lack of enthusiasm for him unfathomable.


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