Player Round Table (Jahvid Best)
By FBG Staff; Hosted by Maurile Tremblay
August 11th, 2010

Here at Footballguys.com, we have Spotlights and Faceoffs. Those features are fairly comprehensive, but they are limited to viewpoints from either one or two writers. Well some players need a little more commentary. We have decided open up the dialog and asked our staff to leave their thoughts on these players and what is expected from them in 2010. Here, discussion centers around RB Jahvid Best.

Sigmund Bloom: Best's star may not burn for a long time, but it will burn brightly. The Lions are smitten with him and he will get the lion's share of touches in the backfield and some touches as a receiver split out wide. Ryan Mathews' situation is more ready-made for fantasy success, but Best is a more explosive talent, and his surrounding offense may actually be more productive. Best will remain prominent in the game plan no matter the score of the game.

To me, Best is one of those picks that can win your league for you - he could easily finish in the top 10-12 RBs (especially in PPR leagues) based on his potentially combustible intersection of talent, situation, and commitment from his team to feature him. Best is a great reason to wait until the 4th or 5th round to take your RB2.

Mark Wimer: I agree that Best appears to have the skills to be a three down back in the NFL. I like what Detroit has done to upgrade their surrounding offensive unit this year, as well.

However, there are lots of "can't miss" rookie prospects who have flopped in their first NFL season. Darren McFadden is perhaps the most memorable example of such a player in recent memory - a great-looking rookie who landed on a team in rebuilding mode, and then disappointed his fantasy owners (partly due to struggling with durability issues, a worry for Best as Sigmund highlighted).

There are a lot of ifs surrounding the Detroit rebuilding project this year. The offense will be better if Matthew Stafford's rehabbed knee and shoulder hold up and if he continues to develop as an NFL starter. They'll be better if Nate Burleson and Tony Scheffler integrate into the offense successfully, and if Brandon Pettigrew comes back strongly from his knee injury. They'll be better if the offensive line plays at a higher level, keeping Stafford upright more consistently so that he absorbs less punishment - and so on.

I'm not saying that Best doesn't have upside potential, but I'm not willing to pay more than an RB3-level pick for him this year, given the uncertainty surrounding the Lions. They may well be one of the most improved offensive units at year's end, but I think gambling on an unproven rookie in a rebuilding program like Detroit as your RB 2 is a highly risky gambit.

Maurile Tremblay: I share Mark's concerns, and will add another to the list as well. Kevin Smith is returning from a knee injury, but is well ahead of schedule and could be close to 100% by the start of the season. Smith is a terrific talent in his own right, and if he is healthy, he's too good to keep on the bench. He'll rotate in with Best to create a strong one-two punch in the backfield. But if Smith gets close to 100 carries, as I think he will, it will likely keep Best well under 200 carries, making it difficult to start him from week to week with any confidence.

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