Jennings is a career backup and part-time player, never amassing 200 touches until last season. He has always been a part of a committee—until now. The Giants have abandoned their multi-headed approach to running back and instead seem dedicated to running Jennings into the ground. Jennings is 31, but somewhat immune to the typical running back cliff thanks to his light career workload. He was drafted as a fantasy football RB3 in ten team leagues and an RB4 in twelve teamers, meaning he was mostly acquired as bench depth.
Last season, Jennings was in a rotation with Andre Williams, Shane Vereen, and Orleans Darkwa, but mostly Williams. Now Jennings will be the main back, with Vereen working in and Darkwa a distant third. Williams was the real hurdle, and that is a hurdle that has been cleared. It’s been cleared doubly so since according to the coaches, losing Williams doesn’t just make room for Darkwa to take goal line carries; those will go to Jennings. He was the lowest drafted clear-cut starter, and that inefficiency allowed sharp drafters to get him on the roster.
Jennings played relatively well last year, amassing 4.4 yards per carry in a rotational role. However, he ended the season getting the vast majority of the carries, toting the rock for 16 or more times in three of these four games after not getting any more than 13 in any other game last year. He ripped off yards at a torrid pace with this elevated work load, as well. He had incredible 5.47 yards per carry while getting the ball an average of 20 times per game.
If he continues that, it’s a shoo-in for 100 yards. He did this against a wide swath of opponents, as well (two opponents in top six for most fantasy points per game allowed and two ranked twenty or worse), meaning he did not just beat up on inferior competition. His contributions were mostly lost on the fantasy populous, as balling out in weeks 14 through 17 is a recipe for being forgotten as most owners have checked out.
This week, the Giants are taking on the Cowboys, who return Sean Lee but are missing a serious amount of defensive line depth due to suspensions. They won’t be able to put up much of a fight up front, and they were eighth-worst at stopping the run on a fantasy points per game basis. They’re a tomato can that Jennings will easily knock over en route to putting up high-end RB2 numbers for his owners this week. The Giants are likely to keep it going quickly, meaning that Jennings will have plenty of snaps, and plenty of opportunity to play against the weakened Cowboys defense.
Jennings made his way onto your fantasy football roster as an unsexy value play/ He was chosen because he made logical sense, but because he had any tremendous upside. Solid running backs with plenty of opportunity in plush matchups are exactly what you are looking for in an RB2 or flex. This week, Jennings provides all three.