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Jason Wood

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys

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2011 Player Spotlight Series

One of Footballguys best assets is our message board community. The Shark Pool is, in our view, the best place on the internet to discuss, debate and analyze all things fantasy football. In what's become an annual tradition, the Player Spotlight series is a key part of the preseason efforts. As many of you know, we consider the Player Spotlight threads the permanent record for analyzing the fantasy prospects of the player in question. This year, we plan to publish more than 140 offensive spotlights covering the vast majority of expected skill position starters.

With the labor uncertainty, there are more unanswered questions entering the summer than usual. The good news is that gives us some more time to discuss the merits of players without having to react (or overreact) to the smallest bits of news about a slight injury in practice, or coach speak. We'll have plenty of time for that when it comes (we hope).

In the meantime, as always we will post a list of players to be discussed each week. Those threads will remain open for the entire preseason, and should be a central point to discuss expectations for the player in question. Importantly, analysis done in the first week of posting will be part of the permanent record in two ways. 1) At the end of the week, we will tally the projections into a consensus. 2) We will select a number of pull quotes from forum contributors who make a compelling statement or observation. Both the projections and pull quotes will be part of a published article on the main website.

Thread Topic: Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Player Page Link: Felix Jones Player Page

Each article will include:

[*]Detailed viewpoint from a Footballguys staff member

[*]Highlighted member commentary from the message board threads

[*]FBG Projections

[*]Consensus Member Projections

The Rules

In order for this thread to provide maximum value, we ask that you follow a few simple guidelines:

[*]Focus commentary on the player (or players) in question, and your expectations for said player (or players)

[*]Back up your expectations in whatever manner you deem appropriate; avoid posts that simply say "I hate him" or "He's the best"

[*]Avoid redundancies or :popcorn: ... this should be about incremental analysis or debate

While not a requirement, we strongly encourage you to provide your own projections for the player (players):

Projections should include:

[*]For QBs: Attempts, Completions, Passing Yards, Passing TDs, Ints, Rush Attempts, Rush Yards, Rush TDs

[*]For RBs: Rushes, Rushing Yards, Rush TDs, Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs

[*]For WRs & TEs: Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs

Now let's get on with the conversation! We look forward to your contributions and let me offer a personal thanks in anticipation of the great debate and analysis.

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I'll bat leadoff here. Jones is one of those guys that probably has always been drafted higher, based on his "upside", than he's produced. He teases us with his big play ability and we looked at his gaudy avg of 8.9 in '08, 5.9 in '09 in limited duty and I'm sure most who drafted him last year were hoping for a little more than 1250 total yds and 2 td's.

Going back to his days at Arkansas I always thought Jones was the most talented back in that backfield - and that's saying alot considering DMac (2 time Doak Walker award winner) and Hillis were in that backfield. Jones was nothing short of electric in college - surpassing a 1000yds in both is soph and jr. seasons while averaging a fantastic 7.6 & 8.7 avg respectively plus his ability as a kick returner. After 3 professional season Jones has touched the ball 400 times (331 rush / 69 recps) for 2330 total yds and 8 td's. Again, he seems to tease us with flashes of that big play ability he showed so often in college yet can't either seem to stay healthy or doesn't seem to get enough touches for my liking to be a RB1 that I think his upside is.

One thing I noticed is that last year he seemed to have gained anywhere from 10 to 20lbs from his college days and I'm wondering if it had any effect on that extra gear he seemed to have in college. I'm also now reading that Jones may have dropped back down to his playing weight from college - not sure if this means anything but last year in 185 carries he had 2 runs of 20yds or greater while in 146 touches in 08 & 09 combined he had 7 such runs of 20yds or greater.

I've always thought Jones as of a stronger, slightly bigger and a bit more dynamic than a James Brooks. With Barber most likely out of the picture in Dallas, Jones has an oppurtunity to be the primary ballcarrier for Dallas. I've always liked watching this kid run with the ball as it seemed he could break a big run anytime he touched the ball. I have to admit that I drafted him in 08 and 09 and came away a bit disappointed each year. I plan on targeting him again this year as I really think that if everything breaks well for Jones his final stats look something like this:

240 rush 1150 yds 4.8 avg 7 td's / 50 rec's 400 yds 8.0 avg 3 td's.

Perhaps I'm a bit optimistic on Jones but I think if Jones gets a consistent 18 touches a game he produces and he pays off very handsomely for his owners this year.

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A lot depends on if Barber does indeed get traded or released. Most people are writing him off, but Barber is not old and doesn't have a lot of mileage on him. That is not the perception since he is such a physical runner, but in his seven seasons he's only seen 200 carries three times, maxing out at 238. If he returns then I fear another year of split carries. If not, Felix's time may have finally arrived. After avoiding him thus far, I think he provides a lot of value at his current ADP of RB26. The combination of last season's 800 rushing yards and Dallas' terrible year may have scared everyone off. But Dallas should once again be an offenseive juggernaut. I expect about 400 carries to be split amongst the backs (and probably 10-15 TD). Felix has a very good chance to snag 250 of those carries with the assumption that Barber is gone. 250 carries in that offense can go a long way and should place him well above RB26 (hell, only 200 carries should do that). Although injury should be a concern. Choice should be a cheap handcuff, especially since the rookie will warrant the most hype.

250 carries x 4.5 ypc = 1125 yds 8 TD, 50 rec x 7 ypr = 350 yds 1 TD

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After Phillips was fired last year Felix averaged 14 carries and 3 catches over the last eight games. Garrett has also indicated that Jones is a feature back.

That's a pretty good starting place - especially if the Cowboys get rid of Barber as expected. I personally believe Jones is by far the best RB on the Cowboys roster now (even with a 29 year old Barber) and that those numbers might be slightly conservative if the Cowboys are a winning team and run a bit more than last year.

Jones averaged 4.3 per carry behind a makeshift line, an inept head coach and a backup QB for half the season (not necessarily the same half for all three). And his TDs were a real anomoly last year (two on about 220 touches).

Additionally, Jones bulked up as high as 222 from 212 the previous year and 207 at the combine and everyone, including Jones, has said it was too much. He's reportedly back to 210-215 now.

Add it all up:

15 carries a game, 4.7 per carry = 240 for 1125 and 6

3 catches a game, 8.5 per catch = 48 for 408 and 2

249 pts (PPR), 15-16 ppg and RB12 or so.

ETA: tweaks to projections

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I'l admit i've never been a big Felix believer so perhaps I'm a little unfair to him but I just dont see him as a feature back

He is an explosive, complementary part of a RBBC, not a 200+ carry guy. In college the most he got was 155 carries (compared to DMC who had 176,284 and 325 carries at 'bama). And last year he got more touches but his YPC dropped way down from his early years in the league.

I think another season in line with 2010 is pretty much his likely upside, maybe with a few more TDs. Decent but not breakout worthy

Call it 1200-1300 yds with ~6 TDs

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I think he is better off playing lighter and getting fewer carries. I still think he will be the lead back, but won't get into the 225-250 carry range.

210 car, 1030 yards, 6 TD's, 45 rec, 430 yards, 2 TD's.

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I guess I just don't expect as much from Felix as some of you.

Last year was his first time in three seasons playing in all 16 games. He bulked up to handle the load of a full season, but lost the explosiveness he had in his first two years. Now he's dropping his weight back down? He still managed only 1,250 total yards in those 16 games. 1 TD isn't much of a step down from the 3 TDs he scored in his first two years respectively.

Tashard Choice is still there. DeMarco Murray is now in the fold as well. If Garrett thought Felix was a feature back, why do they keep using picks on young RBs? The Cowboys are a passing team with 3 young players at the RB position. Even if Felix manages 50 receptions, I don't think he'll see enough carries to finish inside the top 20 RBs.

His highest finish in 3 years was last season at RB27. I doubt he'll last to a spot where I'll find him valuable. I'd expect the same kind of yardage with a few more TDs.

1,200 total yards and 5 TDs would be the best finish of Jones' career and would likely land him just outside the top 20.

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One thing I hate about Felix is how awkwardly he gets tackled. Whenever he gets up it's almost as if your praying he's not injured. In ppr I'd say he's in the 17-22 range, in non ppr I'd put him around 25. He definitely could be a breakout player this year, but as mentioned he's never had a lot of carries or touchdowns, which should hold him back.

16 games played, 220 carries, 4.4 ypc, 968 rush yards. 45 receptions, 380 rec yards, 5 total tds.

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IIRC, Jones has slimmed down a bit this off season in hopes to get a bit more of his explosion back. I'm expecting a RBBC in Dallas with Jones getting a good shot to be the lead back in the committee.

Rushes: 200

Rush Yds: 900

Rush TDs: 5

Rec: 45

Rec Yds: 385

Rec TDs: 1

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His highest finish in 3 years was last season at RB27. I doubt he'll last to a spot where I'll find him valuable.

+1

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I'm not much of a commenter on these boards but a 24/7 news reader and podcast listener. Jason Garrett was on the latest Rich Eisen podcast. Analyze it how you want to but when asked about RB situation he started with Barber, Jones, Choice then Murry. Then when asked about a possible bell cow RB, he started with Jones as the possible candidate to get most of the touches, but not 25 of course.

Im not a fan of drafting RB's that are on a RBBC team. Especially when they are all capable. But, this may finally be the year where you can get Jones at a slight value. But then again, its Dallas, aka high profile team players go early in drafts.

Enjoy!

http://richeisen.nfl.com/2011/06/07/jam-packed-podcast-jason-garrett-kellen-winslow-willie-mcginest-marv-albert-ronde-barber-and-darren-sharper/

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I'l admit i've never been a big Felix believer so perhaps I'm a little unfair to him but I just dont see him as a feature back

He is an explosive, complementary part of a RBBC, not a 200+ carry guy. In college the most he got was 155 carries (compared to DMC who had 176,284 and 325 carries at 'bama). And last year he got more touches but his YPC dropped way down from his early years in the league.

I think another season in line with 2010 is pretty much his likely upside, maybe with a few more TDs. Decent but not breakout worthy

Call it 1200-1300 yds with ~6 TDs

Bite your tongue, they both played for the Arkansas Razorbacks!

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Well, this will probably be interesting as y'all will see my FBG name and think :homer: alert.

Felix Jones ia a tremendous talent and was a joy to watch play the game. He only had one speed and it was fast and full-go all the time. As mentioned earlier, he was best used in small doses, but that worked extremely well for us because we had him at the same time as McFadden and those two had Peyton Hillis for three years. Awesome time to be a Hog Fan.

I do hope that Felix Jones did attempt to drop the gained weight and will be playing at his customary 5-10 210ish weight. And I hope that the speed comes back with the weight loss.

His three seasons at Dallas have had mixed reviews. Let's list them here for discussion:

08 - 6 gms 30 carries 266 yds 8.9 ypc 3 targets 2 catches 10 yds 5.0 ypc and 3 total TDs

09 - 14 gms 116 carries 685 yds 5.9 ypc 22 targets 19 catches 119 yds 6.3 ypc and 3 total TDs

10 - 16 gms 185 carries 800 yds 4.3 ypc 51 targets 48 catches 450 yds 9.4 ypc and 2 total TDs

In each year, his targets increased and his yard per reception grew so I think that he will continue to be an excellent receiving option out of the backfield. However, Choice and Murry are both excellent in this role as well.

His carries went up each year, but his effectiveness dropped significantly. I think that he is better used as a change of pace dynamic player. If owners are wanting him to put up huge plays, I think that they also need to be in the camp that he is the relief guy and not the primary ball carrier or even the short yardage guy.

I am going to project him being an awesome NFL player for the Cowboys, but not necessarily a good fantasy guy.

Felix Jones 16 gms 144 carries 5.6 ypc 806 yds 50 targets 44 catches 9.0 ypc 396 yds and 6 total TDs

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There are two factors that have me bullish on Felix for the first time in his career:

1) When Jason Garrett took over the Cowboys, he increased Jones' rushes/game from 9.1 to 14, almost 5/game and represents a 54% increase versus when Wade was still HC. Understanding that Garrett was still the OC at the time, the move to increase Jones involvement in the offense was decisive, yet managed. Jones was not overworked while at the same time, producing an average of 99 YFS/game. And under Garrett, Jones YPC increased from 4.14 to 4.45.

2) Marion Barber will no longer be in the mix. During Jones' career, Barber has averaged 13 carries/game. He's also been the primary option for the Cowboys inside the opponents 10 yard line. While I don't expect Jones to become the primary option in the score zone, I do expect him to be in the game more in these situations. In 2008/2009, Jones had but 4 combined carries insider the 10. In 2010, he had 11. From 2008-2010, Barber averaged 20 carries inside the 10.

One development also that should not be overlooked is how Jones developed in the passing game for DAL. After Garrett took over, Jones had 5 receptions of at least 24 yards and with the amount of playmakers in the DAL offense, Jones ought to be able to replicate his big play ability in the passing game and defenses focus on trying to cover Austin, Bryant, Witten.

So I don't think it's beyong the realm of reason with Barber gone (and even with the drafting of DeMarco Murray) to expect Jones to approach 225-240 carries, a 14-15 carry/game workload. In addition, 40-45 receptions seems reasonable too. I don't think you'll ever see him be a double digit D guy, but I think 6-7 also is a reasonable expectation. Barber had accounted for 18 of DAL's 36 rushing TD's the last 3 seasons (17 of which were from inside the 10), so if Jones can grab 2-3 from an average of 6, I feel that this isn't overhyping his potential in this area. So I'm bullish and I think he represents great value in Round 5.

Prediction: 228 carries, 1028 rushing yards, 5 TD's; 49 receptions 407 receiving yards, 2 TD's.

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hope he gets his burst back, was great fun to watch in preseason games

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He's looked different to me after his ankle injury his rookie year (which I know was a long time ago). Perhaps it was the ankle his rookie year and then the added weight last year, and this is the breakout year we've been waiting for. I have a gut feeling that this is his year. I think he has a deserved soft reputation, but I think he may shake it this year. Dallas is going to have a great offense again, and as a base case I am thinking 240/1100 and 6, 40/300 and 3. If he truly becomes the feature back and/or takes the next step, I wouldn't be surprised to see something more like 280/1400 and 8, 50/400 and 5. He's a guy I have my eye on in the 6/7th round of a 10 team league.

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Well, this will probably be interesting as y'all will see my FBG name and think :homer: alert.

Felix Jones ia a tremendous talent and was a joy to watch play the game. He only had one speed and it was fast and full-go all the time. As mentioned earlier, he was best used in small doses, but that worked extremely well for us because we had him at the same time as McFadden and those two had Peyton Hillis for three years. Awesome time to be a Hog Fan.

I do hope that Felix Jones did attempt to drop the gained weight and will be playing at his customary 5-10 210ish weight. And I hope that the speed comes back with the weight loss.

His three seasons at Dallas have had mixed reviews. Let's list them here for discussion:

08 - 6 gms 30 carries 266 yds 8.9 ypc 3 targets 2 catches 10 yds 5.0 ypc and 3 total TDs

09 - 14 gms 116 carries 685 yds 5.9 ypc 22 targets 19 catches 119 yds 6.3 ypc and 3 total TDs

10 - 16 gms 185 carries 800 yds 4.3 ypc 51 targets 48 catches 450 yds 9.4 ypc and 2 total TDs

In each year, his targets increased and his yard per reception grew so I think that he will continue to be an excellent receiving option out of the backfield. However, Choice and Murry are both excellent in this role as well.

His carries went up each year, but his effectiveness dropped significantly. I think that he is better used as a change of pace dynamic player. If owners are wanting him to put up huge plays, I think that they also need to be in the camp that he is the relief guy and not the primary ball carrier or even the short yardage guy.

I am going to project him being an awesome NFL player for the Cowboys, but not necessarily a good fantasy guy.

Felix Jones 16 gms 144 carries 5.6 ypc 806 yds 50 targets 44 catches 9.0 ypc 396 yds and 6 total TDs

good post! I think you're right about Jones being an awesome NFL player, but not so much an awesome fantasy player.

Jones is Justin Fargas v2.0..lots of speed,talent,etc, but that doesn't always translate into productive fantasy #'s.

I agree with your stats, I think roughly

150 carries, 5ypc, 750 yards, 35 rec ( too many mouths to feed in Dallas with Witten, Austin, Bryant ,etc), 280 rec yards.

5 total TDs

I'd MUCH rather draft a guy like Fred Jackson

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Does anyone expect TChoice to compete and steal some of this guy's thunder?

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Does anyone expect TChoice to compete and steal some of this guy's thunder?

Not at all, if anyone will end up stealing carries it will be Murray who is an intruiging rookie.

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Does anyone expect TChoice to compete and steal some of this guy's thunder?

certainly a possibility, and tchoice, or some other rb, is almost a certainty to get the gl plunges.

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I have a feeling Dallas is going to be a backfield I'm avoiding again. The same thing year after year. No clear cut guy but a bunch of teases that you'll spend all year waiting for.

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I have a feeling Dallas is going to be a backfield I'm avoiding again. The same thing year after year. No clear cut guy but a bunch of teases that you'll spend all year waiting for.

:goodposting:

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Let everybody else draft Felix high and pickup Demarco Murray late in your drafts especially in PPR leagues. Murray has the best hands I've seen of any RB in college football. I honestly think he can beat out Choice and Felix if he can stay healthy. He has surprising power and 4.4 speed. He gets labled as fragile but he missed about the same amount of time as Adrian Peterson did while at OU. The guy is a TD machine and I see no reason why he won't excel at the next level.

Tons of bias here of course. ;)

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I have a feeling Dallas is going to be a backfield I'm avoiding again. The same thing year after year. No clear cut guy but a bunch of teases that you'll spend all year waiting for.

:goodposting:
The problem with avoiding it completely is that for the right price you could be missing out on a piece of an offense that is going to be so good and if 1 of those guys seperates themself enough, it could be extremely rewarding. For a value play, if Murray is the TD guy for them (had 63 td's in college) and if he carves himself out a descent role in that offense he could be an excellent ppr running back. As a senior at Oklahoma this past season he caught 71 balls so he will have every chance to be Dallas' pass catching running back. Also this past season he had 1808 rushing/receiving yards and 20 td's. He has kind of been flying under the radar, but with a solid training camp and positive news he may start to become too pricey to snag.

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Is Murray the handcuff or Choice?

There were rumors floating for a few days that Choice may actually be on the bubble. Those seem to have died down (over-reaction) but are not altogether quiet. Any additional news on that front?

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How has he looked/been used thus far?

In limited time in game one he had one great run and one pretty good catch for about 15 yards. IMO he is going to be like Dmac in 2010, finally live up to the hype. I hate to put a number on him but I think the rushing yards, catches and Receiving yards will be there not sure about td's.

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Let everybody else draft Felix high and pickup Demarco Murray late in your drafts especially in PPR leagues. Murray has the best hands I've seen of any RB in college football. I honestly think he can beat out Choice and Felix if he can stay healthy. He has surprising power and 4.4 speed. He gets labled as fragile but he missed about the same amount of time as Adrian Peterson did while at OU. The guy is a TD machine and I see no reason why he won't excel at the next level.Tons of bias here of course. ;)

It's interesting because while I agree that he's got great hands...I think his vision is ####ty/nonexistent. If Felix is drafted right around the 4th round, I like his value. Unfortunately...I live in Dallas. Good buy for those of you w/o Cowboys homers.

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His highest finish in 3 years was last season at RB27. I doubt he'll last to a spot where I'll find him valuable.

+1
On 185 carries and 52 targets(catching 48 of them). Just saying, far from a sure thing, but farther from inconceivable.

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With the injuries to Murray and Choice at this point I can't see him losing any time...at least soon. He opened against the Jets then after that he gets @SF, Wash, Det and then their bye...heading into the bye which is early could have his value pretty high. If for nothing else he should get you through those early weeks as a RB1 considering his injured competition.

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Looked great tonight. We could have a classic breakout type season on our hands.

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His highest finish in 3 years was last season at RB27. I doubt he'll last to a spot where I'll find him valuable.

+1
You could make the same argument against McFadden going into last year and look what he did.....just saying.

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His highest finish in 3 years was last season at RB27. I doubt he'll last to a spot where I'll find him valuable.

+1
You could make the same argument against McFadden going into last year and look what he did.....just saying.
Instead of sayin just sayin- why not say something? Make an argument- is his situation like mcfaddens, or not like mcfaddens?Do you like his talent and situation or not?

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His highest finish in 3 years was last season at RB27. I doubt he'll last to a spot where I'll find him valuable.

+1
You could make the same argument against McFadden going into last year and look what he did.....just saying.
He admittedly looked good last night, but looking good in short spurts has never been Felix Jones' problem.I'm not saying he can't/won't have a breakout season, but 3 years of spotty play and injury is a trend.

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I really like Jones's situation this season. Barber is out of the way. The Cowboys coaching staff seems to want him to be the guy. And, his competition is not 100% healthy with week 1 just around the corner.

The big question is Jones's ability to stay healthy.

For the record, I drafted Felix as a RB3 in my first draft this season. I do not remember which round I got him in(4, 5, or 6?) but I felt I could not pass on him. He is a starting RB that should be on a good O.

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I'm starting to like Felix more and more for this season. He has a great opportunity (and I've always liked his talent). The big question is whether or not he can stay healthy whilst receiving a decent workload.

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