Jets fantasy question: Will Thomas Jones have another big season?

Jets burning fantasy question:Will Thomas Jones have another huge fantasy season?

What do fantasy superstars like LaDainian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook and Clinton Portis all have in common?

Jets' top 5 fantasy players

  1. Thomas Jones

Sleeper: David Clowney

All three finished with fewer fantasy points than Jones did on NFL.com last season. It's hard to believe, but it's true.

The veteran back rushed for 1,312 yards, scored 15 total touchdowns and finished with the fourth most points among running backs behind only DeAngelo Williams, Michael Turner and Matt Forte.

But despite all of his statistical success, Jones will be one of this season's bigger risk-reward selections in fantasy drafts.

With Brett Favre out of the mix and either Mark Sanchez or Kellen Clemens under center, Jones will find it much harder to find success. Defenses know the Jets want to run the football under new coach Rex Ryan, and defensive coordinators will game plan to stop the ground attack and make one of the Jets' inexperienced quarterbacks beat them.

Jones is also in great danger of finding himself in a committee situation in 2009.

The Jets are expected to make a long-term commitment to Leon Washington, who is one of the most versatile players in the league. Not only will he see time as a return man on special teams, but Washington is also slated to see a greater role in the backfield. That means taking snaps on passing downs -- snaps that Jones will lose throughout the season.

The second nail in the proverbial coffin for Jones was the Jets' selection of Iowa's Shonn Greene in the NFL Draft. The team had Greene rated as one of the best running backs in the 2009 class and traded up to select him in the third round, so they're obviously very high on his skills and abilities.

Greene isn't much of a pass catcher, but his bruising, hard-to-tackle running style makes him the heir apparent to the 31-year-old Jones. And if Greene is impressive in training camp, there's a chance he'll push Jones for the top spot on the team's depth chart.

Regardless of who starts and who comes off the bench, a backfield committee similar to the one Ryan's old team, the Ravens, used last season is possible -- if not imminent. Jones would fill the role of Willis McGahee, Greene would be Le'Ron McClain and Washington would be used is a similar fashion to Ray Rice.

These scenarios don't even take into consideration the fact that Jones held out of some offseason programs because he wants to cash in on his 2008 success.

In a best-case situation, where Jones is in training camp on time and atop the Jets' depth chart, he'd be worth an early to middle-round pick as a No. 2 fantasy back. The fact that he shouldn't be seen as more than that, especially considering his 2008 totals, speaks volumes.

Have a burning question for Michael Fabiano on anything fantasy football related? Leave it in our comments section below or send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com, and the best questions will be answered throughout the season right here on NFL.com!

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