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You can't keep a good man down

Thomas Jones has run for over 1,000 yards during
each of his first three seasons with the Jets.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Thomas Jones was a first-round pick (seventh overall) of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2000 NFL Draft. Despite that, every team he has played for, has forced him to share playing time, no matter how well he has performed.

In Arizona, Jones shared the tailback position with Michael Pittman for two years and the "famous" Marcel Shipp for one.

When Jones was traded to Tampa Bay in 2003, Pittman was there and they again shared time.

Jones landed in Chicago from 2004 through 2006 sharing time with Anthony "A Train" Thomas and then the Bears spent a first-round pick in 2005 (fourth overall) on Texas Longhorns running back Cedric Benson. When Jones outplayed Benson, the team had to justify spending the high pick on Benson by trading Jones to the New York Jets in 2006. (Benson failed to blossom in four years in the "Windy City" and is finally showing signs of life this year with Cincinnati.)

Meanwhile in New York, Jones has been very good, running for 1,209 yards in 2006, 1,119 in 2007 and a stunning 1,312 yards and 13 scores last year.

So what did the Jets do on Draft Day? They selected Iowa running back Shonn Greene with a third-round pick, of course.

Entering this season, Jones, Greene and Leon Washington were all expected to share the tailback position. Fantasy owners reduced his value on Draft Day, because of this perceived three-way, backfield-by-committee. His RapidDraft ADP (Average Draft Position) was 27.3 despite being fifth in yards and fourth in rushing TDs in 2008.

However, as it turns out, Jones has played so well, that Greene has barely seen the playing field, so far contributing just eight carries for 31 yards. Washington has been a solid contributor, getting about 12 carries a game. Jones is averaging 16 carries-a-game and at 5.0 ypc (career best) is posting 80 yards each week, almost identical to last year's 82 ypg. He also has six touchdowns in six games, which would put him slightly ahead of last year's pace.

Yesterday, Jones single-handedly kept the Jets in the game despite quarterback Mark Sanchez's five turnovers. He ran for 210 yards and a score on 22 carries and caught two balls for another 17 yards.

Although trading for a player off a 200-yard week isn't advisable, perhaps down the road, you could swing a deal. Jones' fantasy playoff opponents would be Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Indianapolis who are ranked 30th, 25th and 16th against the run, respectively.

Thomas Jones Career Statistics
YearTeamGmAttYdsTD
2000AZ141123732
2001AZ161123805
2002AZ91385112
2003TB151376273
2004CHI142409487
2005CHI1531413359
2006NYJ1629712096
2007NYJ1631011191
2008NYJ16290131213
2009NYJ6964816

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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