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Is Jamal Underrated?

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Is Jamal Underrated?

Postby aussieboy » Mon May 10, 2004 3:55 am

I find it perplexing how someone who just churned out over 2200 total yards and 14 scores isn't consistently talked about as a top 5 fantasy back. I think the cafe's consensus cheat sheet had him at 7, and many mocks have him going in the later part of the first round. Is there something im missing here? People often talk about how they are worried about his legal situation. This doesn't hold as an argument, since if you believed he was going to jail you wouldn't draft him period. So anyone that drafts him is picking him assuming he is going to be jail free.

I realise Jamal has some fumbling issues, and Baltimore's red zone offense isn't great, but cmon we're talkin about a guy who came close to breaking the all time rushing record in one season. Many people say they feel he has reached his peak in terms of production, well even if this is the case a couple hundered yards less than 2000 each season still makes him one of the top fantasy backs. I read an article recently where some hall of famer (can't remember his name) predicted Jamal could break Emmits record of career rushing yards if he stays healthy.

It's not as if Lewis had some freak year last yr and came out of nowhere.
His previous 2 seasons have yielded 1650 total yards and nearly 1800 total yards. I guess my question is why people are so afraid of spending a top pick on Lewis and why they believe his production will drop considerably to not warrant a top 4 or 5 pick.
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Postby maddog60 » Mon May 10, 2004 9:19 am

I don't think Jamal is underrated, I just think thee are so many guys at the level I think he's going to play at that he doesn't warrant a higher pick than 7th or 8th. Here's why:

top 4: Nearly indisputed, any order you want, Priest, LT2, Portis, and Green. Green isn't as consistent as the others, but his situation in GB, and recent overcoming of the fumbleitus makes him a prime candidate for RB this year.

5: Shaun Alexander. Pencil him in for 1500+ yds, 12+ TDs now. Easily he could add 300 yds and 3 TDs to those numbers. Arguments have been made about consistency, but he's in one of the most talented offenses coming into this year.

6 & 7: MacAllister and Ricky Williams. Ricky is finally not stuck in an LT2 kind of situation, and will likely only face 7-8 in the box. If he replicates 2002 numbers he's a steal, if only last years, he's worth this pick still. Duece is on an ever improving New Orleans team, and even with problems finding the endzone he was worthy of this pick last year.

8: Jamal Lewis: His numbers were more impressive than some others ahead of him, but his situation makes me wary. The AFC North is getting more competitive. You can bet the Browns will play like their careers depend on it when facing him after last years humiliation. Cincy is looking better and better. Then you have the season schedule. Lewis faces the AFC and NFC East divisions. Immediately NE, Miami, Philly, and Dallas come to mind. Then there's Indy as well. Baltimore has some very good defenses lined up this year, a lot better than they did last year in my opinion.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Mon May 10, 2004 9:23 am

I somewhat agree with you, and I do have him in my current top 5 picks:

Holmes
LT
A. Green
J. Lewis
D. McAllister

Portis #s take a solid hit outside of DEN.
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Postby Big Pimpin' » Mon May 10, 2004 9:30 am

i agree with cornbread. most people have portis in the top 4 but i think going to washington from denver is really going to hurt his numbers. because of this, portis slides on my list.
i also don't think jamal is underrated. he is a solid 8 and would put him ahead of ricky on some aspects but i wouldn't put him ahead of deuce.
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Postby aussieboy » Mon May 10, 2004 9:45 am

but i wouldn't put him ahead of deuce.


Why not? Deuce is one of the RB that people are constantly ranking ahead of Jamal. I don't see why this should be the case.
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Postby Free Bagel » Mon May 10, 2004 10:46 am

I've been saying all offseason that if I could get Jamal Lewis at #7 or #8 it would be an absolute friggin steal.

I'm liking the #7 and #8 picks this year because you'd probably get either Lewis or Ricky and still have a shot at a good back like Henry in the second round.
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Postby 9er Fan » Mon May 10, 2004 11:53 am

Here's how I'd rank the RBs mentioned in this discussion, with Deuce, Lewis and Alexander almost interchangeable:

1. Holmes
2. LT2
3. Green
4. Lewis
5. Alexander
6. Deuce
7. Portis
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Postby KingGhidra » Mon May 10, 2004 12:03 pm

Lewis is the most overrated RB to me right now. I see no reason for him to not return to his 1300 yard 8 TD 6 fumble ways from the two previous seasons. The only reason he was a top 5 guy was because of the 2000 yards. Somehow I doubt he gets 2000 yards again. If you knock 500 yards off and project him to a 1500 yard 14 TD season, he suddenly becomes only 7th.

One quick note about the 1500 yard, 14 TD season. Averaged over the last 3 seasons, 4.3RBs score between 12-15 TDs and 4.67 RBs rush between 1400-1699 yards. I'm not quite ready to consider Jam a top 4 rusher and TD scorer.

In summary. I don't think he is worth a 4-5 pick. Priest, Green, LT, SA, Portis all deserve to be picked ahead of him.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Mon May 10, 2004 12:36 pm

KingGhidra wrote:Lewis is the most overrated RB to me right now. I see no reason for him to not return to his 1300 yard 8 TD 6 fumble ways from the two previous seasons. The only reason he was a top 5 guy was because of the 2000 yards. Somehow I doubt he gets 2000 yards again. If you knock 500 yards off and project him to a 1500 yard 14 TD season, he suddenly becomes only 7th.


I think this is very reasonable. If you make the 250 yard games he had vs. Cleveland into 100 yard games, he comes down to 1700-ish yards last year. That will probably be the upper limit of his rushing this season. I have to assume Baltimore will attempt to pass more this year also with the addition of Kevin Johnson and their #1 draft pick. That may also take TD's away from Jamal.
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Postby Free Bagel » Mon May 10, 2004 1:51 pm

KingGhidra wrote:Lewis is the most overrated RB to me right now. I see no reason for him to not return to his 1300 yard 8 TD 6 fumble ways from the two previous seasons. The only reason he was a top 5 guy was because of the 2000 yards. Somehow I doubt he gets 2000 yards again. If you knock 500 yards off and project him to a 1500 yard 14 TD season, he suddenly becomes only 7th.

One quick note about the 1500 yard, 14 TD season. Averaged over the last 3 seasons, 4.3RBs score between 12-15 TDs and 4.67 RBs rush between 1400-1699 yards. I'm not quite ready to consider Jam a top 4 rusher and TD scorer.

In summary. I don't think he is worth a 4-5 pick. Priest, Green, LT, SA, Portis all deserve to be picked ahead of him.


I don't get this, the summary you just gave of Lewis is basically the exact same as Ahman Green, and yet you put Green in that list.

In fact, the differences between the two actually favor Jamal. Green has been around 6 years, and never missed any to injury. Jamal had a good rookie year, then tore his ACL, and I believe you, among others, have said many times that it takes two years to fully recover. So, Jamal has played 3 seasons, and one of them was not fully healthy, so 2 fully healthy. While Green has played 6 seasons, 4 as the starter.

Given two guys that both put up numbers well above their career averages, one is his 3rd season and the other in his 6th, and it would seem to me that it's more likely that the guy in his 3rd year just broke out and the guy in his 6th year had somewhat of a fluke season, not the other way around...
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