Jahvid Best: Fantasy Owners Can't Afford to Trust Lions RB

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2012

DETROIT - OCTOBER 16: Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit Lions watches the action from the bench during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field on October 16, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The 49ers defeated the Lions 25-19.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best is one of the most frustrating players for fantasy owners to try and get a gauge on. There are times when he looks brilliant and a sure-fire must-start each week, but the talent and potential far outweighs the performance. 

Whenever there are doubts about a player—regardless of whether it is health or performance related—you have to be careful about what your expectations are and if the player is physically capable of meeting them. 

For Best, just getting back on the field has to be victory enough right now. That could be closer to happening than ever, as ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Lions running back will undergo tests this week in order to have him back for the Oct. 22, game against Chicago

Given that Best suffered, according to Schefter's report, at least two concussions last season, you can understand why the Lions want to play things cautiously with the 23-year-old.

Best has had two years to reach the potential that everyone, including the Lions, had for him when the team traded back into the first round of the 2010 draft, yet there has always been something to derail him.

In his rookie season, Best was able to play in all 16 games but only had 555 yards and four touchdowns on 171 carries. If you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, you could say that he was a rookie adjusting to the game for a team that wasn't very good.

Last season, Best was limited to just six games due to injuries. He did look better as a runner and had an understanding of the game that just wasn't there when he was a rookie. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry with two touchdowns before everything fell apart after suffering a concussion against San Francisco.

You have to root for Best, just because he has never really been given a fair chance to show what he can do. Whenever there is a 23-year-old already battling concussion problems, you immediately feel for him. 

But, Best also has to prove that he can handle a full workload, or even a partial one, before anyone knows what he is going to get. The risk is so high, as is the potential reward, yet the unknown is what makes him such a volatile player.