Jahvid Best: Lions RB Is Smart Long-Term Fantasy Investment

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IOctober 10, 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

Jahvid Best is the future.

It may seem like the NFL season just started, but with five weeks in the books, it's time to start looking forward toward your fantasy playoffs. OK, if you are struggling with three wins or less right now, the Detroit Lions running back might not be the smartest investment. 

But if strolling into your playoffs already looks like a foregone conclusion, then picking up Best before everyone else realizes he's still actually alive and kickin' in the NFL would be a savvy move.

Considering that the often-concussed Best has yet to be cleared by team doctors for the practice field, there's very minimal risk involved (via ESPN's Adam Schefter):

Best is said to be in the best shape of his career, and the team is hopeful it will have him back for the game on Monday night, Oct. 22 against theChicago Bears.

Best still hasn't received medical clearance, however, and the team refuses to guess whether or not he will.

I know what you're thinking. Doesn't a lack of clearance following one of the most dangerous injuries in the football world classify as a risk?

Well, no.

Best, who is owned in 1.8 percent of fantasy leagues, is undoubtedly available on your waiver wire. He won't be back until Week 7 at the earliest and will take some time to get back to game speed, which means no one in your league will be ready to use a waiver pick on him.

You won't have to give anyone or anything up to acquire the dynamic running back. Translation: no risk involved.

Moreover, the Lions' backfield situation is currently a mess, which benefits Best. 

Kevin Smith has returned to his job as screenwriter-producer-director extraordinaire. Mikel Leshoure has high upside, but his 3.2 yards per carry so far means he is far from having a stranglehold on the job. Joique Bell is the epitome of "meh."

Should Best return to his 2010 form that saw him average 4.6 yards per carry and slay defenses through the air, there's no question that he'll be able to carve out, at the very least, 10-12 touches as a part of this high-octane offense.

Considering he's more of a home-run hitter than Adam Dunn, that's all Best needs to be a productive fantasy player. 

And thus, you have the perfect recipe for a fantasy pickup: Low risk, high reward. 

While Best may not instill an abundance of excitement, just know that during a year that has seen the waiver wire produce mostly trash, the speedy running back is without a doubt one of the best options you'll find for free.

And I was this close to being pun-free.