Taiwan Jones has not seen much action in his brief NFL career. In 2011 he came into the league with much promise. The Oakland Raiders running back only saw 16 carries which he converted into 76 yards during his rookie year. The limited action was because the Raiders had Darren McFadden and Michael Bush on their team as the top options.
With McFadden and Raiders backup running back Mike Goodson suffering from ankle injuries, Jones may finally get his chance to show off his 4.33 40-yard dash speed this week.
The timing couldn't have been any better for Jones to get his opportunity. The Oakland Raiders head into Baltimore on Sunday, where Jones will get a crack at a Ravens rushing defense that has surrendered 139.5 rushing yards per game and nine total rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs. This ranks them at fifth worst in the NFL.
The bad news is the Raiders rank 31st in the NFL with only 77.3 rushing yards per game. It is worth noting that in the eight games Oakland has played this year, they have seen five defenses that rank in the top 10 against the run. Last week when McFadden got hurt, they were going up against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers run defense that ranks first in the league, giving up less than 80 yards per contest.
The fact that Jones gets a shot at an awful run defense has to be promising for fantasy owners. No team has seen what this guy is capable of doing. The former Eastern Washington Eagle rushed 221 times for 1,742 yards and 14 touchdowns in his last season as a collegiate athlete. He also added 24 receptions for 342 yards and three scores through the air.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer has a tendency to check down to his running backs, and Jones is clearly a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.
As Jones seems to be a promising start in standard scoring leagues this week, it is even more promising for him to put up numbers in PPR leagues.
Get Jones while you can, because he will most likely only be good for one week until McFadden comes back from his injury. If you are able to grab him up from free agency, he is a must-start in all formats this week.