If you're looking for a sleeper for your fantasy football team in Week 7...and we mean a super sleeper...then take a look at New York Jets running back Jonathan Grimes. The Jets are suffering at running back—not just with a lack of talent, but with injuries, as well—Bilal Powell (shoulder) and Joe McKnight (ankle) both are already ruled out of Sunday's matchup with the New England Patriots.
New York's running game is looking so bleak that head coach Rex Ryan is exploring the distinct possibility of playing Tim Tebow at running back.
Tebow actually makes some sense in short-yardage and goal-line situations. But between the 20's, the Jets will need another running back behind Shonn Greene. Grimes will be that man.
Grimes—an undrafted rookie out of William & Mary—didn't get much national "pub" coming out of college. That's not to say he didn't earn significant honors. In his senior season, Grimes led the nation by averaging 228.18 all-purpose yards per game. He received 11 All-American awards, the most a player had received in Colonial Athletic Association history.
Prior to entering the draft, Grimes impressed at his Pro Day running a 4.47 40-yard dash at 5'10", 210 pounds. Even though he went undrafted, the Houston Texans took note of Grimes and "loved" what they saw in him.
Grimes had a solid preseason rushing for 130 yards on 28 carries, good for a strong 4.64 yards per carry average. He also showed his pass-catching ability, grabbing six passes for 58 yards.
Grimes came this close to making Houston's 53-man roster. Instead, he was waived, and then two days later signed to the Texans' practice squad. A couple of weeks later, the Jets signed the promising rookie.
The Jets may not have wanted to thrust the rookie into such an active role just yet, but with the injuries plaguing their backfield, Grimes will get a few touches this week.
And again, we are not recommending Grimes as a RB2 or flex in most leagues. He's a consideration for the deepest of leagues. We don't believe Shonn Greene when he scores three touchdowns. He's lying to us. He's just not that talented of a runner.
We do believe in Grimes. He's going to be a play-maker for a team in the NFL—maybe not this season, but soon. We believe in his old-school, reserved style where he steers clear of the "swag" and flashy stuff. Grimes runs hard and with a fierce determination.
If given enough opportunities this week, the shifty back will raise enough eyebrows in New York to get an expanded role going forward. For fantasy purposes, he's only a viable option in deep leagues this week, but is worth a roster stash in others. He's facing the Patriots' 6th-ranked defense as far as points allowed to running backs. But keep an eye on this kid.
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