Fantasy Football Sleepers: Is Raiders RB Taiwan Jones a Solid RB3 Play?

Oakland Raiders rookie running back Taiwan Jones made quite a splash this preseason, and he quickly rocketed up the list of must-have fantasy football sleepers.

In the cold light of reality, however, can having Jones on your roster really provide your fantasy team with that much help?

Jones, if he is a fantasy starter, should be thought of in the context of a third running back, a flex player or a PPR benefit. He only has RB2 value if the league is extremely deep, at least at this point in the season.

It would take a lot for Jones to emerge as an every-down back for the Raiders in the first four to six weeks, but he will see a consistent, and consistently-improving, number of snaps as time goes on.

He has qualities that their two starting backs, Michael Bush and Darren McFadden, don't have—straightforward speed being a main one.

While he lacks the kind of size that could put him in the category of explosive backs, he has an elusive instinct that can only means good things for his career going forward.

Plus, Jones has great hands, which gives him value in PPR leagues with a third running back or flex option, especially if one of your other PPR studs becomes injured or has a bye week.

The Raiders also have issues with offensive consistency. If Jones continues to impress in his limited early-season looks and the Raiders begin to struggle with their production, they will likely give him more carries in the search for something that works.

I do see his situation evolving more favorably as the season rolls on, and for a team in a standard-scoring league, he is worth a bench spot until then; unless you've a third spot, that is.

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