Jun 17, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart (21) tries to run by safety Winston Guy (left) during the first day of minicamp at Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
It’s a week before the season starts and you still haven’t had your fantasy draft? Really? Get on it. Now. And while you’re at it, make sure Toby Gerhart is on your roster too.
Toby Gerhart? Yeah, Toby Gerhart.
The Jacksonville Jaguars picked up Gerhart this offseason as a free agent and he is being given free reign heading into the season. With the build of a workhorse back, the Jaguars will expect nothing less from the 6 foot 230 pound runner. Gerhart spent the last few seasons learning behind the supremely talented Adrian Peterson in Minnesota and you can expect him to live up to the responsibility the Jaguars are giving him.
So, why is he a value pick?
Because true workhorse running backs are becoming tougher and tougher to find. The feature back role is a dying breed among running back by committee and one-two punch combinations. In Jacksonville, however, Gerhart will be shouldering the load. Because he isn’t a big name, you can expect him to be available later in your fantasy draft or even as a free agent after your draft ends. Now, is he up to the task?
Of course! Why else would I be recommending him as a value pick?
Looking at his past few seasons, Gerhart shows the patience, professionalism, and nose-to-the-grindstone approach you want from a workhorse. Most importantly for your fantasy team, he also has the production to back it up. Gerhart has racked up a healthy 4.7 yard per carry average over his four years with the Vikings. But he also has some big play potential. He has a career long run of 67 yards, but it’s his two 41 yarders in his rookie season that really speak to his potential to always break one open. While he only has five touchdowns to his name, you can expect that number to increase as he’ll get far more attempts than the 81 he had last season.
The real value for Gerhart, though, lies in the fact that the Jaguars have a young, inexperienced offense and will likely turn to the running game a lot. While their young receiving corps screams big play potential to keep the defense honest, the Jags can just continue to feed Gerhart and your fantasy match up week in and week out.
Snap him up quick, though. He’s owned in 95% of leagues already and his rate is still increasing.