37-Year-Old Running Back – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Jamal Lewis in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Jamal Lewis Contract Information:
Released by the Browns in February of 2010.
Lewis (concussion) visited with the Saints this week, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Jamal Lewis: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Jamal Lewis.
Lewis eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for the seventh time in his eight-year career last season, but he finished with just four touchdowns while once again producing little in the passing game. He averaged just 3.6 YPC, a mark he’s matched or been below in three of the past four seasons, so his 2007 bounce back campaign is looking like an aberration. After leading the NFL with 25 goal-line carries in 2007, Lewis converted just four of his 14 attempts from in close last year. He’ll be 30 when the season starts, had offseason ankle surgery, and his 2,399 career carry total suggests further decline is in store. The Browns failed to score a touchdown in the final six games last year, so the offense can only improve with Romeo Crennel out as head coach. Still, it’s likely to remain a below average unit, with shaky quarterback play. With little competition on the depth chart, Lewis once again looks like he has a clear path to carries, but with his recent performance, even sixth-round pick James Davis might already be a superior runner.
After averaging 3.5 YPC while offering little in the passing game the previous two seasons, Lewis appeared to be washed up. However, he rebounded in a big way last season, totaling 1,552 yards with 11 touchdowns on 4.4 YPC during 15 games. He got stronger as the season progressed, rushing for 824 yards over the second half of the year. Changing scenery from Baltimore to Cleveland played a major role, but Lewis also displayed a newfound burst and stopped dancing behind the line of scrimmage, which had been a serious problem for him. Lewis doesn't possess the same breakaway speed he did earlier in his career, but his newly discovered decisiveness when hitting holes is a welcome sight. He’s still on the right side of 30, as he'll turn 29 just before the season begins. However, his 2,120 career rushing attempts are a concern, as is his lack of involvement in the passing game. Still, Lewis finds himself in a terrific situation in Cleveland, playing behind a dominating offensive line and alongside two major weapons in the passing game in Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. That scenario was lucrative last season, as Lewis' 25 rushing attempts at the goal line led the NFL. His conversion rate (28 percent) wasn't great, but he was much more efficient in those opportunities the previous two seasons, and all those chances for cheap scores are gold. Of some concern is quarterback Derek Anderson's severe decline in play over the second half of last year (6.2 YPA), but Brady Quinn would probably be a solid alternative. Lewis is far from a spectacular running back, but his environment is nearly ideal.
Since leaving prison, Lewis has averaged 3.4 YPC over two seasons. Ankle surgery ruined his speed, and it’s maddening how indecisive he can be at times, often stutter-stepping behind the line instead of attacking a hole. He also offers nothing as a receiver and saw his fantasy value plummet even further when he left Baltimore for Cleveland. With little competition, at least Lewis is the clear No. 1 option in the Browns’ backfield, and because he signed a one-year deal, he’ll certainly be motivated. Although the Browns upgraded their offensive line by signing Eric Steinbach and drafting Joe Thomas, the team likely will play most of the year with rookie Brady Quinn under center. The Browns’ rushing offense ranked 31st in the league last year, and Lewis just isn’t the same back he once was.
Lewis was just 26 last year but looked a decade older, as he failed to rush for 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and saw his YPC plummet to 3.4. He no longer seemed to have the speed necessary to hit a hole before it closed, nor the strength to earn extra yards after contact. He’s still on top of the depth chart, but the Ravens brought in Mike Anderson to push him, and given Lewis’ awful performance last season it there’s a chance that Anderson will push him aside completely. Still, Anderson will turn 33 in September, and Lewis is just 27, so we imagine the team would rather see Lewis succeed than be forced to turn to a short-term insurance policy.
We’re quite sure Rae Carruth will be relieved to know he’s again the best football player in the prison system once Lewis is released from a halfway house this August. And Lewis likely will be relieved, too, since he’ll be done living in a hellhole and allowed to live in his mansion with his rights and freedoms largely restored. More importantly for our purposes, it also means Lewis will carry the load again this season for the Ravens, and given his tremendous skills, that makes him a back worth first-round consideration. At 5-11, 245 pounds, Lewis is a monster between the tackles. He hits the hole hard, gets up to speed fast and punishes defenders. And if he’s not wrapped up, he has the speed to go the distance. Lewis is an adequate pass catcher – he caught a career-high 47 passes in 2002 – but he’s not a great route runner, and he’s unlikely to be heavily involved in the passing game this season. Although Lewis took a step back from his 2,066-yard 2003 campaign when he averaged 5.3 yards per carry, he still managed 1,000 yards and a respectable 4.3 yards per pop a year ago, despite an ankle injury that cost him the better part of three games and a league-imposed suspension that cost him two more. Lewis’ backup, the smaller, shiftier Chester Taylor, filled in well, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and catching 30 passes, but with Lewis back in the fold, we see Taylor as little more than a change-of-pace guy to keep Lewis fresh.
Assuming his much-publicized legal problems won’t be a factor this year, Lewis belongs squarely in the top tier of fantasy backs. Lewis would be even better if he and the Ravens didn’t struggle in short-yardage and goal-line situations. The Ravens were 18th in the league in power efficiency, converting 65 percent of short-yardage runs. Inside the opponents’ 10-yard-line, Lewis was given the ball 26 times last year and converted just six TDs. (The best backs are successful in converting about half their attempts.) In 2002, he was slightly better, finding paydirt on six of his 21 attempts. We’re not saying these short-yardage problems are Lewis’ fault, just that improvement in these areas shouldn’t be expected unless Baltimore figures out a way to threaten defenses with more efficient passing. Outside of the red zone, the Ravens are very skilled at finding ways to attack defenses stacking the line of scrimmage. Then Lewis is off to the races, gaining over 25 percent of his yards 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, amazing considering this is a 240-pound man coming off two blown ACLs. The more men teams placed directly on the defensive line, the better Lewis ran last year (4.7 yards per attempt with four, 6.2 with five, 6.4 with six defenders on the line of scrimmage). Baltimore keeps defenses off balance by not showing any real running tendencies. On the down side, Lewis is not used much as a receiver, and it’s unrealistic to expect him to average over five yards per attempt this year, as defenses might worry less about stopping Lewis at the line of scrimmage and more about containing him beyond it.
While most running backs need two years to fully recover from major knee surgery, Lewis dispelled that conventional wisdom with a fantastic season in 2002, putting up rushing stats that were almost identical to his 2000 rookie year (308 carries, 1,327 yards, six touchdowns). When you add in Lewis' improvement as a receiver (47 catches, 442 yards), you have one very impressive year. The Ravens' playbook entering 2003 is no big secret – Brian Billick plans to run Lewis left, Lewis right, and Lewis up the middle. Granted, Lewis will see more seven- and eight-man fronts this time around, but it's not like opposing defenses didn't try this strategy off and on last year. Bottom line, Lewis is a safe choice as a probable top-15 running back for this season, and it wouldn't be a major shock if he landed in the top 10 when all is said and done.