If you ever want to punish your worst enemy, have them write about the fantasy football outlook of the 2013 New York Jets roster. There aren’t enough straws in this world to grasp, and rainbows to kneel under. Yet I did that yesterday afternoon, an exercise in despair which served as a reminder to all of us that if everything aligns just so, right now it looks like Chris Ivory will sadly be the most valuable fantasy commodity on the Jets offense.
Now, the value of that most valuable commodity has possibly been torpedoed, at least partly. Oy.
Ivory and injuries get along quite swimmingly, a risk which you’re aware of and willing to accept if you draft him. Fine, but given the early date on the calendar, it still gives us little hope to see him able to make it through only a portion of his first practice before a hamstring flareup.
But whatever, amirite? At the right price, you can calm your queasiness about Ivory’s injuries, and know that you’re investing in a featured back, and therefore you’ll also be pouncing on the rare time to get good running back value in the middle rounds. Or what if that’s not true at all?
Privately, the staff is hoping that Ivory, acquired in an offseason trade with the Saints, can be a 15-carry-a-game runner. But he has never played a full season, so it’s a bold projection.
Easing Ivory in is wise, of course, especially since he’s missed 24 of a possible 48 games throughout his career. But a 15-carry workload is a little restrictive, and it limits any value you were hoping for with Ivory. His ADP varies right now, as most do in early August. But regardless of the injury concerns, seeing a team’s primary running back coming off the board as late as the 77th overall pick is highly appealing.
That specific price (which is where Ivory sits at My Fantasy League) is now much more tolerable than his 43.7 at Fantasy Football Calculator, or even his 59.9 in ESPN leagues. Waiting is the hardest part, but it’s mandated with an oft-injured back like Ivory whose workload could be restrictive, and bring him down to low-end RB2 status most weeks.
Or maybe we’re all about to overreact to this (myself included), which is the first time in the history of Internet communication that fantasy fiends have done such a thing. Ivory has high-end open field speed and he runs like a damn possessed headless horseman, which means that when he’s healthy, chunk yardage could/should come in abundance. We saw that last year with the Saints, when his single-game high was a very moderate 10 carries, yet he still had three 20-yard runs (including a 56-yarder) on only 40 carries.
So draft him and do some flex spot dice chucking then, which is where all high-upside gambles should happen. Just brace for anything but consistency.