The NFL world and fantasy football world was rocked earlier this week as the Miami Dolphins agreed to send running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles. While going from a team spiraling the drain to the league’s best team was an obvious upgrade for Ajayi, his fantasy owners don’t know what to make of the situation, at least not yet. Is it a good idea to roll out Ajayi his first game against the Denver Broncos this weekend?
Let’s set aside his lack of production this year and assume, for now, that it was a product of the toxic Miami Dolphins environment. Let’s look at his situation as he enters a crowded backfield on a short week. Granted, he’s the most talented player in the Philly backfield, but he doesn’t have a good amount of practices under his belt yet. The Eagles already came out and said he’ll take a backseat to Blount in his first game in Philadelphia, but that will go as far as the Eagles do well. If they struggle, expect Ajayi to get in sooner rather than later. Still, the LaGarrette Blount-Jay Ajayi-Corey Clement-Wendell Smallwood backfield will only have so many carries to go around (though, obviously, the Clement-Smallwood portion of the pie is just a sliver).
Those carries will be against one of the hardest teams to run on in the NFL. The Denver Broncos allow the second-lowest yards per carry to running backs (2.93), they haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back yet this season and literally, only Chargers RBs have scored receiving TDs against them this year. Only Orleans Darkwa topped 55 rushing yards this ye—wait. Orleans Darkwa? The Giants guy? They played Zeke, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon and Shady McCoy this year and Orleans Darkwa is the only one that burned them? I mean, alright then. Good on you Orleans Darkwa.
Darkwa aside, this isn’t stacking up to be a warm welcome to Philly for Ajayi. Keep him on your benches this weekend, he isn’t going to do anything good for you in his first week with Philadelphia. To non-Ajayi owners—which if you don’t own Ajayi, why are you here?—try to trade for him after this week if he struggles. He’s going to rip this job away from Blount sooner rather than later.