Going into the season, the Miami Dolphins situation was supposed to produce a ton of fantasy football points. However, Ryan Tannehill was lost for the season and everything quickly fell apart. The Fins got the Don’t Care Bear out of retirement and things went a little… screwy for Miami. This led to yet another bout of locker room turmoil between coaches and Jay Ajayi. He was shipped off in short order to the NFCCG shoo-in Philadelphia Eagles, which is great for his chances to win a ring, but bad for his already booked vacation to Aruba in January. Things seemed great for Jay Ajayi after the trade, but here’s the thing: things weren’t great for Jay Ajayi after the trade. He entered a crowded backfield and this greatly undercuts his fantasy football value. Is this weekend against the injured Seattle Seahawks a week that he breaks through his limited touches and becomes a usable fantasy football contributor?
Let’s look at Jay Ajayi with the Eagles, and really look at him. He busted off a 71 yard run against the Cowboys, which can’t be denied, but that was more on the Cowboys than anything Ajayi really did. Let’s play the, “pull out the best run,” game. I’m doing this only because it makes my point look way better (hey at least I’m being honest about why I’m doing it). With that carry, Ajayi has twenty carries for 194 yards with the Eagles (9.7 YPC). Without it, he still has an amazing 6.47 yards per carry, garnering 123 yards on 19 carries. Please note that this is not per game. This is total. In three games with the Eagles, Ajayi has touched the ball (including catches) eight times, eight times, six times. Granted, his first two games he averaged 89 yards from scrimmage and scored once. But last week was the opposite of that. Also granted that in the Cowboys game, without that 71 yarder, it was six carries for twenty yards. He’s also not the goal-line, or third down back. He’s now in one of the messiest committees in the NFL. He broke through the committee twice, but one long run and one touchdown made that “twice” instead of “not much at all.” His touches are trending in the wrong direction, and the Eagles are cruising, so it’s unlikely that will change.
This weekend he gets one of the worst possible matchups, as well. Do I even have to tell you about how Seattle in Seattle is a terrible proposition for Ajayi? Here’s a bunch of different reasons why this will end in disaster. First, they haven’t allowed a 100-yard day to a running back since DeMarco Murray’s big run gave him one in week three. They’ve held nine straight running backs to a sub-4 YPC (again, since the Titans game). They have allowed a good amount of rushing touchdowns, four in their last four games. However, those are likely to go to LeGarrette Blount or Corey Clement, not Ajayi, just given their roles. Even if they do go to Ajayi, he’s unlikely to get more than a crack at it.
Since joining the Eagles, Jay Ajayi has become part of the most frustrating thing in the NFL for fantasy football production: the (cue echo effect) Running Back By Committee. He’s been incredibly efficient with his touches, but he’s getting so few that it’s hard to trust him this week. That is doubly true given the stout defensive opponent opposite him this week. With the playoffs on the line, I would sit Jay Ajayi. His usage and opponent show that it will be difficult to trust him in week thirteen.