It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the running backs. Today, we look at a running back who had a lot of fits and starts in his rookie campaign and then was likely marginalized by the Jet’s second-round draft pick. What can we expect from Michael Carter in 2022 fantasy football leagues?
Michael Carter ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: RB39, 115 overall
Average Auction Value: $1.2
Michael Carter Statistics:
|Year||G||GS||Rush||Ru Yds||Ru TD||Tgt||Rec||Yards||TD||Touches||Opp||Total Yards|
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tch||HPPR Pts/Tch||PPR Pts/Tch|
2022 Michael Carter Fantasy Football Overview:
Before we get into the fact that the Jets likely replaced Michael Carter and pushed him into a 1B role in their offense (at best), let’s review his 2021 rookie campaign after the Jets drafted him in the fourth round out of North Carolina, where he split the backfield with Javonte Williams. There were a lot of people in the fantasy football community who bought into the Michael Carter hype and lamented Breece Hall’s addition to the backfield in the 2022 draft.
Except, Michael Carter didn’t really do anything last year outside of a massive Halloween game early in his career. He finished that game with 14 targets and 15 rush attempts and finished with 32.2 PPR points on 172 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. That was also one of just two games where Michael Carter finished as a top-12 running back… and he needed 29 opportunities to do it. He also finished as an RB2 just four times, meaning that Carter was a good fantasy football start six times in his fourteen games, or less than half the time while averaging 10.5 rush attempts, 3.9 targets, 2.6 receptions, and 69 scrimmage yards per game (nice). He finished with four touchdowns, but the 964 yards on 183 touches wasn’t enough to make him a viable fantasy football asset on a weekly basis.
And that’s where we start with Michael Carter headed into 2022. Michael Carter is now going to be, at best, the short-end of the platoon in New York, after the Jets drafted the best all-around running back in the 2022 NFL Draft class in Breece Hall. That relegated Michael Carter to the short-end of the platoon, which will cause issues for his 2022 campaign.
2022 Michael Carter Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
If the Jets, heirs to the Kyle Shanahan Running Back Strategy Tree, run their offense as the 49ers ran theirs, there will be trouble for Michael Carter gaining any sort of fantasy football value outside of being a pure handcuff. The Niners traditionally don’t share snaps, instead choosing to run one running back into the ground before casting him aside. But, the 49ers never had a starting running back that came with the draft capital the Jets spent on Breece Hall. So, while they’re likely to lean on Hall, they’re unlikely to cast Carter aside entirely.
But, the current value in being the short end of a platoon comes from catching the football. Unfortunately, unless Zach Wilson changes the way he plays (and the additions of Garrett Wilson, C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin means that’s unlikely), there aren’t many Jets running back targets to go around. Wilson threw the ball to running backs just 17.6% of the time, which was a bottom-ten rate in the NFL last season.
So, that sort of leaves us with Michael Carter as a handcuff with some desperation flex play upside on a weekly basis (at best). Yet, he’s RB35 (pick 96) in a snake draft. That’s ahead of players with PPR upside like Chase Edmonds (RB37) and backs with a viable path to being the hammer running back with touchdown upside (Rhamondre Stevenson, RB38). It’s even higher than the annual handcuff de l’année, Alexander Mattison (RB40). I don’t really understand the desire to draft Michael Carter there, to be honest. He wasn’t really a usable fantasy football asset last year when he was the lead back in a three-headed backfield. Now, he’s the short end of the platoon and has almost no weekly upside outside of a Breece Hall injury.
In salary cap drafts, Breece Hall has a more reasonable price. He’s RB50 by average value ($1.3). For a buck or two, it’s hard to argue with an upside play on your bench. It’s drafting him in the top-100 picks that I have a serious beef with.
Best Case Scenario:
Breece Hall is not an actual person, and in fact, a building at Iowa State. The Jets got bamboozled, and a building can’t run the football, so that means it’s Michael Carter time once again.
Worst Case Scenario:
Breece Hall relegates Michael Carter to 8-10 touches per game, and his 50 yards or so doesn’t move the needle at all in fantasy football leagues.
Check out all our 2022 player profiles, here.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Source: Michael Carter on Twitter]