For a player that was being selected at the end of the first round in fantasy drafts, Jay Ajayi has not lived up to expectations. Fantasy owners are hoping his recent trade to the Eagles will help his fantasy production. There’s no question that moving into one of the best offenses in the league will help his fantasy value see an uptick, but the question is how great the jump will be.
Ajayi is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry this season, but has also been playing behind a dismal Dolphins offensive line. Ajayi did show flashes this season rushing for over 100 yards in two games, but he has yet to find the end zone.
After the trade, I move Ajayi up to RB2 territory, but I still have concerns about his overall value. In 2016, the bulk of Ajayi’s 1,272 yards came in four games. Ajayi rushed for 214, 206, 204 and 111 yards in his best four games which accounted for more than half of his total yards. I fear that Ajayi could be a running back that is difficult to trust in your starting lineup given his boom or bust potential. We have seen the same thing this season.
What we do know is Ajayi is going to a good opportunity in Philadelphia as it has been known the Eagles were not particularly happy with LeGarrette Blount. Darren Sproles went down with a season-ending injury, and Wendell Smallwood has not been overly impressive in his expanded role.
The Eagles rank near the top in nearly every offensive category. Philadelphia is fourth in points scored with 29 points per game, and sixth in yards per game with 371 yards. The key stat for Ajayi owners looking to be optimistic is the 246 carries the Eagles have had this season, the most of any team in the NFL. Without Ajayi, the Eagles rushing attack already ranked fifth in the league with 129.3 yards per game.
Ajayi also gets an upgrade at quarterback with Carson Wentz. We did not see Ajayi very active in the Dolphins passing game, but with the Eagles potent passing attack Ajayi could see a bit more opportunities.
Even though I have my doubts about Ajayi in the long-term, he is moving into about as good of an opportunity as possible. This would not prevent me from exploring trade opportunities if I found his new found hype could land my team a better player. However, I would not trade him for just anybody, as I think Ajayi is moving into the perfect opportunity.