Draft Strategy

NY Jet’s Chris Ivory Lost in the Fantasy Clouds?

Chris Ivory

Jet’s head coach Todd Bowles has said that Chris Ivory currently sits atop the depth chart. With the off season acquisition of Stevan Ridley, draft day trade for Zac Stacy, and Bilal Powell still looming, it’s easy to understand why people are avoiding Chris Ivory in drafts. When you are looking for a running back early on you do not want someone who could potentially be a part of a committee. However, if you are still looking for your running back in later rounds, look no further than Chris Ivory.

Chris Ivory Fantasy

Chris Ivory Fantasy 2015: What’s his True Value?

Jet’s head coach Todd Bowles has said that Chris Ivory currently sits atop the depth chart. With the off season acquisition of Stevan Ridley, draft day trade for Zac Stacy, and Bilal Powell still looming, it’s easy to understand why people are avoiding Chris Ivory in drafts. When you are looking for a running back early on you do not want someone who could potentially be a part of a committee. However, if you are still looking for your running back in later rounds, look no further than Chris Ivory.

Ivory’s current ADP is wonderful right now, if it’s value that you are after. The most accurate way to rank him at the moment is through My Fantasy League, where live drafts are well underway.  Currently, Ivory sits as the 44th picked running back, taken as early as 45th overall and as late as 204th overall. That is a huge gap but for some perspective, here are a few running backs being drafted before Chris Ivory:

  • Joique Bell – 23rd
  • Isaiah Crowell – 27th
  • Jay Ajayi – 32nd
  • Duke Johnson – 36th
  • Darren McFadden – 40th
  • Jerrick McKinnon – 42nd
  • Joseph Randle – 43rd

It is curious as to why injured, aging, committee, and rookie running backs are being selected ahead of Ivory. Fantasy players are more comfortable drafting  the Cleveland and Dallas backfield ahead of him, and it’s hard to understand why when you further analyze Ivory’s statistics and current situation. Let’s take a look at his numbers with the Jets, considering they were the only team he was able to post back to back seasons with close to a full 16 fantasy games (he missed one game in the 2013 season, and he missed 24 out of 48 games over his three year span in New Orleans).

YearTeamGRushYdsY/GAvg100+TDRecYdsY/GAvg100+TD
2012
64021736.25.4022152.57.500
2013
1518283355.54.6332100.7500
2014
1619882051.34.126181237.76.801

These numbers may not exactly be eye popping, but let’s compare them to Chris Johnson’s 2014 season:

YearTeamGRushYdsY/GAvg100+TDRecYdsY/GAvg100+TD
2014
1615566341.44.311241519.46.301

Both of the Chris’ were in somewhat of a time share last season, but the good news is, Johnson is no longer a member of gang green. For argument’s sake, let’s see what Ivory’s numbers would have looked like if he was the Jets’ bell cow in 2014 and absorbed Chris Johnson’s targets.

RushYdsAvgTDRecYds
35314834.3742274

This is not to say that that, if given 353 carries Chris Ivory would have rushed for close to 1,500 yards. It’s simply a way to analyze his current situation, which involves no time share with Chris Johnson. Ivory was also given more looks in the receiving game last season than in his entire career, so it’s promising to project what he could have done with Johnson’s touches.

As Coach Bowles has proclaimed, Ivory currently sits atop the depth chart, but there is still competition in New York. Below are the career averages reflecting Ivory’s current back field competition in order of their current depth chart.

NYJ RB’sRushYdsAvgTDRecYds
Ridley
1627044.65.5636.5
PowelL
833243.51.516.2127.7
Stacey
1636333.9422146.5

At first glance, Ridley and Stacy appear ready to push Ivory for the starting job, and you may wonder why Powell is even on the team. However, this must be analyzed in context, as these are career averages. Stevan Ridley’s production has majorly slipped since his 2012 season where he ran for 1,263 yards and 12 touch downs. Zac Stacy exploded into fantasy relevance during his 2013 rookie season where he took his 250 carries for 973 yards, hitting the end zone 7 times. Owners who drafted him with a high pick in 2014 were sorely disappointed with his minor production of 73 carries for 293 yards, scoring just once. Bilal Powell was a major factor in the Jets’ run game during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but the presence of Chris Johnson saw his role dramatically diminish in 2014.

It is also important to reflect on the current situation for all four Jets running backs. Stevan Ridley, who the Jets acquired in free agency, is still rehabbing from his torn ACL and is not a lock to even suit up for week one. Zac Stacy was not even on the Jets’ radar, or any other team for that matter, until he requested a trade from the St. Louis Rams after they selected Todd Gurley in the 2015 draft. Even though there is a new regime in New York, Bilal Powell is the longest tenured running back on the Jets’ roster and has to figure to remain as the relief and third down back.

Fantasy Breakdown: My thoughts

At this time, there is no real threat to Chris Ivory’s position as the lead back in New York. If he were to be given the opportunity to tote the rock, I see Ivory as an RB2 with weeks where he could flirt with RB1 upside. His current ADP more so reflects a flex option. Out of the backs listed above currently being drafted ahead of Ivory, I’d prefer him on my team. Perhaps the greatest thing about Chris Ivory is his value. When you can draft a back like him 120th overall, where he being drafted at the moment, the value he can return on your investment on him would be well worth the 10th round pick you would be spending on him.

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