Fantasy Impact of RB Jay Ajayi Trade to Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles have acquired RB Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins for a 2018 fourth round pick. The Eagles were looking to further improve their offense and Ajayi was reportedly falling out of favor in major ways in Miami. The Eagles rank third in the NFL in total offense and their running game is ranked fourth in rushing yards at 129.3 yards per game.
Ajayi has frustrated Fantasy owners this season as he’s rushed for 465 yards but only averages 3.4 yards per carry and has yet to score a rushing touchdown in seven games played. Initially, Ajayi will likely split the rushing duties with LeGarrette Blount but he is expected to take over as the featured back as soon as he's acclimated to the offense. Ajayi should end up being the primary back and his TD production will improve in a better offense. Ajayi’s Fantasy value stablilizes nicely with the move to Philly, where he should be a solid RB2 with RB1 upside if he becomes the featured back quickly as expected.
Wendell Smallwood's Fantasy value officially hits bottom with this deal. He's rushed 38 times for 143 yards (3.8 yards per carry) but there are questions about his durability due to his relatively small size (5'10", 210 lbs.). Smallwood has also been injured at least once this season, which caused him to miss one game, and he played in just 12 games last season due to injury.
Kenyan Drake should take over the running back duties for the Miami Dolphins, who have the “worst offense in the NFL” according to comments made by their head coach, Adam Gase. Drake has rushed 10 times for 25 yards this season. Damien Williams will also have a role, most likely as the pass-catching and change of pace back. Since the Dolphins rank dead last in the NFL with an average of 252.4 yards per game of total offense, neither back will have more than RB3 value at best, though Drake may get enough volume for use in deeper leagues. If you need RB help, you will have to bid aggressively on Drake, and can take a lesser shot on Williams. Bid about 70 percent of your budget on Drake if you need RB help and maybe half of that on Williams, who could supplant Drake if he falters.
The trade of Ajayi signals that the Dolphins could be throwing in the towel for this season and there could be more trades before the deadline passes. Or there is additional speculation that they just want to get rid of certain players and change the locker room culture. There has even been talk that Jarvis Landry could be dealt. For more about this trade, its Fantasy impact and how Fantasy owners should address the changes, see the video below from the FNTSY Sports Network.
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