This off-season fantasy football fans have fallen in love with New York Jets newest running back, Chris Ivory. Ivory came over from the New Orleans Saints and seems like a lock for the starting role gig this season with the Mean Green.
However, the harsh reality that people are forgetting is that Ivory will still be running the ball behind the abysmal Jets’ offensive line. New York averaged 118.5 yards per game on the ground, which was good for 12th best in the NFL, but those numbers were somewhat inflated seeing as the team only had a rusher go over 100 yards twice all of last season.
The team has Ivory slated as the current starter with Shonn Greene leaving in the off-season, but Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell, and Joe McKnight are all currently occupying spots in the backfield as well. Ivory has the inside track on the starting gig, but the presence of the other backs will certainly take away from Ivory’s fantasy numbers all season long.
During his tenure in New Orleans, Ivory played next to one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Drew Brees. Defenses were more than honest when it came to defending Brees, so Ivory didn’t face many tough defensive schemes to run against. He constantly found himself running against some of the softest defenses in the league.
New York, on the other hand, will likely be starting rookie quarterback, Geno Smith, for most of the season, which will only stack the box more against Ivory. The running back isn’t powerful enough to outmuscle tacklers in the box, so he will have to rely heavily on his speed to get to the edge.
In the six games he played with the Saints last year, Ivory rushed for a meager 217 yards and just two touchdowns. He did average a respectable 5.4 yards per carry and showed amazing one-cut ability, but he didn’t show much to prove that he can be a full-time back. If anything, his performance last year proved that he is nothing more than a scatback.
Ivory has never received more than 137 carries or played more than 12 games in a single season, and both of those totals were back in 2010. To say the least, Ivory simply cannot be trusted to carry the ball for a full season. He is too inexperienced and is featured in one of the worst offenses in all of football. Either way, it isn’t too promising for his fantasy potential heading into 2013.
Many have Ivory pegged as a legitimate starter this fantasy season, but I see him as more of a fourth or fifth back. Don’t put too much faith in the guy just because people are calling him a sleeper.