Chris Ivory played a career-best 15 games in 2013, his first with the New York Jets, and he set career-highs in carries (182) and rushing yards (833). He only had three touchdowns, despite getting 22 red zone carries, and Ivory still didn’t bring anything to the table as a pass catcher (two catches for 10 yards).
Ivory did have a fairly lengthy productive stretch last season, with at least 61 rushing yards seven times from Week 7-Week 16 (nine games). That was highlighted by his average of 78 rushing yards per game (5.1 yards per carry) from Week 13-Week 16, so Ivory was an underrated contributor in deeper leagues at a crucial time for fantasy football owners.
The arrival of Chris Johnson would seem to be bad news for Ivory’s fantasy value this year, especially with repeated declarations from the Jets’ coaching staff that a workload split is coming. But Johnson showed clear signs of decline over his last few seasons with the Tennessee Titans, and if he takes over a big role on passing downs that would not have a great impact on Ivory (five career receptions).
Ivory’s most recent average draft position (via Fantasy Football Calculator.com) is toward the end of the 12th round. For comparison sake, Tre Mason, Ahmad Bradshaw, Knile Davis, James White, Jonathan Stewart, Ronnie Hillman and Shonn Greene are running backs that have an ADP within 10-15 spots of Ivory right now. None of those backs have an unabated path to notable playing time right now, so I would argue Ivory has more upside than any of them even with the prospect of a 50-50 carry split. At worst Ivory is in line for goal line work and double-digit carries per game, and if the Jets’ offense improves his opportunities should increase compared to last season. As a RB3 or flex option in 12 and 14-team leagues, I’m buying Ivory based on where he can be drafted and the potential return.