If you are a fantasy football owner of Jay Ajayi, you got a gift Tuesday when the Eagles traded for the running back. On one of the NFL’s top rushing attacks, Ajayi will get important carries on a team that is often ahead in games. He becomes a borderline RB1 after the move.
But there is a trickle down that will occur for owners of Wendell Smallwood, LeGarrette Blount and those who are quick enough to nab Kenyon Drake — or to a lesset extet Damien Williams.
It’s not as big as the ripple effect from the Patriots trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but there are big fantasy implications. Here’s a look at how best to handle the trade:
Start Jay Ajayi… eventually
The Eagles are getting potentially a young and talented featured back for at least the next to years. He could get the most snaps on the team at running back, as his pass protection is above average and he will likely be replacing undrafted rookie Corey Clement on the active roster. However it is yet to be seen whether the Eagles will change their rotation mentality — one that has split carries four ways for the first eight games of the year. This is a low-risk wait and see, as Ajayi will get a fair share of snaps regardless.
Trade LeGarrette Blount
Blount’s fantasy value has already peaked, as he will at best share the workload with Ajayi and be in for a few drives per game, plus short-yardage and goalline situations.
Drop Wendell Smallwood
Smallwood was on the fantasy radars of a lot of people after Darren Sproles suffered a season-ending injury and there appeared to be a big opening for a back to split carries with Blount. But that time is over now, as Smallwood will likely be the third RB on the roster and get little work.
Add Kenyan Drake, monitor Damien Williams
Drake has only had 10 carries this season as Ajayi functioned as a true featured back in Miami, but head coach Adam Gase has called Drake the true No. 2 in the past. This means he will be the No. 1 in Ajayi’s absence and Williams, the No. 3, could ascent into a snap share as the team adjusts into a new rotation.