Jay Ajayi

Giving fantasy football advice can be tough, as what seems logical now may not work out in the end thanks to point explosions from off-the-radar players and midseason changes to teams’ depth charts. A case in point is Miami Dolphins’ running back Jay Ajayi, now a reliable point-producer who’s replaced Arian Foster as Miami’s top RB and put up 147.65 points in Yahoo standard leagues (seventh amongst running backs), but a guy who was a healthy scratch for the Dolphins’ first game and was even left behind in Miami by coach Adam Gase.

That decision was somewhat surprising to many, as Ajayi handled the bulk of the RB carries in the preseason while Foster was brought back slowly from injury, and Gase said “they were 1a, 1b.” Ajayi lost a fumble and dropped a pass in the preseason finale, though, and that led to his demotion, which in turn led to a whole lot of advice to drop him. Here’s one piece suggesting that from SB Nation’s Jon Benne:

Perhaps this is a one-time thing to motivate Ajayi, but making him a healthy scratch for Week 1 is a pretty clear sign he’s not in the team’s plans right now. Fantasy owners can drop Ajayi in all 10- and 12-team leagues. Foster is set for a workhorse role as long as he’s healthy and will be a high-floor RB2 this week, even against a tough Seahawks defense.

Benne was far from alone there, as dropping Ajayi was a recommended move from a lot of fantasy experts, many even before he was left in Miami (Sept. 9):

Harmon’s tweet there deserves special mention, as it’s not all bad; Kansas City running back Spencer Ware has also proven to be a great addition. However his advice to drop Ajayi instead of Deandre Washington to acquire Ware was not the best.   The tweeter could have had a nice backfield of Ajayi and Ware.

All of these guys weren’t necessarily making the wrong call at the time, especially considering the information they were working with. Foster was seen as the top option in Miami for much of the preseason regardless of what Gase said later, and the move to leave Ajayi behind made it seem like he wasn’t even the top option to back up Foster. Recommending keeping him at that point’s a significant gamble, especially in comparison to other players who seemed more likely to produce immediately, and suggesting dropping Ajayi for someone more likely to contribute feels like the percentage move. However, when Foster went down in Week 2 and eventually retired, that paved the way for Ajayi, and he’s made the most of that opportunity. So have those who hung on to him.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.