Thursday Night Start or Sit: Is Chris Ivory Worth Penciling Into Your Lineup?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

At this point it’s hard to depend on any Jets’ player, isn’t it? Eric Decker is the closest, right now, but he’s battled hamstring injuries and this week draws Darrelle Revis… No thank you!

Jace Amaro has the potential to emerge as a viable tight end option, but he is just now getting an opportunity in the offense. Does one or two performances justify penciling him into your lineup… It’s just too risky.

Then there’s the running backs. Chris Johnson’s usage has been dwindling since Week 1, capped off by a 3 carry performance in Week 6. Averaging 3.9 YPC and only once busting a run of more than 11 yards, it would appear that the Jets are ready to hand the reigns over to Chris Ivory…

Then again, these are the New York Jets. Despite a poor performance himself last week, let’s not act like Ivory himself has been getting a significant number of touches throughout the season:

  • Week 1 – 10 carries, 0 receptions
  • Week 2 – 13 carries, 1 reception
  • Week 3 – 10 carries, 4 receptions
  • Week 4 – 17 carries, 2 receptions
  • Week 5 – 9 carries, 0 receptions
  • Week 6 – 8 carries, 1 reception

So in the past two weeks Ivory has averaged 9 touches a game… He also hasn’t found the end zone since Week 2… In other words, if Johnson is playing a reduced role or not, is it really like Ivory is getting a starters workload? He’s averaging 12.5 touches a game overall and, while he has run well, there’s simply no guarantee that he gets enough opportunities to produce.

If we knew he was expected to get 15-18 touches the outlook would be different. The Jets should look to run the football, to keep the ball away from Tom Brady and because passing defense is the strength of New England. Of course, you can argue that the Jets should’ve signed a corner back in the offseason and already benched Geno Smith, so it’s not like they are a franchise who does the obvious.

With the potential for limited touches I’d take a conservative route when deciding whether to start or sit him this week. If you have a viable alternative, I just wouldn’t take the risk. Given his recent usage and the lack of touchdowns, there’s simply too much downside risk to contend with.

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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