Ajayiís fantasy owners probably werenít entirely satisfied by the follow-up to his 2016 breakthrough, but the English-born running back averaged 5.8 yards per carry after a midseason trade sent him from Miami to Philadelphia. In 2016, Ajayi had three 200-yard rushing games and became only the fourth player in NFL history to rush for 200 or more yards in consecutive games. Although Ajayi didnít produce a 100-yard rushing game with the Eagles last year, the move to Philly could pay more dividends this year, as a strong supporting cast and favorable game scripts should boost the fantasy stock of an early-down thumper. Ajayi also figures to get some goal-line carries for a team that should score more than its share of points.
After the trade, Ajayi became part of a three-man committee that also included LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement. Blount is gone, but Clement is still around and is better suited for passing-down work, and there are other backs on the roster who could work their way into the mix. Ajayi isnít particularly helpful as a pass catcher, with 58 receptions in 38 career games. Ajayi has a balky knee that hasnít slowed him down much during his first three years in the league, but it could become an issue.
There was a lot of buzz around Ajayi at this time a year ago following his 200-yard games in Miami. But that buzz is mostly gone. Is it odd that Ajayi is being held in lesser regard among fantasy owners this offseason, even though he now finds himself in what should be a healthier ecosystem? Yes, there are some warts here, but the changing perception of Ajayi might just present a buying opportunity.