In 2016, the world got to see the potential of Dolphins sophomore RB, Jay Ajayi. After starting the season in Adam Gase’s doghouse, Ajayi started the final 12 games of the season, averaging 21 carries per game and 4.9 YPC. The feelings on Ajayi should be unanimously positive, but they are anything but.
Thanks to guys like Zac Stacy, Knowshon Moreno and Todd Gurley, fantasy football players are hesitant to bank on a guy who has only been productive one time in his career. I understand this concept, yet I fully believe Ajayi is the exception, not the rule.
Towards the end of the year you could clearly see Adam Gase’s offensive philosophy shift to a power-run first offense. Aside from this helping Ajayi, Ryan Tannehill was more efficient before going down with a partially torn ACL. The Dolphins offensive line is athletic and underrated. Second year LT Laremy Tunsil has a chance to be an elite talent, while the return of Mike Pouncey will solidify the unit. Gase knows where his team has an edge on their opponents, and its letting #23 tote the rock.
The Dolphins line wasn’t a great unit last year, all the more reason to feel good about Ajayi in 2017. He created his own yards at a rapid pace, breaking tackles with relative ease, while displaying underrated lateral agility and burst. The film backs it up, but so does his crazy 3.46 yards after contact per attempt.
— A.J. Milack (@AJMilackNFL) June 29, 2017
The reason Ajayi fell to the 5th round of the NFL Draft was due to a lack of cartilage in his knee, a defect that was discovered at the NFL combine. That injury should hamper his ability to have a long and effective career, yet for all the information I’ve gathered, it shouldn’t be an issue for this year. It’s more of a cause for concern for dynasty owners than it is for re-draft.
If Ajayi plays a full 16 games, he is a lock for 300+ carries, while his reception numbers have no choice but to increase. Although every player seems to be getting tons of praise from the Dolphins beat writers, Ajayi is still being overlooked in fantasy circles. His ADP is around RB8 in the middle of round two. Where he should be getting drafted is as a locked and loaded RB1, worthy of a first round pick. I have Ajayi over guys like Lesean McCoy, Devonta Freeman and Melvin Gordon, thanks in large part to what figures to be a monster workload.
There’s still plenty of room to hop on the Jay Train for 2017.
2017 Projection: 324 carries, 1,393 yards, 10 TD
34 receptions, 202 yards, 1 TD