We are now just three weeks away from the start of the Fantasy Football Playoffs. Week 12 in the NFL has a little bit of everything for fantasy managers to navigate. Among the obstacles are a Thursday tripleheader to celebrate Thanksgiving, two teams on bye and a never-ending list of injuries. Sometimes, taking advantage of opportunities afforded to unlikely players as a result of said injuries can pay off in a big way. Depending on the depth and size of your respective fantasy football league, roster depth and production from the running back position might be difficult to come by. In the wake of an injury to rookie New York Jets running back Michael Carter, the fantasy outlook for veteran Tevin Coleman has officially been resuscitated.
Michael Carter Injury Alters Fantasy Football Outlook of New York Jets Backfield
The Jets quietly put together a very compelling offensive core in this year’s NFL Draft. Quarterback Zach Wilson has flashed potential. Wide receiver Elijah Moore had his official NFL coming out party in last week’s game. Rookie running back Michael Carter has also been very impressive. Running behind a lackluster offensive line, the former North Carolina star has managed to provide fantasy football managers with top-20 value at the RB position in PPR leagues. Carter has shown his worth both on the ground as well as in the passing game.
Unfortunately for Carter and the Jets, his promising rookie season was put on hold last Sunday. The 22-year-old suffered a low-grade ankle sprain in last week’s loss to the Miami Dolphins. Speaking to the media Monday, head coach Robert Saleh confirmed that Carter will miss the next 2-3 weeks.
It is smart for the Jets to be cautious with Carter’s health given that they are headed nowhere this season. That said, the news has undoubtedly left some fantasy football owners scrambling. When searching for in-house replacements, managers are left to decipher the fantasy outlooks of Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman.
Ty Johnson Fantasy Expectations Should be Tempered
While much of the buzz in the fantasy world this week has been about adding Ty Johnson, in deep 14 or 16-team leagues, that likely is not a widespread option. Furthermore, some of those managers who rushed out to add Johnson might wind up disappointed. He has neither the skillset nor position to serve as a three-down back. While he is a tough, physical runner who also has savvy pass-catching abilities, Johnson has struggled in pass protection compared to his backfield cohorts this season.
Johnson has not played more than 42% of New York’s offensive snaps since Week 3. Only twice this season has he been on the field for more than half of the Jets’ snaps. Expecting him to see a monumental bump in usage is highly unlikely. While Johnson has been very efficient with his snaps and touches from a fantasy football perspective, he simply does not fit the mold of a bell-cow RB.
Tevin Coleman Fantasy Value Resurrected
Despite starting the season atop the Jets’ depth chart at the running back position, veteran Tevin Coleman has been used sparingly to date. The 28-year-old has yet to play 30% of the team’s offensive snaps in any game. He garnered a season-high of nine carries all the way back in Week 1. Oft-injured in recent years, Coleman was unable to evade the injury bug again this season. He missed three consecutive games following the Jets’ bye with a hamstring injury.
Coleman has totaled only nine carries and three receptions in his due games since rejoining the active roster. However, his fantasy football value is set to be resuscitated to an extent. This is particularly the case in deeper leagues where dependable RB production is scarce. With Michael Carter on the shelf for at least the next two games, Coleman figures to garner a much larger workload in the Jets backfield. Note that he is still listed second on the team’s depth chart at running back behind Carter. It would not be a surprise to see a 50-50 split between Coleman and Ty Johnson going forward.
The Jets’ rushing attack overall is not great. However, there is added potential in a Week 12 matchup against a horrendous Houston Texans run defense. Like Michael Carter and Ty Johnson, Tevin Coleman is able to boost his PPR fantasy value thanks to his pass-catching abilities. He could wind up surprising some unsuspecting managers, especially in this week’s favorable matchup. His fantasy football value has arguably been resurrected to the highest level it has been at since before injuries derailed his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers.
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