The Jaguars were expected to add a running back this offseason to complement T.J. Yeldon. No one expected them to replace him as the starter.
On Tuesday night, it was reported by ESPN that free agent running back Chris Ivory will leave the Jets to sign in Jacksonville. While Ivory and Yeldon can form a solid tandem to help improve the Jaguars running game, this hurts the Fantasy value for both running backs.
It could be a potential nightmare.
Yeldon had his flaws as a rookie, and he dealt with some nagging injuries that cost him four games, including a sprained MCL to his knee. But he also had some positive moments and finished 2015 with 182 carries for 740 yards and two touchdowns and 36 catches for 279 yards and one touchdown. Coach Gus Bradley even said at the NFL Combine he expected Yeldon to be a three-down back in 2016.
That changes dramatically now with Ivory in town. He will take over as the starter for the Jaguars, and he played well for the Jets in 2015 with 247 carries for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns and 30 catches for 217 yards and one touchdown, all career highs.
But Ivory is a volume back, and his best games came when he had at least 17 carries, which happened eight times. He scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in all eight of those outings.
The Jaguars will likely use Ivory on first and second down, and he should work at the goal line, which was a problem in Jacksonville last season. He still has the chance to be a low-end No.2 Fantasy running back, but his stats will decline and he also has a history of injuries. Ivory is now a bust candidate with this signing, and he should not be drafted before Round 6 in most leagues.
Yeldon will be a change-of-pace running back and play on passing downs, and his upside is limited as long as Ivory is healthy. He's worth drafting as early as Round 8, but he goes from a breakout candidate to someone you have to stash in case of an Ivory injury or for the right opportunity to arise.
The running back news is picking up now with Ivory signing in Jacksonville and DeMarco Murray getting traded to the Titans. It appears like Doug Martin will stay with the Buccaneers, although that has yet to be confirmed, and Lamar Miller could sign with the Texans.
Ivory deserved the chance to get paid, but this move to Jacksonville is bad for Fantasy owners. Hopefully whatever happens next with Martin, Miller and Matt Forte will be good news for us as free agency continues to heat up.