The Eagles running game got a lot scarier on Halloween.
After their 40-0 blowout loss at Baltimore, Gase specifically called out Ajayi for "trying to hit home runs all the time," imploring him to "Do your job. It's not hard to do."
In addition to not scoring, Ajayi averaged 3.4 yards per carry and had two games with over 100 total yards despite averaging 17.3 carries and 2.5 receptions per game.
That's all going to change.
The Eagles have routinely used two running backs as part of their offense -- LeGarrette Blount has averaged about 14 carries per game while another guy has come up with about 10. But the other guy has been Darren Sproles, or Wendell Smallwood, or Corey Clement; not someone with the strength of Ajayi.
But Ajayi won't be the "other guy" -- that role figures to settle with Blount.
The two of them will create a powerful one-two combination on the ground, one that Ajayi should eventually lead. He's younger and more versatile than Blount (48 career catches in 31 games compared to Blount's 50 career catches in 108 games). Figure he'll become the high-touch guy, while Blount works in a complementary 10-carry role.
It makes Ajayi an excellent running back to have in Fantasy. He'll have a better offensive line and a better passing game than what he had in Miami. His arrival also signals that the Eagles want to keep running the ball -- they're already averaging 30.8 carries per game.
Count on Ajayi getting the chance to reclaim No. 1 Fantasy running back value. You'll start him as soon as this week, though he does get a tough landing as the Eagles face the Broncos in Week 9. Also note, Ajayi loses a week as a result of this trade, with the Eagles on bye in Week 10. That's the only downside to this deal — though it does allow Ajayi's famously balky knees an extra opportunity to rest.
Blount, meanwhile, sinks to bench depth since the only way he figures to routinely help your team is if he scores, and those opportunities might not be so frequent.
Who's next in Miami?
When Gase went off on his offense (with some not-so-veiled shots at Ajayi), he said he would "play the guys that know what to do. Fan base might not like it, but oh well."
He knew then he'd roll with Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams as his two-headed run game.
It's not attractive, but then again, neither is a runner with a 3.4 yard rushing average. Any improvement Williams and Drake can make is a good one.
On the season, Williams has played more offensive snaps (88 to 49) and has had a few more touches (20 to 13) than Drake, but there's an interesting wrinkle worth noticing. In Weeks 3 and 8, matchups where the Dolphins couldn't get anything going with Ajayi, Drake played more snaps. Last week it was Drake who had six carries, all in garbage time, while Williams had none.
The belief here is Drake will settle into a running downs role while Williams keeps a grip on passing downs. Williams already has a nice track record as a pass-catcher (73 percent catch rate and 8.6 receiving average in four seasons), and Drake has some sneaky good speed (4.7 career rushing average).
Both will get chased in every Fantasy league, but Drake has a little more appeal after starting from the bottom.