Tevin Coleman will compete for playing time in the Jets backfield this preseason. His experience in a zone-rushing offense could land him some action in the early going of the season before younger and more explosive backs like rookie Michael Carter take over. But that's a best-case scenario for Coleman -- it's far more likely he'll wind up in a supplemental role that won't help him become a Fantasy mainstay. To be honest, he hasn't been a Fantasy mainstay since 2018, and even then it was his touchdown production that made him appealing. It's unlikely Coleman will rebound in a big way in the Jets' multi-handed run game. Coleman's low expectations should be met with a pick in Round 12-plus.
Coleman's working with the starters to begin OTAs but is splitting reps with Ty Johnson and Michael Carter, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports. It looks like the Jets are headed for a running back by committee approach, but Coleman appears to be the front-runner to head up that committee. Hughes added that Coleman seems to have put last season's injury troubles behind him. Carter has a level of burst that Coleman and Johnson seem to lack, but the rookie's smaller frame will likely limit his opportunities by the goal line. If Coleman can secure most of the goal-line touches in the Jets backfield, he'll have a nice opportunity to emerge as the team's most valuable fantasy option at running back.
Coleman is listed among the backups on the Jets' running back depth chart put together by Tyler Calvaruso of USA Today. Coleman has familiarity with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur's system, but Calvaruso believes Ty Johnson has the early upper hand in the crowded Jets backfield after his strong finish to the 2020 season. LaFleur likes to take a committee approach in the backfield, so Coleman likely will share the workload with Johnson, as well as rookie fourth-rounder Michael Carter and possibly La'Mical Perine or Josh Adams.
Coleman agreed Wednesday with the Jets on a one-year contract worth up to $2 million, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Coleman will reunite in New York with head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, both of whom are familiar with his skill set from their overlapping tenures in San Francisco. The 27-year-old is coming off a disastrous 2020 campaign, during which a knee injury forced him to miss eight games and he was limited to just 53 rushing yards on 28 attempts (1.9 yards per carry). Coleman's history of reliability prior to 2020 could be enough to keep him ahead of Ty Johnson and La'Mical Perine on the Jets' depth chart, but New York could be eyeing a running back with an early selection in April's draft.
Coleman was limited to 28 carries for 53 yards over eight games this season. Coleman's production took a huge nosedive in his age-27 season, as he was pushed into a reserve role and averaged just 1.9 yards per carry (worst mark of his career). The fact that the veteran was bypassed by his current head coach (and former offensive coordinator in Atlanta) when injuries opened up the starting role at various points of the year is a sign that the back's skills have diminished. Coleman will enter the offseason as a free agent, but a depth role seems like the best-case scenario for the former dual-threat running back.
Coleman had two carries for three yards and caught his lone target for no gain in Saturday's 20-12 win over the Cardinals. Jeff Wilson Jr. (23 touches for 204 total yards and a touchdown) dominated the backfield workload after Raheem Mostert (ankle) was placed on IR earlier this week. Neither Coleman (seven offensive snaps) nor Jerick McKinnon (10 snaps) were involved enough in the gameplan to warrant fantasy consideration. Head coach Kyle Shanahan normally deploys a two-back system, but with the playoffs out of sight, perhaps he wanted to see how the 25-year-old Wilson would handle a larger role instead of wasting snaps on Coleman. Given the results of the gameplan -- and the overall disappointing play of both veteran backups this year -- expect Wilson to dominate the touches against Seattle next week.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||New England Patriots||21||18.88|
|7||10/24||@New England Patriots||21||18.88|
|14||12/12||New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
|17||01/02||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||12.30|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||111||466||3||19||163||2||92|