The first, in my positional fantasy analysis of the New York Jets, is the running back position. During Rex Ryan's tenure as head coach, the running game has been the main focus on offense. Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and Ladianian Tomlinson, have all put up respectable fantasy football numbers, as a Jet. The offense will now see it's third coordinator since 2009. Out the door goes Tony Sparano's boring offense and in comes Marty Mornhinweg's attacking West Coast Offense.
So the first question is how has the running back position fared under a Mornhinweg led offense? During his time with the Eagles, RB's Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy were outstanding in fantasy.
Westbrook Fantasy Rankings:
2009: 61(missed more than half the season due to multiple concussions)
McCoy Fantasy Rankings:
2012: 21(played in 12 games)
As you can the RB's in Mornhinweg's system are very successful in fantasy. Westbrook and McCoy were always drafted in the first round of all the drafts I was in. Both of these RB's we highly productive in both standard and PPR leagues. Enough talk about the Eagles, let's get into what this means for the Jets RB's.
As of this post, the current Jets RB's include Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight, Kahlil Bell, Mike Goodson, Chad Spann, Mossis Madu. I am not going to go over Shonn Greene's numbers from last year since the offensive philosophy is different and there are two new starters on the offensive line. Guards Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson have been replaced with veterans Willie Colon and Stephan Peterman. Even with these changes the Jets still have one of the best centers and left tackles in the league. The offensive line should help make the ground game successful.Another factor to consider is the QB position. While a great QB can help the run game tremendously, it can still thrive without one. Just take Maurice Jones Drew as an example. So let's take a look at the RB's :
As a Saint, Ivory did not see the field unless an injury moved him up the depth chart. When he did get on the field he performed well. The main knock against Ivory is his injury history. He suffered multiple injuries in 2010, including a foot injury that landed him on IR. He started on the PUP list in 2011, and now we have already seen him battle a hamstring injury in training camp. When Ivory is healthy I expect him to produce like a RB3 with RB2 upside. He will get the carries on the early downs and goal line carries. He does not have much experience catching the ball out of the backfield, which is a staple in Mornhinweg's offense. His average draft position, according to footballguys.com, is between the 8th and 9th round. This could go up if he plays in a few preseasons game and does not suffer any injury setbacks. I would feel comfortable drafting Ivory as a backup or starting as a flex player, with the potential of producing like a RB2.
Powell was a 2011 4th round draft pick of the Jets. Powell is a quick shifty back who is a pretty good receiver. He has shown flashes of being a starting running back. He started in last week's preseason game due to Ivory's injury and Mike Goodson's absence. Powell has not been getting drafted in any mock drafts I have participated in. If in a 14 or 16 team league he would most likely get drafted since those benches are much deeper than in a 10 or 12 team league. Powell's real value would be as a handcuff to Chris Ivory, that is under the assumption that Mike Goodson's absence continues. If in a 10 or 12 team league you could most certainly find Powell on the waiver wire.
Mike Goodson has played for the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders. He joined the Raiders last year and some said that he was a better fit for the gap running scheme than starter Darren McFadden. When McFadden went down with a high ankle sprain, most(me included)rushed to the waiver wire to pick him up. Unfortunately, Goodson suffered the exact same injury and was placed on IR. We all know about his legal troubles and his absence so far from training camp. When he returns, he is expected to be the third down back and add an explosive dimension to the Jets offense. He would also serve as a handcuff to Chris Ivory and would push Bilal Powell down the depth chart. For now, I would not be concerned with Goodson for fantasy purposes until he returns to the team.
Chad Spann, Mossis Madu, Kahlil Bell, Joe McKnight:
With the exception of McKnight, these running backs are on the team to provide depth. With the injuries to Ivory and McKnight and the absence of Goodson, Spann, Madu, and Bell were signed. McKnight's role as the third down back is in serious jeopardy with the emergence of Powell and the Goodson signing. His only purpose may be as a kick returner. For that purpose, none of these running backs are draftable.
That is the run down of the Jets RB's fantasy values, next up will be the wide receivers.