Is New York Jets rookie RB Michael Carter a strong dynasty option in fantasy football?
Michael Carter shouldn’t be on the New York Jets. Somehow, he fell to them in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft despite being considered a second or third-round prospect by many analysts.
Carter offers an incredible combination of vision, agility, and underrated receiving ability. These traits, along with his place on the depth chart, make him an interesting fantasy football asset.
This season, Carter will primarily fight for carries against Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman.
Rookies are usually implemented into offenses slowly. This is especially true for rookie running backs. Carter may not be an excellent option in fantasy football leagues this season, but this year will provide the opportunity for him to seize command of the backfield going forward.
Jets coaches have stated that the plan for the backfield is an RBBC (running back by committee) approach. We can estimate Carter’s potential usage in that system by looking at other teams that relied on the same approach.
The obvious example is offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur‘s former squad, the San Francisco 49ers, from whom the Jets will emulate a lot of their offense. The 49ers haven’t had a running back eclipse a 40% snap count since 2017. While this isn’t necessarily a direct indication of what the Jets may do, it is the best guess based on personnel.
From 2018-20, the 49ers didn’t provide a top-24 running back for fantasy football. There were two instances of an RB26 finish. Below are the yearly breakdowns, with correlating snap counts.
- 2018 – Matt Breida, RB26 (34.4%)
- 2019 – Raheem Mostert, RB26 (34.1%)
- 2019 – Tevin Coleman, RB39 (35.8%)
- 2019 – Matt Breida, RB46 (24.0%)
- 2020 – Jeff Wilson, RB32 (28.4%)
- 2020 – Jerick McKinnon, RB39 (33.9%)
- 2020 – Raheem Mostert, RB48 (21.6%)
These are the range of outcomes I see Michael Carter producing. Not only for this year but for years to come – assuming LaFleur remains in the building and stays true to his RBBC approach. There just won’t be enough opportunity snap count-wise for Carter (or any Jets RB, really) to produce meaningful fantasy football numbers for the duration of an entire season.
At the moment, Carter’s average ADP is 63.5 overall, per DLF. In 12-team leagues, that would be in the middle of the fifth round. He is being taken ahead of players such as Tyler Lockett, and just behind Cooper Kupp and teammate Elijah Moore.
Quite frankly, Carter’s ADP is absurdly high.
I firmly believe that Carter will be a better NFL player than a fantasy football player. I have his fantasy production capped as an RB2, with a floor of RB4.
The likelihood of Carter providing consistent fantasy football production is slim, though not completely impossible. But as a fantasy manager, you want reliable players on your team.
Personally, I am avoiding Michael Carter in fantasy leagues at his current value. If I do roster him in a league, it’s usually for trade leverage. Recently, I was able to acquire Keenan Allen for Carter and a 2022 1st Round pick as a contending team.
With Carter’s value continuing to rise, trading him for maximum profit is the optimal move. While I believe he can be a good depth piece as your RB4, you won’t be able to get him at that price. For that reason (among others), I am out on Carter in most fantasy football formats.