The New York Jets took RB Michael Carter in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft, hoping to address a need at running back. The North Carolina product split time with Javonte Williams in 2020, but still managed to put up 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 8.0 yards per carry, which was superior to Williams. Can he lift New York’s running game, which ranked 22nd in yards per game last year?
Fantasy Football analysis: Jets RBs Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman
Carter’s talent is undeniable, but he’s not listed as the top running back on the Jets depth chart. That spot belongs to veteran Tevin Coleman, who is in line for the lead role entering Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers. Carter is also behind Ty Johnson, who got some usage last season with the team.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the Jets and how the offense will look, Carter’s role Sunday is totally unknown. He could eventually break out as the lead running back in this system, but that is unlikely to happen Week 1.
Coleman has had just three performances as an RB1 for fantasy football in his last 38 games active, his last of which was in Week 8 of the 2019 season. In Johnson’s single career start, he did manage 117 scrimmage yards and a score on 24 touches for an RB1 finish. Unless there’s a clear concentration of touches emerging in Week 1, this backfield needs to be avoided.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Unless you’re in a really deep league with multiple flex spots, Carter is not worth starting Week 1. He’s a good player to roster in keeper and dynasty formats, but leave him on your bench for the opening matchup.
Given the uncertainty in terms of the touch totals, it’s best to avoid any of these running backs in your Week 1 lineups.