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Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: JAY AJAYI MOVING WAY UP FOR 2017

The championship week in fantasy football had its share of duds and studs this past weekend but one guy firmly in the latter category who stood out was Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi.  Ajayi was mostly ignored this past summer during drafting season but took full advantage of an opportunity to be a starter midway through the 2016 campaign.  He wound up performing superbly for the price of a waiver claim and is now right there as the fantasy football values plays of the year.  It didn't start out so rosy though as there couldn't be a more polar opposite in terms of impact during 2016 then what we saw from Ajayi.  After losing out to Arian Foster to be the starting back for the Dolphins to begin the year, Ajayi went AWOL right before the opener.  While Ajayi was eventually welcomed back after being disciplined, he didn't wrest the starting job until Week 6.  What we then saw was beyond spectacular as Ajayi turned into Walter Payton overnight as he ran for 204 and then 211 yards in Weeks 6 and 7.  While he was a bit up and down the rest of the way, Ajayi came up huge in the fantasy football championship round as he rushed for 206 yards on 32 carries against the Buffalo Bills last Saturday.  The third 200-yard rushing game for Ajayi this season made him one of only three backs to ever accomplish such a feat (O.J. Simpson and Earl Campbell were he others) and his stock for 2017 fantasy football is going to shoot way up. In looking at Ajayi's running numbers (1,213 yards at 5.0 per carry), he goes firmly into low-end RB 1 territory in standard formats.  In PPR leagues though Ajayi gets downgraded a bit as he caught just 24 passes.  While not a zero there, Ajayi is more Adrian Peterson when it comes to being run-heavy then anything he does in the passing game.  Still this is one stock aiming upwards.


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