Fantasy Football Start or Sit Week 4: Chris Ivory


Fantasy Football Week 4: Is Chris Ivory worth starting in your fantasy football lineup this week against the Miami Dolphins? You may want to rethink automatically putting Ivory into your lineup.

The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins will be taking their AFC East rivalry overseas, playing their Week 4 matchup in London. This will not be a game fantasy football owners key in on, but maybe it should be. In the previous 11 games played overseas in the NFL International Series, the teams have combined to score an average of 47.7 points per game. That is a gold mine for fantasy football owners, but will this one follow suit?

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The quick answer would be no. Neither the Jets nor the Dolphins have an explosive offense, and both have question marks. Will Eric Decker get on the field? Can Lamar Miller break out of his early season swoon to get the Dolphins offense back on track? Both teams have offenses in the bottom half of the NFL, as the Dolphins rank 19th with 344.3 yards per game and the Jets come in 21st with 343.3 yards per game.

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Because of that, people will probably fade players on the Jets and Dolphins outside the bigger names such as Brandon Marshall, Jarvis Landry or Jordan Cameron in addition to Miller. Players such as Rishard Matthews has forced his way into fantasy football lineups with his play throughout the season thus far. One person you don’t see mentioned there though is Chris Ivory.

Ivory is locked in as an RB2 when he is all systems go. The Jets want to run the ball early and often, which they were able to do in their two victories on the season. They rode Ivory to wins, as Ryan Fitzpatrick was more of a game manager. But, without Ivory in the lineup Week 3, Fitzpatrick was relied upon heavily and things fell apart for the Jets offense, who lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ivory was listed as questionable for that game, but suited up. He ended up not seeing the field against the Eagles, so he came out of the week without any setbacks. After starting the week limited in practice though, Ivory was upgraded to a full participant before the team boarded the plane on their way to London. Being upgraded to full means Ivory should be in your lineup, but is he someone that can be trusted in fantasy football this week?

Dec 1, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) is tackled by Miami Dolphins safety

Reshad Jones

(20) and Miami Dolphins linebacker

Koa Misi

(55) and Miami Dolphins defensive end

Cameron Wake

(91) during the first quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins have been rather stout against the run this season in terms of fantasy football. Despite being second to last in defending the run, giving up 145 yards per game, the Dolphins defense has been above average for fantasy football purposes, giving up the 10th least points to opposing running backs. They have allowed only one touchdown, which was scored by Karlos Williams last week late in a blowout loss to the Bills.

That, plus Ivory’s injury, makes him a risky play in fantasy football this week. Ivory should continue his work on early downs, but Bilal Powell will not be phased out of the offensive completely. Even when Ivory was in the lineup, Powell wasn’t far behind in carries, as Ivory received 34 and Powell received 24. What is telling about the ratio is that the Jets were leading a majority of both games, which is when you think Ivory should dominate carries. So that essentially means Ivory is a little more dependent on touchdowns than originally thought, something the Dolphins do not allow easily on the ground.

Anything can happen overseas, so there is no guarantee that the Jets will hold a lead and be able to milk the clock against a desperate Dolphins team. If the Jets fall behind, Ivory will find himself on the sidelines more than on the field, as Powell is the clear cut passing back. Also, already dealing with an injury you can be sure the Jets will ease Ivory back a bit and probably give him more rest than normal.

With a bye following Week 4 against the Dolphins, the Jets could opt to ride Powell hard, giving Ivory some more time to rest. While Ivory could find himself on the RB2 level against the Dolphins, it is 100 percent volume based. That makes him a hard person to rely on, as he is more likely to fall to a FLEX option.

Start Ivory at your own risk, as the Dolphins, despite all their struggles, possess a stout defense against running backs for fantasy football purposes. If you had a running back that you could replace Ivory with last week, it would be recommended to roll with them at again as the injury history and matchup make Ivory an extremely risky play if you are expecting RB2 returns of any kind.

Next: Jets vs. Dolphins Six Players To Watch For

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