Through three games, Chris Ivory leads the league in yards after contact per attempt (3.9), according to Pro Football Focus. He's also averaging 5.7 YPC and has forced 12 missed tackles on just 33 carries. Ivory is one of 13 running backs on pace for 1,000 yards rushing. To use one of Colts coach Chuck Pagano's favorite descriptions, Ivory is a "rolling ball of butcher knives." Ivory's overpaid backfield running mate, Chris Johnson, is averaging a measly 3.5 YPC and has a long run of 11 yards. CJ2K? Ha. More like CJ0.6K. Johnson is on pace for just 656 yards on the ground despite playing 88 snaps to Ivory's 82. Thought to be the better receiver, Johnson has also managed to catch just 1-of-5 targets the past two games while Ivory has corralled all five of his for a career-high 55 yards. Ivory entered the season with just five career catches for 42 yards across 39 games. It's blatantly obvious who the better back is, and the Jets and coach Rex Ryan are starting to realize it.
“Maybe Chris Ivory will get more time, because he’s certainly running hard," Ryan said Tuesday. "He’s doing a great job out of the backfield. There’s not a whole lot of guys that want to tackle him. He’s done a great job. Will we play Chris Ivory more? That’s a possibility."
Ivory needs to be owned in all formats as an upside RB2/FLEX. We'd like to think the Jets will ride him more, especially when the weather starts getting cooler. Ryan loves the ground-and-pound offense. As ESPN's Mark Schlereth put it, Ivory's "forehead is made of concrete." Ivory is built to pound the ball. He'll run through anyone that gets in his way, and he put that on display Monday night when he sent Bears FS Chris Conte to the locker room with a shoulder injury. The obvious downside with Ivory since he plays with such reckless abandon is his own extensive injury history. He's battled SIXTEEN different known injuries since 2006. Our friends over at Sports Injury Predictor label Ivory as "High Risk." Among his many career injuries, Ivory has suffered two concussions, a torn hamstring, torn meniscus, Lisfranc fracture, and multiple hamstring pulls. If not for these concerns, Ivory could legitimately be Marshawn Lynch 2.0 as a workhorse. We can't count on Ivory to stay healthy for the duration of season, but we can ride him while he's hot.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $350,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 4's games. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $30,000. Starts Sunday, September 28th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.
In Other News…
Arian Foster said on Tuesday that his latest hamstring injury is to the same one that bothered him this summer. He missed the first two weeks of camp. After touching the ball a whopping 59 times the first two games, Foster had to sit out Week 3 against the Giants. He even hinted he may not be back for Week 4, saying "it's my hamstring's call." Foster, 28, first started battling hamstring issues in 2011 when he tore it and missed three games. He's as high risk as they come in fantasy, making Alfred Blue a must-own, even though we'd expect the Texans to use more of a committee approach at running back in the even Foster misses an extended period of time.
Coach Joe Philbin again refused to commit to Ryan Tannehill as his starting quarterback for Week 4 in Tuesday's media session. But NFL Network's Jeff Darlington, who is based in Miami, reports Tannehill is indeed "scheduled to start." Tannehill should keep his job for at least another week, but he needs to step it up. Lamar Miller is averaging more YPC (5.8) than Tannehill is per passing attempt (5.0). That's hard to do. Tannehill has regressed each season.
Quarterback & Running Back Slants
Carson Palmer (shoulder) "tossed" the ball off to the side of practice on Tuesday, and will do so again on Wednesday. The Cardinals hope he'll be able to return to practice next Wednesday. Arizona is on its bye week. … The Dolphins believe Knowshon Moreno's (elbow) return "isn't far off." He recently predicted he'd be back for Week 6, following Miami's Week 5 bye. … An MRI revealed no structural damage in Jake Locker's throwing wrist, but he's questionable for Week 4. … Josh McCown (thumb) has yet to rule himself out this week. … The Chargers signed RB Shaun Draughn. … Following Monday night's debacle, coach Rex Ryan stood behind Geno Smith as his starter on Tuesday. … Coach Jay Gruden confirmed Kirk Cousins could remain the starter even when Robert Griffin III (ankle) is healthy. … The Panthers placed RB Mike Tolbert (leg) on short-term I.R. He's out until at least Week 13. DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is expected back for Week 4.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
The Bucs re-signed WR Louis Murphy and waived WR Chris Owusu. … The Titans waived WR T.J. Graham. … The Ravens placed Dennis Pitta (hip) on I.R. He had "successful" surgery on Monday, and faces a long road back. It's "way too early" to determine Pitta's playing future. … DeSean Jackson (shoulder) remained limited Tuesday. Jordan Reed (hamstring) will miss Week 4, and is in doubt for Week 5. … Vernon Davis (ankle) feels "way better." The 49ers remain optimistic he'll play this week. … Odell Beckham (hamstring) returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since August 18. … Packers rookie TE Richard Rodgers has been a "disaster" as a blocker in the running game. He's also done nothing as a pass catcher. The Packers need Brandon Bostick to start taking the job. … Eric Decker (hamstring) played just 12 snaps Monday night before removing himself from the game. He'll likely be a game-time decision against the Lions. … Josh Gordon is allowed to attend the Browns facility during his suspension.