By Sarah Berkowitz
LeGarrette Blount has gotten the lion’s share of the Eagles’ carries even though he has been on the field for just 33.28 percent of offensive snaps.
Last season, Darren Sproles was the leading RB in terms of playing time with 45 percent of snaps.
So what happens now, with the influx of Jay Ajayi?
He was on the field for 17 plays, or 25 percent of the time. Blount had one fewer snap, his 16 accounting for 23 percent of snaps. Corey Clement, on the other hand, had 28 snaps, or 41 percent.
Let’s assume the Clement usage was an anomaly, since it far exceeded his season average of 18.95 percent. Using a 2016 moniker for our distrust of Pederson, let’s call this a Sproles Game — referring to seemingly random weeks when Pederson would alter his game plan to use a different running back.
Let’s also assume this past week was minimal usage for Ajayi. He will see a larger percentage of snaps henceforth.
As a benchmark for Ajayi, let’s use Ryan Mathews’ 2016 season. Mathews played 25.38 percent of snaps, but also played just 13 games. Prorate his use over all 16, and you get 31.24 percent of snaps.
Let’s say Ajayi’s touches per snap hover in the 58 percent range, like 2016 Mathews. That would give Ajayi about 15 touches per game (let’s round it out to 12 carries and three receptions per game) — which, based on his career averages, would yield roughly an average of 73 total yards per game. He has a ridiculously low career touchdown rate of one score per 50.3 touches. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and average that with the 2017 overall TD rate average (21.97), and that would give him 2.3 TDs the rest of the way.
So you add it all up, and our projection for Ajayi is 11.59 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues the rest of the way. For reference, that would put him in the C.J. Anderson, Javorius Allen realm (right on the border of the top 20 RBs).