The departure of Le’Veon Bell was a long time coming and one of the worst-kept secrets in the NFL. With Bell out of the way, Jets rookie La’Mical Perine will now get his shot to prove himself and try to bring fantasy football value to the backfield in the process. Is Perine talented enough to carry the load, or is the weight of Adam Gase too much for anyone to overcome at this point? 

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La’Mical Perine should see a spike in fantasy value 

If there is one person in the Jets’ backfield that I would take a shot on and stash on my fantasy bench, it is La’Mical Perine. But, should you run to the waiver wire to do so? Drafted in the fourth round out of Florida, he’s been sparsely used after most of the preseason due to a high ankle sprain. He has 17 touches for 55 total yards in his four games, and he didn’t see the field in Week 5 when Bell returned. 

Perine rushed for 2,485 yards and 5.0 yards per carry over four seasons at the University of Florida. In his final year at Miami, he caught 40 passes for 262 yards during his senior year. If the Jets utilize him in the passing game, I believe La’Mical Perine could see close to double-digit fantasy points per week. Targets are worth more fantasy points per touch than carries, and I doubt they want to throw the ball to Frank Gore. 

The problem is that he has not seen the field very often. Apparently, that is by design, somehow. When Gase was asked on Monday why Perine didn’t see the field on offense, the coach responded that he doesn’t want to put “too much” on Perine’s shoulders and “stunt his growth,” per The Athletic’s Connor Hughes.

But if a player doesn’t see the field, how can they grow? Maybe that growth could have been useful right about now since they just released their leading running back.

Perine will get a larger role, but only to protect Gore

Since Bell’s departure, Adam Gase has come out and said that Perine would see an increased role. That is excellent for fantasy managers, right? Well, that “increased role” is only going to be when trying to keep a 37-year old Frank Gore from seeing every snap.

Gase said Perine would have a bigger role and getting him involved will be critical for the Jets to lighten Gore’s workload.

“I feel like we know how to use him, and [with] his skill set, there’s a lot of things he can do,” Gase said. “There’s explosiveness there where we’ve seen him take it to the house from 80 yards, and that speed is real.”

It sounds like even with Bell gone, Perine is going to be little more than a change of pace back moving forward. Even if he was the primary passing-down back, could there be some fantasy value in that, or given what has been said, should we just stay away from this backfield all together?

Is La’Mical Perine someone fantasy managers need to grab before he shoots up in value?

When I say shoots up in value, I dont mean a Space X Falcon Heavy rocket taking off. More like one of those water-filled kids toys that you step on, and it goes about six feet in the air before crashing back down to Earth. Almost like Kalen Ballage’s failed hurdle. Sorry, I digress.

Even if La’Mical Perine were to see the bulk of the touches, I don’t think these are going to be very valuable for fantasy. The Jets rank 32nd in points, passing, first downs, red zone percentage, scoring margin, points per play, and yards per attempt, and penalties committed. They rank 31st in total yards, touchdowns, yards per play, and punts per play.

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They rank 30th in time of possession. They rank 28th in third-down conversion rate. And best of all, they rank 22nd in rushing, with their running backs averaging 3.4 yards per carry.

There is no upside this year in the backfield right now. If you want to stash Perine in fantasy on your bench before their upcoming game, by all means, go for it. However, I am not dropping anyone I like to do it. 

Through five games, Jets running backs are averaging 23.4 touches per game. Outside of Ty Johnson and Josh Adams, there are no other running backs on the depth chart. I expect Gore to see the majority at 12 to 13 touches, with La’Mical Perine getting around six to seven. There is not enough volume, in my opinion, to make any of them a safe play in fantasy. 

The Jets are 0-5 and looking at 2021. Outside of Jamison Crowder, this not a team you need players from in fantasy. 

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Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.