New York Jets RB Michael Carter looked like the team’s running back of the future after his solid rookie year. Then, the Jets drafted Breece Hall, and the rest is history. With Hall rehabbing his torn ACL, could Carter end up in a more prominent role early in the season? What is his fantasy football outlook for the 2023 season?
Behind in research? Get a trade offer in your dynasty or redraft league? Not sure who to start or sit this week? Leverage PFN’s FREE fantasy tools — our Fantasy Football Draft Kit, Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and Calculator, and Start/Sit Optimizer! Put the finishing touch on your A+ draft with 1 of our 425+ fantasy football team names.
Michael Carter’s Fantasy Outlook
Heading into the 2022 season, I was quite bullish on Carter. Although Hall was inevitably going to become the lead back, Carter showed well enough as a rookie to the point where he should’ve been able to maintain a role throughout the season. Plus, we knew what he was capable of should Hall get hurt.
Carter opened the season as the lead back. He played 60% of the snaps over the first two weeks. By Week 3, though, he had already fallen behind Hall. However, he was still playing over 40% of the snaps, but unfortunately, he wasn’t playing particularly well.
Then, in Week 7, Hall tore his ACL. After that, Carter was the clear lead back. He played 75% of the snaps that week and was poised to be a fantasy RB2 for the remainder of the season.
In Weeks 8 and 9, Carter scored 10.1 and 15.6 PPR fantasy points, respectively. He wasn’t Hall, but he looked like a fantasy starter. The Jets had a Week 10 bye and evidently used that time to reevaluate their backfield.
In Week 11, everything changed. Carter suddenly became incredibly ineffective. He carried the ball 29 times for 72 yards over the rest of the season. He lost his starting job to Zonovan “Bam” Knight. By the final couple weeks of the season, Carter was posting season-lows in snap share, falling behind Ty Johnson as well.
Although Carter seemingly proved his capabilities as a rookie, we have to value what we saw last year significantly more. The Jets had a chance to commit to him. Instead, they drafted Hall. After Hall got hurt, they again had a chance to commit to Carter. New York tried for a couple of weeks but decided the UDFA rookie Knight was better. There’s really no way to spin this as a positive.
Hall is going to be back this season. By all accounts, he should be ready for Week 1. Even if he doesn’t see a full workload right away, at best, Carter is the RB3 behind Dalvin Cook.
The Jets also still have Knight, and they spent a fifth-round pick on Israel Abanikanda. We shouldn’t put too much stock in Day 3 running backs, but the Jets seem pretty done with Carter, and Knight is still a UDFA who wasn’t particularly good. There’s a very real chance Abanikanda is the guy touching the ball the third-most in New York’s backfield.
The only real hope for Carter was that he could’ve maintained a passing-down role. Abanikanda never saw more than a 5.9% target share in college, so that’s not going to be his role. Meanwhile, Carter still saw a 10.1% target share last season.
However, with the addition of Cook, there’s no hope for any fantasy viability absent an injury to one of Cook or Hall. And even then, it’s far from a guarantee that Carter would be the beneficiary.
Should Fantasy Managers Draft Carter at His ADP?
Fantasy managers seem wise to Carter having fallen out of favor with the Jets. The rookie wa sgoing just four spots behind Carter’s RB65 ADP at the time I wrote this. By the time you’re reading this, Cook’s impact on ADP will be felt and the non-Hall backs will see their ADPs plummet outside of the group that usually gets drafted.
I still have Carter projected as the third-best fantasy RB on this team, but projections don’t matter at all for running backs this late in drafts. We only care about upside. Based on what we saw last season, I firmly believe Carter has none.
I have him ranked RB76, which is well outside the group of players that might get drafted. Now that he’s relegated to the team’s RB3, at best, there’s no chance I take Carter, and you shouldn’t, either.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.