Jay Ajayi
Jay Ajayi
26-Year-Old Running BackRB
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
A torn ACL in Week 5 last year ended Ajayi's season early, and heading into summer the 26-year-old had yet to find a new team in free agency. When healthy, he has shown flashes of three-down potential, with acceleration being his standout trait. But since his 2016 breakout with the Dolphins, Ajayi has had trouble establishing himself as a reliable member of a backfield - both in terms of his production and when it comes to earning the trust of his coaches. His history of knee trouble dating to his Boise State days likely isn't helping the job search. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said in March that while Ajayi should be ready for Week 1 - 11 months removed from his injury - he probably won't be ready much before that. Assuming he can prove to teams that he is on the right track, Ajayi should latch on somewhere once depth charts get thinned by training camp injuries. He is unlikely to fall into a starting role, but he probably isn't totally washed up yet. Read Past Outlooks
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#196.69
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$Signed a four-year, $2.5 million contract with the Dolphins in May of 2015. Traded to the Eagles in October of 2017.
Medically cleared
RBFree Agent
July 24, 2019
Ajayi (knee) received full medical clearance Wednesday from noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
The running back -- who suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 last season -- remains a free agent, but now that he's been cleared, it's reasonable to assume that he'll draw interest from teams seeking to add backfield depth. Whether Ajayi vaults back into the fantasy conversation as the summer rolls long depends on his landing spot, but he's just 26 years old and his 1,272 rushing yard-effort with the Dolphins in 2016 isn't exactly ancient history.
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Jay Ajayi lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2019 Jay Ajayi Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Jay Ajayi's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 0"
 
Weight
223 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.57 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.10 sec
 
Cone Drill
7.10 sec
 
Vertical Jump
39.0 in
 
Broad Jump
121 in
 
Bench Press
19 reps
 
Hand Length
10.00 in
 
Arm Length
32.00 in
 
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
Entering last season, Ajayi's career seemed to be on the upswing after he seized control of the starting job in the Miami backfield the year before. He offered game-breaking potential with excellent speed for a 223-pound back and improving skills as a receiver, and Ryan Tannehill's preseason knee injury left Ajayi as the clear focal point of Miami's offense. Instead, he seemed to rest on his laurels, drawing the ire of coach Adam Gase for his lackadaisical pass protection, and after seven games with 3.4 YPC he was sent to Philadelphia at the trade deadline. Joining a team with a much more crowded backfield cut into his workload, but playing for the eventual Super Bowl champs also seemed to re-focus Ajayi, and his 5.8 YPC in seven games for Philadelphia made up for his lost touches. His role heading into 2018 remains something of a mystery. He's the most obvious fit for a lead role on the roster, but the team has plenty of depth behind him if he runs afoul of another coaching staff, and he isn't likely to see much work on passing downs if Darren Sproles comes back healthy from major knee and arm injuries. Ajayi could return to the level of production he showed in 2016 if he gets a full workload behind the Eagles' excellent offensive line, but a committee role alongside Sproles and Corey Clement is more likely.
If Miami's signing of Arian Foster last year was intended to motivate Ajayi, mission accomplished. The second-year back did his time in a backup role, and when Foster inevitably broke down Ajayi was ready to seize the lead role for good, immediately reeling off back-to-back games with more than 200 rushing yards. Those huge performances were no fluke, as he possesses the outstanding elusiveness and balance to leave would-be tacklers flailing in the open field, along with a physical edge to his game that allows him to plow through the initial hit. Ajayi's 484 total yards after contact placed him third in the NFL behind Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson and just ahead of Ezekiel Elliott. While the fact that nearly half his production came in just three games -- he torched the Bills defense a second time for over 200 yards in Week 16, becoming the fourth back in NFL history after O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell and Tiki Barber to top 200 yards three times in a season -- may worry some, that volatility from week to week just leaves plenty of room for growth if he becomes more consistent. He also saw only 35 targets in the passing game, after catching 50 passes in his final season at Boise State -- another area in which Ajayi could improve on his 2016 numbers. Last year's breakout was impressive, but he may just be scratching the surface.
We don't blame anyone who wasn't impressed by Ajayi's first season. His YPC was ordinary and he only caught seven passes. Initially, the Dolphins appeared to make an investment in Ajayi in the offseason, even if it was more indirect than anything. They let Lamar Miller go and they didn't make running back a priority in the draft, though they did add Kenyan Drake from Alabama (third round). The team's addition of Arian Foster, however, gives Ajayi some serious competition, though Foster's health is a concern since he is coming off an Achilles' injury. Thus, both Drake, who had been a contender to get third-down and pass-catching work immediately, and Ajayi -- who was in line to see the bulk of the work on first and second down -- could both lose touches (and fantasy value) thanks to the presence of Foster. Coach Adam Gase went out of his way to praise Ajayi during May's minicamp, saying Ajayi had "separated himself" from the other backs, but the Foster signing suggests otherwise. While it's not uncommon to see a runner take a leap in his second season, and Ajayi has that look to him, he now faces a training camp battle with a big name running back, who has proven productive when healthy.
Ajayi had a legitimate case for being the third back taken in this year's draft after Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon, but concerns about a degenerative knee condition arose at the Combine, dropping him all the way to the fifth round. Ajayi has good size and adequate speed, but it's his impressive elusiveness and agility that really stood out at Boise State, allowing him to work his way through traffic and make people miss in the open field. He also possesses a strong burst through the hole and keeps his pad level low, allowing him to regularly pick up extra yards after contact. Combined with his pass-catching ability, Ajayi profiles as a three-down back, but his regular season NFL debut won't come until midseason, given that the rookie landed on the Dolphins' short-term IR list.
More Fantasy News
Still hasn't signed
RBFree Agent
Knee - ACL
June 14, 2019
Ajayi (knee) remains unsigned, Danny Kelly of The Ringer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Could stay with Eagles
RBFree Agent
Knee - ACL
March 25, 2019
Agent Drew Rosenhaus said Ajayi (knee) had a good visit with the Colts and remains in contact with the Eagles, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Talking to Colts next week
RBFree Agent
Knee - ACL
March 13, 2019
Ajayi (knee) has a visit scheduled with the Colts next week, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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Headed for free agency
RBPhiladelphia Eagles
Knee - ACL
January 23, 2019
Ajayi (knee), who tore his ACL on Oct. 7, is slated to become a free agent in March, Paul Domowitch of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
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ACL surgery scheduled for Thursday
RBPhiladelphia Eagles
Knee - ACL
October 8, 2018
Ajayi is slated to undergo surgery on his torn ACL this Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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