Every year, there is one rookie whose stock rises due to a “perfect” landing spot. Whether it was Royce Freeman in 2018, Darrell Henderson in 2019, or Clyde Edwards-Helaire in 2020, the fantasy football community always finds some relatively unknown rookie to prop up after the NFL Draft. This year, that somebody is Michael Carter, and if you want to increase your odds of winning your league, you need to stop drafting him.
Stop Drafting Michael Carter in Your Fantasy Football League
Michael Carter Himself
From a distance, it’s easy to see why fantasy football owners might want to add Michael Carter as a late-round dart throw or late-first-round dynasty pick. The New York Jets have a new coach, new quarterback, and completely uninhabited backfield. What’s more, that new head coach comes from the Kyle Shanahan tree, and Shanahan is famous for turning every running back he touches into a fantasy football goldmine. Additionally, Carter was the only running back selected by the current front office, which makes him the only one that the coaching staff definitely likes.
There is potential here, but the odds of Carter actually reaching that promise are slim to none. Now, running back is a plug-and-play position, which means that the actual talent of the back doesn’t have all that much to do with the end result of the play. However, talent gets running backs on the field, and it’s just hard to imagine any world where Carter is significantly more talented than the other backs on the roster. Carter was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft and, historically speaking, guys selected that late just do not produce in the NFL.
— Bulletproof BeanCounter (@DFBeanCounter) May 12, 2021
Even if you think Carter had the talent to be a Day 2 pick, he never received a large workload at the collegiate level. During his four years at North Carolina, Carter only had one season with more than 160 carries and never eclipsed 25 receptions in a single season. This relatively pedestrian production combined with his smaller 5’-8”, 201-pound build tells us that he will probably never be anything more than a complementary back at the NFL level. Volume is king in fantasy football, and nothing suggests that Michael Carter will ever receive that much volume.
The New York Jets Offense
Michael Carter is not a good prospect, but bad prospects can produce if their coaching staff demonstrates unwavering support in the player. Said support is very uncommon for Day 3 picks, and Carter does not appear to be an exception to the rule.
Even the best rookie running backs need some time to adjust to NFL life. For example, Jonathan Taylor had no real competition for touches last year, but still needed half a season before he truly broke out. Carter isn’t nearly as good as Taylor, nor is his offensive line anywhere near as talented as the 2020 Indianapolis Colts. If Taylor couldn’t do it, then it’s hard to imagine any world where Carter could.
Based on early preseason usage, Michael Carter appears to be buried on the depth chart. As of right now, Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson have seen the vast majority of the first-team snaps, while Carter saw most of his action with the second- and third-team offense. The results of preseason games don’t matter all that much, but the snap usage usually gives us a good idea of how the coaches plan on using their players.
Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson continue to dominate usage with the Jets first team.
I'm a Michael Carter fan, but his workload could be severely curtailed early in the season, if the Preseason is any indication.
— Brad Evans (@NoisyHuevos) August 21, 2021
Michael Carter Average Draft Position
According to Underdog Average Draft Position, Michael Carter is the highest-drafted player on the New York Jets, regardless of position. While this could change in the coming days, it’s safe to say that this should not be the case. In addition to not being a very inspiring player, Carter is clearly buried on the depth chart and isn’t going to be fantasy-relevant for quite some time.
No matter what your personal feelings are on Michael Carter, you should not be drafting him right now. The fact of the matter is that he’s not going to see the field early, which means that his value is going to plummet in the coming months. If you truly believe this guy can be great, wait to trade for him when his value is lower. If, however, you’re on the fence about him, then hopefully this article helped you stay away from one of fantasy football’s biggest traps.