Injuries happen every year in fantasy football and some simply hurt more than others – we had one of those gut punchers yesterday. Yep, this year has brought us a significant setback for Breece Hall, as the breakout star running back has indeed torn his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. This injury is especially devastating in dynasty leagues as many non-contenders from last year had seen their teams improve significantly after taking Hall likely as the 1.01 in dynasty rookie drafts this off-season. Now, they’ll need to find a replacement to continue to compete. The injury is significant on a lot of levels, so let’s take a look at the players whose values have changed as a result.
Breece Hall, RB NYJ
This just stinks for Hall. He was clearly making Michael Carter an afterthought and posting huge plays each and every week. Hall was on his way to becoming a serious difference maker in dynasty leagues already and was really coming into his own. Now, he’ll spend the next year rehabbing and will hope to be back on the field for opening day next season. Unfortunately, we’re likely not going to see him at full strength until later than that as these injuries, while common, take some time to recover from. Hall ends his season with 463 rushing yards and three touchdowns, adding another 19/218/1 through the air. His ADP is going to dip, but he’ll remain one of the better assets in dynasty leagues. On the plus side, this could open a window for dynasty managers to acquire Hall at a discount. I have little doubt we’re going to see him back on the field and dominating. While his 2023 season may not be as electric as we may want, my bet is the following year will see him round back into form. Many dynasty managers took a gamble on Saquon Barkley after a down season while he was recovering fully last year and that seems to be paying dividends – Hall is a lot easier to take the plunge on since he’s younger and doesn’t have near the injury history Barkley has. Hall’s ranking was all the way up to seven overall – that’s going to likely deep down into the teens after this injury, but this is really only going to cost the young runner time more than anything else. Dynasty managers should respond accordingly. If you have assets you think could net Hall at a discount, I wouldn’t hesitate one bit.
Michael Carter, RB NYJ
Welcome back, Carter! For those of you who held on to Carter instead of shipping him to the Hall manager as a handcuff, you’ve got yourself a starter again. Carter was decent last year as the de facto starter for most of the season, posting 639 rushing yards, 36 catches, 325 receiving yards, and four touchdowns on 4.3 yards per carry. He hasn’t been quite as effective this season, though he’s only had 66 carries and 20 catches on the season. The Jets are competitive this season and Carter should see some real scoring opportunities as a result. There is always a silver lining when it comes to injuries as it gives opportunities to other players and Carter is clearly going to be heavily leaned on by the Jets moving forward. Carter is now a prime trade target for contending teams looking for running back depth and a quick sell for those who are not in the mix this season and have him on their roster. Carter’s ADP had fallen all the way down to #118 and I’d expect that to jump at least 20-30 spots now. In essence, he’s going to have the rest of the year to showcase his talents for New York and the rest of the league in an effort to prove he really is a starting caliber running back.
Ty Johnson, RB NYJ
If you’re looking for a solid waiver pickup this week, it’s hard to imagine many better than Johnson, who played a healthy number of snaps after Hall was injured yesterday. He’s been a very effective player in limited action during his time in Detroit and with the Jets. He was more of a luxury prior to Hall going down, but it clearly looks like he’s a necessity. Consider as well he’s one Carter injury away from serious fantasy relevance as well.
Veteran Running Backs
The Jets now have a need for another running back and could look at some veterans through free agency or the trade market. Marlon Mack already signed with the Broncos after Mike Boone was injured this weekend, so he’s off the table. Jordan Howard (Saints practice squad), and Jordan Wilkins are out there as well. If the Jets look to make a deal, it’s fair to wonder if Melvin Gordon has worn out his welcome in Denver. If they want to be really aggressive, Kareem Hunt is set to be a free agent and could be a good fit as Cleveland is really struggling. James Robinson may have fallen out of favor in Jacksonville. Same with Chase Edmonds in Miami. Eno Benjamin likely makes Darrel Williams expendable, though he’s working on an injury of his own. Would the Bears get rid of David Montgomery? What about Cam Akers or Alexander Mattison? Fact is, this is total speculation, but the Jets are contending for the first time in a long. long while so it’s fair to expect them to leave no stone unturned.