After spending much of the 2012 season on the inactive list, the door to both playing time and a degree of fantasy relevance was finally opened for New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory, but just when it seemed that the third-year pro might provide a late boost for fantasy owners, that door may have slammed shut again.
The 24-year-old saw his first real action of the season over the last two games with Darren Sproles nursing a broken hand. Ivory performed pretty well after being afforded that opportunity, carrying the ball 17 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns and drawing the praise of interim head coach Joe Vitt, according to Nakia Hogan of New Orleans' The Times-Picayune.
"He's always looking to get extra yards. I think what has been encouraging about Chris, you saw him switch the ball into the proper hand when he finished his touchdown run. Those are the little things that he has really worked on to become a better player. It's fun to watch and we're proud of him."
So, with Ivory finding getting some playing time, and given that just about any running back with a pulse has fantasy value, Ivory is certainly worth a pickup from fantasy owners, right?
If only it were that simple.
As good as Ivory has looked over the past two games, he remains entrenched in the backfield committee to end all backfield committees in New Orleans, and with Mark Ingram the lead back on early downs and Pierre Thomas the passing-down back, there's just no telling how many touches Ivory might get in a given game.
And that's without taking Sproles into account.
The veteran scat back is nearing a return to action, and while that return may not come this week against the Oakland Raiders, it's coming soon, which means even more mouths to feed, even fewer touches for Ivory and the very real possibility that Ivory could once again find himself inactive on game day.
So, if you already have Ivory, the youngster's worth hanging onto, and if you play in a deep fantasy league and have an open roster spot, there are worse ways to spend it, but at this point it appears that any fantasy value Chris Ivory may have had for 2012 is going to vanish just as quickly as it appeared.