New York Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur may have provided fantasy football managers with rookie running back Breece Hall on their team some cause for concern Thursday.
According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, LaFleur called second-year running back Michael Carter the "heartbeat of our offense."
Despite Carter's solid play as a rookie last season and the fact that he still figures to get plenty of work in 2022, Hall was drafted early in many fantasy leagues on the heels of the Jets selecting him 36th overall in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft.
New York had a full-on committee in its backfield last season, but it was Carter who emerged as the most fantasy-relevant player of the group due primarily to his pass-catching ability.
Despite missing three games due to injury, the fourth-round pick out of North Carolina rushed for 639 yards and four touchdowns, while also catching 36 passes for 325 yards.
As a result, Carter was a weekly flex consideration last season, and he has a chance to carve out that type of role for himself once again this season, even with Hall in the mix.
The fact that the Jets invested a second-round pick in Hall suggests he will be used often, likely on first and second down, as well as short-yardage situations, but it wouldn't be wise to expect him to be a bell cow.
Hall is a solid pass-catcher in his own right, but Carter proved he could do it at the NFL level as a rookie, perhaps putting him in the catbird seat for third-down duties, and thus giving him plenty of value in point-per-reception leagues.
If both Hall and Carter stay healthy this season, it is likely Hall will finish with more fantasy points due to his touchdown upside, but the disparity may not be as significant as most assumed.
In Yahoo fantasy football drafts, Hall has an average draft position of 44.2, while Carter's ADP is sitting at 120.6, making Hall the RB18 and Carter the RB42. That means Hall is usually being drafted as an RB2, while Carter is being drafted as an RB4 or RB5.
When it comes to return on investment, Carter has the makings of being a much better pick than Hall, especially if LaFleur's comments are a sign that Carter will be heavily involved in the offense again this season.