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Cook Signing Severely Dampens Fantasy Outlook for Jets' Incumbent RB1

Hall's value falls as Gang Green adds four-time Pro Bowler to backfield

The Breece Hall fantasy bandwagon lost a wheel this past week when the New York Jets agreed to terms with free agent running back Dalvin Cook. 

Expected to be the team's lead ball carrier after returning from ACL surgery, Hall was a hot name in fantasy football circles this spring. The multi-talented running back displayed RB1 potential by grossing 117.1 fantasy points over 6.5 games as a rookie, but it may take some time before Hall can return to his pre-injury production levels.

Even if Hall is ready for a full workload come Week 1, which seems highly unlikely for multiple reasons, Cook did not sign with the Jets to sit the bench. The four-time Pro Bowler is going to command a decent share of the touches.

"As opposed to maybe when I first got into the League [with the Green Bay Packers], we had Ahman Green and Ahman was a 400 carry a year guy," said quarterback Aaron Rodgers. "Now, around the League, there’s just not many of those guys. Everybody has a one-two punch. Breece [Hall] obviously, is coming off a great start to the year and then he hurt himself. He’s a special player."

SI Fantasy's Michael Fabiano included Hall on his "Top 6 Breakout Running Backs" list in mid-June, but he has since revised his projections. 

In the post-NFL Draft player rankings, Hall rose to No. 10 overall amongst running backs and his projected ADP (Average Draft Position) hovered around 25. Fabiano has since dropped the Jets' second-year pro down to RB18 status.

SI Fantasy analyst Kyle Wood tabbed Hall as one of "10 Players Whose ADPs Are Falling." The latest calculations have the sophomore running back going off the board around 38 and 39 overall in fantasy drafts.

From "Fantasy Impact: Dalvin Cook Signs With Jets":

"Cook’s presence in the Big Apple all but eliminates any chance Breece Hall had of putting up a breakout season. The second-year back looked great as a rookie, but his season was cut short due to a torn ACL. The Jets’ interest in Cook, even before he signed, was a red flag that Hall might not be ready for Week 1.

Now it seems, the Jets can bring Hall along slowly and use Cook as their top back to start the season. Even upon Hall’s return (whenever that might be), he might not reclaim the top spot on the depth chart immediately. Regardless, this is going to be a committee that could drive fantasy managers up a green and white wall."

Michael Fabiano

During the same week that Cook signed, Hall officially lost his PUP status and began practicing with the team. 

"Dalvin’s presence doesn’t change Breece’s timeline," said Jets' third-year head coach Robert Saleh. "We’re very comfortable with where Breece is at, very confident that he’ll be ready for Week 1. I’ve said it, he looks awesome, he really does. Our plan for him has been very deliberate in making sure that we’re protecting him from him."

Before going down in Week 7, Hall totaled 681 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns on 99 touches in 2022. Since OTAs, Saleh has repeatedly mentioned that the dynamic runner has reached up to 23 mph on the player-worn GPS devices.

While Hall's straight-line speed has returned, running backs have historically needed almost a full season of action to completely regain their form. The New York Giants' Saquon Barkley is a prime example.

Although the addition of Cook may not change Hall's recovery timeline, it certainly puts a dent in the hope that he will emerge as a fantasy RB1 this year.

"As for Hall, I’d still draft him ahead of Cook, but as more of a No. 2 runner with a lower ceiling," said Fabiano.

Without knowing the carry share, it's difficult to gauge Cook's fantasy value moving forward, but the four-time Pro Bowler's days as an elite option may have passed him by. 

"Cook, a once elite fantasy back, can no longer be seen as a No. 1 or 2 runner (at least not once Hall is back on the field). I’d be targeting him as a flex starter at best, and I’d probably rather avoid him in drafts," said Fabiano.


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Jets' Top RB Comes off PUP List amidst Cook Signing

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Rodgers Happy 'Talented' WR1 Has Returned to Jets' Offense