Update August 31: Dobbins hasn’t necessarily taken control of the top running back spot, but he has secured a Week 1 role. The rookie and Edwards are in line to receive their fair share of touches and have stood out from Hill. Expect Dobbins to be a more significant role than Edwards, as he’s been running the ball, catching short and long passes, and playing on special teams.
Update August 24: Baltimore’s choice to back up Ingram could be a “weekly decision,” according to the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. Dobbins is the frontrunner to be the second option, but Gus Edwards isn’t out of the picture just yet.
In this series we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project, correctly, which players will win training camp battles.
The Baltimore Ravens had the most dynamic rushing offense of all-time last year thanks to Lamar Jackson’s MVP season, but can they get even better on the ground? It’ll definitely be hard to top the 3,296 rushing yards they totaled last year, but they’ve put themselves in a great position to chase that mark. The running back battle between Mark Ingram and 2020 draftee J.K. Dobbins will have significant impact on how effective Baltimore’s offense can be moving forward.
Ingram rushed for 1,1018 and 10 scores in 2019 and finished as a top 10 fantasy running back in standard leagues. He ranked 13th among running backs in rushing yards and was far from being an elite receiving back, but his fantasy stats were bolstered by his touchdown total. The 30-year-old had a successful first campaign with the Ravens, but could take a back seat to a promising rookie soon.
Dobbins ranked third in the FBS with 2,003 rushing yards last year. The Ohio State product also ran for 21 touchdowns in his final collegiate season. Dobbins flourished alongside a blazing fast, dual threat quarterback in Justin Fields. The duo excelled when running the zone read, and Jackson was nearly unstoppable in those situations. Having a young player with experience perfecting it could make Jackson and Dobbins a formidable duo for years to come.
Expect Ingram to be the Week 1 starter, but he could very well split a significant portion of the work with Dobbins depending on how early he blends with the team. Dobbins could become the RB1 before the year is up. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill should be used sparingly unless there are injuries.