Wednesday Night Football is nearly upon us, and with it will come your final fantasy football decisions of Week 12. Much has been made of the Baltimore Ravens RB situation in the last week, and the picture is somewhat clouded with the news that Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins could both suit up against the Steelers on Wednesday. Given the complexity of navigating the Ravens RB situation so far this season, which players should you be looking to start on Wednesday Night Football in Week 12?
Updated December 02: According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, even though both Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins are eligible to return, neither will play in today’s game against the Steelers. instead, RB Gus Edwards will be the starter.
Due to the continued delays, both Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins will be available to play on Wednesday
After 22 players either tested positive or identified as high-risk contacts, the Ravens finally got a little good news. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Baltimore Ravens activated four players from the reserve list Tuesday, and more moves could come before Wednesday’s game against the Steelers. Among the group of players that the Ravens announced on Tuesday, are RBs Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins. They will join RBs Gus Edwards and Justice Hill in the Ravens backfield for the usual 3:40 PM game of Wednesday Night Football.
Interestingly, Pelissero also noted that it is not a given that either of them will play in the Wednesday Night Football game. They have only been declared eligible to be activated at this time. They’ve been isolated since testing positive on the 22nd and aren’t allowed to fly on the team plane tonight.
The Ravens will still be without numerous key players on both sides of the ball. Still, the return of Dobbins and Ingram would be a significant boost for an offense that will be missing reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson, TEs Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle, WR Willie Snead IV, RB Patrick Ricard, LT Ronnie Stanley, and C Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura, and others.
On Monday, the Ravens announced that LB Jaylon Ferguson, G DJ Fluker, DT Broderick Washington, and DB Iman Marshall returned from the reserve list.
When all three Ravens RBs have been active, its been a fantasy nightmare
It is incredible for a team so full of talent to find so little weekly fantasy value on it in 2020. On a typical week, outside of Lamar Jackson, who do we feel comfortable starting? Have you felt secure in starting TE Mark Andrews? A player who has just as many weeks outside the TE21 range (5) as he does weeks in the top three (5)? You do it for the ceiling, but you simply don’t know what you are getting. What about Marquise Brown? A receiver who has finished as a WR2 or better only once in 2020 (WR16 in Week 5), and has been outside the WR40 in eight of his 10 games, including four games as the WR69 or worse.
The RB committee: what’s your best option?
As we continue our tour of the Ravens’ skill position fantasy disappointments, we arrive at the Ravens RBs, and it’s a jumbled mess. After the Wednesday Night Football game, it is likely the Ravens will retake the lead with the most rushing attempts in the NFL, which ought to be a thing to celebrate in fantasy football.
RB JK Dobbins leads the trio in rushing yards with 380 on his 72 carries with three touchdowns and 17 receptions for 103 receiving yards in 10 games played. Gus Edwards comes in next with 85 attempts for 376 rushing yards and three scores, along with three catches on seven targets for 42 yards. In third is Mark Ingram, who has played in eight games for the Ravens, carrying the ball 57 times for 232 yards and two touchdowns while catching five of his seven targets for 49 yards. Do you start to see the issue here?
Will any Ravens RB have the volume to trust them in your lineup?
On the season, JK Dobbins is the RB42, Gus Edwards is the RB56, and Mark Ingram is the RB67, although those numbers will likely change after the Wednesday Night Football game ends. Regardless, the three Ravens RBs have not been usable for fantasy when all three are active. The only time any of the group were, was during the two-game stretch where Ingram was out due to injury.
In Weeks 8 and 9, Dobbins and Edwards flipped back and forth with RB2 finishes, including the Week 8 matchup against the same Steelers where Dobbins and Edwards combined for 200 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown.
The only time we have seen any change in this pattern for the Ravens RBs was in Week 11 when it appeared as if JK Dobbins had taken a more significant role in the offense. Dobbins led the Ravens RBs with 15 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown, finishing as the RB5 on the Week in PPR scoring.
If this were any typical week, I would say you should feel good about JK Dobbins in fantasy, but this has been anything but ordinary, and the Ravens have far more significant issues than their RBs if they all play.
Which Ravens RB is the better fantasy choice: Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and JK Dobbins?
If you were brave enough to leave a spot open for them, first, you are bolder than I am, and second, the variety of outcomes is reasonably wide.
Let’s say you picked up Gus Edwards off waivers thinking he would be the starter for the Thanksgiving Day game, which feels like an eternity ago. You’re best hope is the Ravens choose not to play either of their RBs, and he gets force-fed the ball while there is no Lamar Jackson to steal the carries. If this happens, you start him, and he is a low-end RB2/RB3 range option. Yes, he had a solid game against the Steelers last time out, but this is not the same Ravens team, and they have had little practice and are depleted offensively.
In the second scenario, where all three play, the only one I feel okay about starting is JK Dobbins. It seems that he turned a corner last week, and out of all the Ravens RBs, he is the best pass catcher and has been the one they go to all season. I’d expect Robert Griffin III to look at quick reads with Jackson out, and dump-offs to Dobbins should be there all game. They don’t need to be efficient or gain many yards, but I’ll take the higher weighted opportunities given the value of a catch.
The third option is you left all of these guys off your starting roster and get to sit back and watch this mess of a Wednesday Night Football game. That is what I did, even for Steelers players. At this point in the season, I think it is better to take the guaranteed points, even if it comes with a lesser ceiling.
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