The Baltimore Ravens‘ running back situation has been murky this season, to say the least. Now, with an important Monday Night Football matchup on the horizon, will the Ravens be getting back one of their key contributors in Gus Edwards, or will Kenyan Drake once again lead the way?
Is Gus Edwards Playing on Monday Night?
Edwards managed to finally make his way back to the field in Week 7 after missing most of last year due to a torn ACL. Unfortunately, his return didn’t last long, as he suffered a hamstring injury late in the fourth quarter last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Edwards’ official status is currently “doubtful,” and considering the fact that he hasn’t practiced all week, odds are that he will be held out of this contest.
It’s an unfortunate situation considering how good Edwards has looked when he has been able to stay on the field. Even before the injury in Tampa Bay, the 27-year-old back had managed to put together 65 yards on 11 carries. The week prior against the Browns, Edwards led the team in rushing yards and scored two touchdowns.
What Does Edwards’ Potential Absence Mean for the Ravens?
With Edwards more than likely to miss the game against the New Orleans Saints, the team will turn once again to veteran Kenyan Drake. When Edwards was active, Drake’s role obviously saw quite a decline. Against the Browns, he managed a paltry five yards on 11 carries. And although his stats seemed better against the Buccaneers (seven carries for 62 yards), most of them came on one big broken play for 40 yards.
It will be quite a task asking Drake to lead this Baltimore team against a New Orleans defense that has been especially good against the run. In their last three contests, the Saints are only allowing an average of 83.3 rushing yards per game. Additionally, they are currently seventh in the league in fantasy points allowed to the position.
MORE: Is Mark Andrews Playing Monday vs. Saints?
The biggest problem with Drake isn’t so much the defense, but more the competition he will face with quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson, who is known for his skill with his legs and ability to take off on a second’s notice, currently leads the team in rushing yards and attempts. He also leads the NFL in rushing yards at the QB position.
PFN’s Senior Fantasy Analyst Tommy Garrett currently has Drake ranked as RB25 (non-PPR formats) in his weekly RB fantasy rankings. This puts the Ravens’ RB as a fringe RB2 option. The ranking makes sense, considering the combination of a tough defensive opponent and a QB that likes to run the ball himself.
It would be a risk playing Drake this week. However, since signing with the Ravens, the RB has been the kind of player that could either win your week or help lose it. If you are forced to start him, just cross your fingers and hope for another 100+ yard performance like he had against the New York Giants back in Week 6.