The latest news regarding J.K. Dobbins’ recovery from his knee injury should delight fantasy football managers who are considering drafting him. Dobbins hit back at a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, which stated Dobbins was “no sure thing for Week 1.” With Dobbins seemingly bullish about his availability to start the season, what does that mean for his fantasy value for the 2022 NFL season?
J.K. Dobbins strikes down injury update and gives hope to fantasy managers
The mini-saga around Dobbins’ recovery from a knee injury played out over around 15 minutes on Tuesday, July 18. Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network that Dobbins is “no sure thing for Week 1” and that the Ravens have “no incentive to rush him back.”
Dobbins struck back through his own Twitter account. In his tweet, Dobbins stated that he “might not even go on PUP because of how good my rehab is” and insisted that he would be ready for Week 1. Now while those are strong words, it still would not be a surprise to see Dobbins on the PUP list to open training camp.
The Athletic recently reported that Dobbins is “highly unlikely” to see the field during preseason. Given that Dobbins was injured in a preseason game last year, this is hardly surprising. However, it does have ramifications for his fantasy value.
Dobbins’ current value in fantasy leagues sees him being selected in the fourth round of non-PPR leagues in 12-team Sleeper leagues. Meanwhile, in PPR leagues, his ADP of 49th sees him hovering on the fourth- to fifth-round border. The current uncertainty makes that a high price to pay. Sure Dobbins is bullish on his availability for Week 1, but that doesn’t mean he’ll see a full workload early in the season.
Ravens have intriguing fantasy options among their RB group
Outside of Dobbins, the Ravens have an intriguing group of backs on their roster. Gus Edwards is also recovering from an injury that saw him miss all of the 2022 season. In the same report from The Athletic, the Ravens appeared optimistic that “Edwards will be ready for the start of the regular season.”
If that is the case, then Edwards and Dobbins are both intriguing options based on their previous work. Edwards has posted 700+ rushing yards in each of his three NFL seasons and added 129 receiving yards along with six touchdowns in 2020. That saw him finish as the RB28 that season, while Dobbins finished as the RB17 with 925 scrimmage yards and nine rushing touchdowns.
If both are healthy, they could easily split carries in the opening weeks, hurting both of their ceilings. If we see a similar split to 2020, then Dobbins’ current ADP as the RB23 could offer solid fantasy value. Meanwhile, Edwards is being taken as the 56th back off the board. If he’s ready for the season, Edwards presents a fantastic value at that price.
However, the Ravens also have Mike Davis, rookie Tyler Badie, and Justice Hill on their RB depth chart. All three could prove competition for touches for Dobbins and Edwards in the early weeks if Baltimore decides to ease them back in. Drafting Dobbins at his price presents a huge risk, despite the optimism. The presence of Edwards, and the way we have seen Baltimore utilize its backs recently, limits his ceiling to an RB2. If either Edwards or Dobbins opens the preseason on the PUP, we could yet see their value slip a few spots.