After seemingly weeks of uncertainty and struggle, the Baltimore Ravens offense is finally getting players back in time for Tuesday’s game. Most importantly, they will have their full complement of running backs at their disposal. Led by rookie JK Dobbins, what can we expect of him in fantasy football against the Dallas Cowboys?
After missing the last two games, the Ravens offense gets back JK Dobbins
To say the last two weeks have been tumultuous for the Baltimore Ravens would be putting it lightly. Their Thanksgiving game was postponed to the following Wednesday, and their Week 13 Thursday Night Football game was postponed until the following Tuesday.
At least one Ravens player tested positive for 10 straight days. Baltimore placed 23 players on the reserve list during that span. That is a lot of disturbance, and this team is effectively playing catchup.
Over the course of the last few weeks, the Ravens have lost players to the reserve list on both sides of the ball. However, the offense has been particularly hard hit these last two weeks.
Among those players were both Mark Ingram and rookie JK Dobbins.
Before he and Ingram landed on the reserve list, Dobbins had his best game of the season so far. In Week 11, Dobbins had 15 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 15 yards in that game against the Titans.
JK Dobbins has been the most efficient back on the Ravens offense in 2020. He has carried the ball 72 times for 380 yards and three touchdowns. He has also been their best passing threat, catching 17 of 22 passes for 103 yards.
Ingram sits third in the backfield in production. He has seen 57 carries for 232 yards and two touchdowns in his eight games. RB Gus Edwards leads the trio in rushing yards with 386 on 94 attempts. However, Edwards has been less efficient with his carries than Dobbins.
When all three are active, JK Dobbins and the rest struggle for fantasy relevance
On the season, JK Dobbins is the RB42, Gus Edwards is the RB53, and Mark Ingram is the RB69, although those numbers will likely change after the Monday 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. In the Week 8 matchup against the Steelers, Dobbins, and Edwards combined for 200 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown.
The only time we had 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 finished as the RB5 in PPR scoring in that matchup against the Titans. That Week 11 matchup was just the third time this season Dobbins had seen double-digit carries. However, all three of those outings have come in his past four games.
Gus Edwards leads the group in terms of games with double-digit carries (4). Mark Ingram has managed it just once.
When you look at the snap share, Dobbins has been over 50 percent in three of his four most recent games. Only Gus Edwards has been over 50 percent in any other game this season, last week against the Steelers.
What do we do with the Ravens running backs for fantasy on Tuesday?
The Dallas Cowboys come into this matchup 25th in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs at 25.21. They have also given up the second-most rushing yards to the position per game (130.72). They have also allowed 12 rushing touchdowns and 19.61 points per game on the ground.
Conversely, this demonstrates they have been good against RBs in the passing game. On a per-game basis, the Cowboys allow only 5.6 PPR points to RBs and are one of only four teams not to allow a receiving touchdown to the position. Teams average only 21.36 yards per game through the air against the unit. Also, they have faced the second-fewest targets (4.9) per game. Only behind the Steelers (4.81).
The fact running backs have averaged 27.1 attempts per game should provide some level of confidence that despite the committee approach, a RB can have a fantasy-relevant week against the Cowboys defense.
While it won’t surprise me at all to see some frustrating moments, I feel comfortable with JK Dobbins in fantasy. Yes, he is unlikely to be the primary back in this Ravens offense as they rotate guys out. When Dobbins gets touches, he averages 5.3 yards per carry and averages 2.4 yards after contact. If he can see in the range of 12-15 touches, he should be a solid RB2 with a chance to see 15 or more fantasy points. On the season, it takes 13.1 PPR points to finish as an RB2. Something we should see Dobbins clear on Tuesday. Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram are in the RB3/RB4 range as they will leach the touches from each other and don’t have the upside that Dobbins brings.
Want more fantasy football analysis and news?
Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also seeing our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.