JK Dobbins or Gus Edwards: Better fantasy option if Mark Ingram’s injury keeps him out

Barring a miraculous recovery, the Baltimore Ravens will once again rely on their second and third-string running backs this weekend. With Mark Ingram doubtful to play, who out of JK Dobbins or Gus Edwards is the better fantasy football option in Baltimore’s Week 9 showdown with the Indianapolis Colts?

After both running backs finished in the top 20 last week, Dobbins and Edwards are unlikely to be available on your waiver wires. Still, it never hurts to double-check their availability in your respective leagues. If you are in a position to start Dobbins and Edwards this week, what are their fantasy football values? Using snap counts, playing style, and Pro Football Network’s fantasy football metrics, we break down which Ravens running back you can trust the most in Week 9.

Update: According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Mark Ingram will not be active for the Ravens’ Week 9 game.

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JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards both produce fantasy results in relief of Mark Ingram

With Mark Ingram sidelined early in Baltimore’s 30-28 victory over Philadelphia back in Week 6, the Ravens timeshare backfield has been a little bit frustrating for fantasy managers. While most people presumed that 2020 second-round pick JK Dobbins would handle most rushing work, offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s favorite running back, Gus Edwards, has been a consistent thorn in the rookie’s fantasy ceiling.

Related | Fantasy Injury Updates Week 9: Chris Carson, Austin Ekeler, Matt Stafford, more

What began as a fantasy timeshare in favor of Gus Edwards took a drastic shift in favor of JK Dobbins in Baltimore’s Week 8 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Edwards led the Ravens in running back snaps in Week 6, but Dobbins out-snapped his running back counterpart following Baltimore’s bye week. JK Dobbins played a season-high 54 snaps (66%) compared to just 26 (32%) for Edwards. In fact, Dobbins’ weekly snap totals (18, 30, 54) have risen over the past three weeks, while Edwards playing time (25, 32, 26 snaps) has remained consistent over the same timeframe.

Mark Ingram on track to miss his second consecutive game due to injury

After initially leaving Week 6 with an ankle injury, Baltimore Ravens starting running back Mark Ingram is expected to miss his second consecutive game this weekend. While there’s a slight chance the running back gets cleared before Sunday’s game, it’s hard to imagine Ingram makes a late return after missing practice all week.

When healthy, Ingram hasn’t been nearly as productive as he was throughout the 2019 season. After being a fantasy league-winner last season, Mark Ingram’s 1.86 Consistency Score is lower than both JK Dobbins (2.46 CS) and Gus Edwards (1.96 CS). That’s quite the drop for Ingram after he finished 2019 at RB10 with a 6.33 Consistency Score. While the three-headed backfield in Baltimore has been detrimental to each of their fantasy ceiling’s, both Dobbins and Edwards have been great as a pair.

As mentioned earlier, Dobbins dominated the backfield snaps in Week 8, but both running backs were able to produce RB2 results in fantasy football. Dobbins led the Ravens backfield with 113 rushing yards on 15 carries and caught one pass for eight yards. On the other hand, Edwards rushed 16 times for 87 yards. Although Edwards didn’t receive a target in the passing game, he did get the goal line carry, resulting in a 1-yard touchdown run.

JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards’ Week 9 fantasy matchup vs. Indianapolis Colts

One week after producing RB2 numbers against Pittsburgh’s vaunted rushing defense, running backs JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards get a slightly easier fantasy matchup in Week 9. That’s no slight to Indianapolis’ underrated defense; it’s just difficult to imagine a worse matchup than the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Colts defense has held opposing defenses to 19.04 fantasy running back points-per-game, the fourth-lowest mark in the National Football League this season. In comparison, the Steelers defense is No. 2 in the league, allowing 17.99 fantasy points-per-game to running backs.

Related | Austin Ekeler Injury Update: Is he playing in Week 9?

With Baltimore and Indianapolis featuring dominating defenses, Week 9’s matchup could set up as a low-scoring defensive struggle. That is backed up by this game currently having the fifth-lowest over/under at the Westgate Superbook.

Even in a game with a projected total of 48 total points, both JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards can remain fantasy relevant this week. Edwards led the Ravens backfield with 14.7 PPR points (RB14) in Week 8, but Dobbins wasn’t far behind him with 13.1 PPR points (RB19) of his own.

Despite Edwards out-scoring him, Dobbins is the superior running back play this week. Edwards’ Week 8 was propped up by a goal-line touchdown plunge, while Dobbins’ dominance in snaps and receiving work is the more reliable indicator of future fantasy football success. In my opinion, Dobbins is an RB2 play this weekend, while Edwards is merely a low-ceiling FLEX starter.

Outside of the raw numbers, Dobbins just looks like the better, more explosive football player. Dobbins possesses terrific contact-balance, often using his shorter frame to his advantage. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Dobbins on the brink of being tackled, only to plant his arm into the ground to remain on his feet. Dobbins has more talent and is finally receiving more playing time than Edwards, making him a potential fantasy league-winner down the stretch of the 2020 NFL season.

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Jordan Woodson is a fantasy football analyst for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter @Jordan_Woodson.