One of the better handcuffs in the NFL and fantasy football, New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram projects to be a mid-to-late round pick as his 2022 fantasy outlook suggests. With the NFL season and fantasy drafts closing in, what is Ingram’s fantasy outlook in 2022, and could he prove to be a value at his current ADP?
Mark Ingram’s fantasy outlook for 2022
While Mark Ingram is on the wrong side of the age cliff (33), finding a proven, productive RB who can have a floor of 150 touches around his ADP is difficult. To find one who could even find his way into your starting lineup is more problematic, but that’s precisely what Ingram could bring in 2022.
He averaged 13.3 attempts and 5.7 targets for 82.3 scrimmage yards and 11.4 fantasy points per game in games Alvin Kamara missed last year. During this stretch, he scored 12+ points twice and finished as the RB36, RB10, and RB13 along the way. Even when on the field with Kamara (31 games), Ingram has averaged 14.36 PPR points per game dating back to 2017. While this is certainly not the same Ingram, the role is not too dissimilar.
The Saints like to have a balanced offense. This led to Alvin Kamara seeing a career-high volume total as he rushed a career-high 240 times in 12 games (17.5 att/game). That’s not his game nor what the Saints likely want him to do. In their four games together, Kamara dropped to 14.25 att/game as they knew they could trust Ingram to carry the load when needed.
That same confidence in Ingram exists once again, and it carries into fantasy as well. Ingram averaged 13.7 opportunities a game, including 13 red zone carries. That makes him viable to virtually any roster build from a robust RB to either Zero or Hero RB. Although there are players who might have more upside if things break perfectly, the stable security of Ingram is a nice ace up the sleeve on draft day and gameday. If Kamara is absent, Ingram bumps into the low-end RB2 territory.
How the Saints depth chart impacts Mark Ingram’s fantasy projection for the season
Speaking of Kamara, we need to touch on his current situation. Back when the initial reports came out of the incident in Las Vegas during the Pro Bowl, Kamara appeared locked in for a suspension. However, it has been pushed back multiple times, with his court date now set for September. There was a ton of hesitancy at the time for Kamara, who was sliding into the third round. That is not the case anymore, as we see him going anywhere from the middle of the second even to the 1/2 turn.
I am not expecting Kamara to be suspended. After watching the fiasco that was the Deshaun Watson situation, I don’t expect the NFL to do anything until 2023. As such, Kamara has moved back up my board and into the top-10 RBs while Ingram has slid to where he is now, rather than the upper-40s he once was sitting.
Ingram is the only other Saints RB worth considering outside of Kamara. He’s the only Saints RB selected in the top 300 of PPR fantasy drafts. While I do like the skill set of Abram Smith, a linebacker converted to running back while at Baylor, he is still a UDFA and no lock to make the 53-man roster.
As for the other positions, the Saints have three quality receivers in Michael Thomas, who appears to have recovered from the ankle injury which cost him nearly two seasons, veteran Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave, the No. 11 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Thomas is the highest ranked of the bunch at WR23, followed by the upside of Olave at WR44, with Landry at WR61.
After tearing his ACL in October of last year, it looks like Jameis Winston is ready to retake the field, too, after dealing with a foot injury during camp. Having him out there for Week 1 only elevated the fantasy floor and ceiling of everyone involved. He is a mid-QB2 that has high-end QB2 upside.
Mark Ingram’s ADP for 2022
With an ADP of 173, Ingram is coming off the boards as the RB56 in PPR formats at the moment, placing him around the middle of the 14th round in 12-team fantasy leagues.
In PFN’s 2022 fantasy football redraft rankings, Ingram is higher as the RB48 and 124th overall ranked player, moving him closer to the 10th round. While PFN’s rankings are a consensus, I am right in line as he is the RB52 and 139th overall player in my rankings. Be sure to check back, as rankings will fluctuate between now and the start of the season.
Clearly, I like Ingram, and we know in this role, he can be productive. He is always on my radar for more depth at the position. However, due to the growing unlikelihood that Kamara will be suspended in 2022, Ingram loses a decent amount of upside.
He is still certainly someone I would target whether you have Kamara already or not. There are other players with more upside around him, though, such as Rachaad White, Isiah Pacheco, Zamir White, and Tyler Allgeier. So if you would like to go with a rookie instead, you have plenty of options for fantasy in 2022.