Mark Ingram Start/Sit Week 12: Saints RB ruled out for Thanksgiving game

While Mark Ingram is doubtful tonight, should fantasy managers be willing to start him if he does manage to suit up against the Bills?

Fantasy football managers will have to deal with the headache that is the New Orleans Saints’ offense while indulging in apple or pumpkin pie tomorrow night. It’s not an enviable position to be in. Alvin Kamara is officially out, so what should fantasy managers do with Mark Ingram and the rest of this Saints offense? There are a few scenarios that could potentially play out regarding Ingram and his injury. I’m team pumpkin > apple for the record, but that’s a debate for another time.

Update 11/25/2021: Mark Ingram is officially inactive for the Saints’ Week 12 Thanksgiving game with the Bills

Both Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram could miss Week 12

Kamara is already out, while the veteran prodigal son Ingram is questionable. Ingram technically practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday, but reports indicate that he showed up, stretched, and then left. That’s not exactly a heavy workload.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Ingram is “facing an uphill battle” to play today. Fantasy managers should be prepared for him to miss Week 12.

If he doesn’t play, we’re looking at a Saints offense going against the Buffalo Bills’ vaunted D with Trevor Siemian at quarterback, Tony Jones Jr. at running back, Garrett Griffin at tight end, all while missing offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk. The Saints’ injury report is a borderline disaster. That’s not exactly an inspiring situation.

Jones would be in line, in this scenario, to see the majority of the backfield touches, potentially with utility player Taysom Hill in line to get more work as a versatile do-everything piece.

If Jones got the start, he would have flex appeal on volume alone. He would have the potential to see double-digit carries with a handful of targets, giving him top-20 ability in Week 12 but not much more.

Mark Ingram could play

If Ingram plays, he’s the dude again, like he has been for the last two weeks. Over the last two games, Ingram has been the RB9 in half-PPR, totaling 135 rushing yards, 1 TD, and 10 receptions for 86 yards. He’s looked like his vintage self.

Yes, the Buffalo Bills just allowed an all-time great running back performance last week, with Jonathan Taylor rushing for 185 yards and 4 TDs (adding another touchdown through the air), but that has not been the norm this season. Prior to last week, the Bills were the best run defense in the NFL. Ingram would be considered an RB2 if he plays, but I wouldn’t expect the top-end performances that we’ve seen from him in recent weeks.

Fantasy expectations for the Saints’ offense

This has the makings of being a long day at the office for New Orleans. I expect the Bills to sell out to stop the run, daring Siemian to beat their historically impressive pass defense through the air. The run game will have limited upside, no matter who is playing, and the Bills’ defense could be in line for a monster performance.

If Sean Payton can coach his way out of this mess this week, it’ll only add to the résumé for what could be a Coach of the Year candidate. Siemian will need to be incredibly careful against this Buffalo defense.

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.