What a difference a year makes. At this point last year, Mark Ingram was mostly a healthy scratch on the Ravens. This week, he’s set to start for the Saints. Is Ingram a must-start in Week 10 fantasy football lineups?
Mark Ingram is the Saints’ starting running back this week
Alvin Kamara hasn’t practiced all week due to a knee sprain. Accordingly, the Saints ruled him out for this week’s game against the Titans. That thrusts Ingram into the starting role. Without Kamara on the field, Ingram could be looking at significant volume on a team that wants to run.
In fantasy football, we cherish starting running backs. They don’t have to be superstars — they just need to be getting the ball.
Volume is king in fantasy football
Last week, Ingram played 34% of the snaps. He carried the ball 9 times for 43 yards. That’s obviously nothing to write home about. However, Ingram was heavily involved in the passing game, catching all 5 of his targets for 21 yards. That’s 14 touches for the mathematicians out there.
If Ingram is getting that kind of volume with Kamara playing, it’s reasonable to project significant usage with Kamara out. Ingram could be looking at 20+ touches this week. Even against a Titans defense allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points to running backs, Ingram has fantasy value.
Should fantasy managers start Mark Ingram this week?
A common pitfall of fantasy managers (and one I’ve succumbed to it as well) is overrating backup running backs that find themselves in starting roles. I have often forced fringe RB talents into my starting lineup because of this desire to not “waste” the one or two weeks where that player is starting.
With that being said, Ingram does not feel like one of those guys. His receiving work alone gives him a solid RB3 floor. If he can manage any sort of efficiency, he has RB2 upside. If he falls into the end zone, he can be an RB1.
Ingram is still more of a floor play in Week 10, but he is likely a startable option for most fantasy managers that roster him. The only backs behind Ingram are Ty Montgomery and Dwayne Washington. Forgive me if I don’t anticipate either of them seeing any sort of relevant usage.
Montgomery may see a few more touches than normal because Ingram is 32 years old, but it won’t be a meaningful amount. Ingram is far from the player he was during his first stint with New Orleans, or even during his first season in Baltimore. Nevertheless, he can still run straight and churn out yards, which is all he’ll be asked to do. Fantasy managers should view Ingram as a safe RB2 this week and one you can confidently start.