The Blurry Backfield in Baltimore – Fantasy Football
By: Matt Bradley @mattjbrad910
If Baltimore is going to have a successful season in 2019, it’s going to be on the back of their running game. Lamar Jackson, a dual threat play maker, is the guy who this offense will run through. But can he do it all? The Ravens added Mark Ingram in the off-season and drafted a home run hitter in Justice Hill. How does this impact your fantasy football team?
Ingram found his new landing spot in Baltimore for 2019 signing a 3yr, $15.5 million contract. He fits Baltimore’s offense by becoming the early down back with his big frame. He isn’t expected to become a bell cow back as the Ravens still have Kenneth Dixon and Gus Bradley on the roster.
They also drafted Justice Hill in the fourth round, who has been compared to his old teammate, Alvin Kamara. Hill will challenge for passing down work. However, most early down and goal line work will belong to Ingram. At the age of 29, Ingram still has tread on his tires due to being in a timeshare in New Orleans. Ingram provides a safe floor for fantasy football owners, but his ceiling is almost nonexistent. There are 3 other backs and Jackson to feed in the Ravens offense. Nevertheless, Mark Ingram is a great player to pair with early running backs who currently carry a lot of risk. I’m looking at you Todd Gurley.
2019 Projection: 965 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 15 receptions, 110 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Adding Mark Ingram to the running back stable didn’t stop the Ravens from drafting a running back. In the fourth round, the Ravens took Justice Hill, a dynamic, home run hitting running back. Hill had as many touchdowns (31) as games played in college (36). Hill was the featured back in college and showed that he can catch the ball with 49 catches in his three years. He has a considerable upside as he can beat out Dixon and Edwards for the third down role and be a perfect compliment to Ingram as a change of pace back. With all of his potential, it still needs to be noted that this is a crowded backfield. Hill’s value will come up when he gets more experience but right now he’s a lottery ticket in the 10th-12th round of fantasy football drafts.
2019 Projection: 350 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns, 25 receptions, 175 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdown
Dixon was the young prospect Baltimore wanted to groom into their future backfield, but his career so far has been littered with injuries and suspensions. He showed flashes of why Baltimore invested in him, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the team from bringing in Ingram and Hill. Dixon finds himself fighting for a roster spot. But if he makes the team, he will get an opportunity due to the Ravens heavy running style. His pass catching may push Hill for the 3rd down role, but for now, it seems that he will be a warm body on the bench to start the season.
2019 Projection: 280 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 8 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Edwards showed that he can play in the NFL, but like Dixon, he is on the roster bubble. In 8 games, he averaged 5.2 YPC on 16.3 carries per game. But money talks and Baltimore spent $15.5 million on a 29-year-old back. Edward’s value comes is contingent on the health/injury risk of others. If he does find himself getting more pieces of the pie, it will be in a run heavy offense which he has already excelled in before.
2019 Projection: 300 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 5 receptions, 35 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdown
Its hard for a star to rise in this backfield with so many bodies in the room and only a few carries to give to them. An injury may be the only way to clear things up. Ingram provides the safest floor. Hill brings upside that can out produce his current ADP. While Dixon and Edwards will spell Ingram when he needs a breather. But the most frustrating thing about owning any of these guys is the fact that they all can get vultured by Lamar Jackson who can certainly make plays by himself and take touchdowns away from them.
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