Going Deep: Can you Mark Ingram down as an RB2?

Nick Pezzillo takes a look at Mark Ingram and the value he represents in 2019.

Can Mark Ingram be your Mid-Round Gem?

 

Whenever I look at ADP, I’m hunting for running backs I can grab in the third and fourth rounds to give me the ability to take the best player available in the first and second rounds. Mark Ingram is that exact type of player coming into the 2019 season. Ingram has moved from one of the most prolific offenses in 2018 in New Orleans to one of the more basic ones in Baltimore’s 13th overall scoring offense. Ingram leaving the Saints for a worse offense may actually put him in a better situation to succeed in fantasy lineups, though. With Lamar Jackson entering his second year as the Ravens starting quarterback, the offense is set up for a hard runner like Ingram to slot right in. Baltimore went out and gave the 29-year old running back a three-year, 15 million dollar deal to pry him away from the Saints, showing he is in their plans for the upcoming year.

 

Offensive Scheme

 

Just looking at Baltimore’s offense last year, there was a concerted effort to pound the rock. As one of the most dedicated teams to running the football in 2018, Baltimore ran 547 rushing plays. That comprised just under 61% of their plays and the most in the NFL. The effort to run the ball was warranted as the Ravens gained 152.8 yards per game on the ground and scored 19 touchdowns. With Ingram slotting into the role held by Gus “The Gus Bus” Edwards last season and Alex Collins in 2018, he should have nothing but opportunity to succeed in an offense tailor-made for what he can do: run.

 

Opportunity

 

Taking a look at the stat lines for the Ravens running backs last year, two stood out. Alex Collins and Gus Edwards. Collins, who is no longer with the team, started the season as the number one running back and he was going in the third round of fantasy drafts. Edwards took over in Week 11 and started the last six games of the season. Combining their stat lines gives a clearer view of what a full season for Ingram could look like:

 

Games

Starts

Att

Yards

TDs

TGTs

Rec

Rec Yd

Rec TD

Collins

10

10

114

411

7

21

19

105

1

Edwards

11

6

137

718

2

2

2

20

0

Total

16

251

1,129

9

23

21

125

1

While there will be other running backs in the mix, one can expect Ingram to get the bulk of the carries. Combining Edwards and Collins gives 185.4 standard points, good for a 14th overall finish right between Derrick Henry and Chris Carson.

 

Competition

 

Ingram could not be walking into a much better situation, but he does have a few things to compete with. First off, Lamar Jackson. Jackson posted 695 yards on 147 rushing attempts in just seven starts at quarterback. More importantly, Jackson scored seven touchdowns on the ground. Jackson’s presence will eat into Ingram’s potential ceiling but doesn’t kill Ingram’s value. The option offense run by the Ravens lends credence to both Jackson and Ingram being productive on the ground. The Ravens are going to need to see Jackson take a bigger step in the passing department, so his rushing attempts may be limited going into the year. Even with the limited attempts, Jackson’s ability to run will also help to open up holes for Ingram as defenses will have to respect the possibility of Jackson tucking and running.

Jackson’s increased production is something that coincided with Edwards’ success on the ground. Gus Edwards averaged 119.6 yards over his six starts while Jackson became the starter just one game before Edwards. Edwards also totaled more carries in the six games with Jackson as the starter than Collins did in the ten games he started before Jackson took over. With Jackson at the helm, the Ravens saw their offense become more productive on the ground.  Jackson’s ability to run will ultimately be a net positive for Ingram, who should see the field most of the running backs for the Ravens. 

 

Conclusion

 

Ingram is currently going in the fourth round of drafts with his ADP sitting at 41 overall. That makes him the 22nd running back off the board. Although I think RB22 is right around where he should go, you may want to grab him a little earlier. He should offer you consistent RB2 numbers based on volume, and he has the ability to become an RB1 on any given week. If you have the spot, it would be smart to protect yourself by grabbing Edwards too. Ingram has the ability to catch passes out of the backfield, but the majority of his damage will be done between the tackles. Don’t be afraid to grab Ingram in the fourth round of your drafts as a steady RB2. 

(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

One response to “Going Deep: Can you Mark Ingram down as an RB2?”

  1. Aaron MacGovern says:

    I’m with you. Ingram will be a solid RB2 this year.

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