This is part two of my Baltimore Ravens fantasy profile series, which spends time breaking down each viable Ravens fantasy player. The major factors affecting each player in 2020 are looked at and from there, how they may impact each player’s fantasy stats.
Additionally, there will be projections on where in your draft you should be targeting these players. We continue the series by looking at Mark Ingram‘s fantasy profile for 2020.
Mark Ingram in 2019
Ingram joined the Ravens as a free agent in 2019 after spending his first eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He provided the run-heavy Ravens offense with a trusted lead back for young quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Subsequently, Ingram led the team with 202 carries and was second on the team with 1018 rushing yards. He also made an impact as a receiver, totaling 247 yards on 26 catches. In total, Ingram had a combined 15 touchdowns in 15 games in 2019. Overall, a very successful year for the veteran.
Ingram outperformed fantasy expectations in every scoring format. Despite his average draft position (ADP) valuing him as a borderline RB2 in 2019, he finished as the 8th highest scoring running back in standard and half PPR scoring leagues, and 11th in PPR scoring.
What makes Ingram’s 2019 performance particularly impressive is that he shared carries with Gus Edwards and rookie Justice Hill. Not to mention that Jackson himself had his fair share of carries, finishing with 176 of them.
Ingram was a particularly valuable fantasy player with his 46 red zone touches, while Edwards and Hill had 37 touches combined. This should be factored in when considering drafting Ingram in 2020.
2020 Fantasy Profile Projections
The age factor
One factor that should make fantasy owners hesitate when considering drafting Ingram is that he will be turning 31 this season. Unfortunately, history shows that production tends to drop off pretty severely for running backs once they turn 30.
If fantasy owners are looking for a spot of optimism, Ingram has less wear-and-tear on his body than the average #1 running back in his career. He has averaged only 169 carries per season in nine seasons, having no more than 230 carries in any given season. For comparison, Derrick Henry led the league with 303 carries in 2019. Ingram’s relatively low usage rate may play a considerable factor in extending his production well into his 30’s.
The team brings back their entire stable of running backs from 2019. But, importantly for Ingram’s value, they added a fourth running back in this year’s draft in college star J.K. Dobbins. Almost immediately after the draft, speculation began as to how a piece like Dobbins would fit into the running back puzzle for the Ravens this year. How many running backs would they keep on the roster? Who would be most likely to be cut? How would the presence of Dobbins affect Ingram’s production?
GM Eric DeCosta addressed these questions shortly after the draft. He envisions a Ravens offense that will utilize all four running backs:
“We’ve got the four running backs and they all do different things well. It just makes us, I think, a really, really well-rounded team that’s tough to defend”Eric DeCosta, per Ryan Mink.
Ingram will still be the starter this season, and he has shown no signs of listening to history by slowing down into his 30’s. With that said, Dobbins will undoubtedly have a real impact on Ingram’s stats in 2020.
Look for Ingram’s touches to be further limited as the coaching staff looks to get Dobbins involved as a young, explosive threat.
The Ravens run-heavy offense factor
To say that the Ravens ran the ball a lot in 2019 would be an understatement. They ran the ball 98 more times than the next highest offense! This gave Ingram plenty of carries despite sharing the backfield with two other running backs, as well as the most explosive running quarterback in the league.
The run-heavy offense should continue in 2020. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman historically favors running the ball down opposing defenses’ throats.
Fantasy profile projections for 2020
Despite turning 31 this season and having to share carries with three other capable running backs and Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram should still be a viable option for fantasy owners. Ingram will still be the #1 option in an offense that runs the ball more than any other team in the NFL.
It’s doubtful that Ingram will finish the season as an RB1 like he did in 2019. However, he can still be a potential RB2 and certainly a strong flex option. If you have to have Ingram on your fantasy team, look to draft him somewhere in the 4th or 5th round. If there is an early run on running backs, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to draft him as early as the 3rd round.
I have him ranked as the 18th running back in standard and half-PPR leagues, and 23rd in full-PPR leagues.
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