This JK Dobbins fantasy rookie article was written in two parts, a pre-draft profile written by Matt Hicks and a post-NFL Draft article written by Aaron Schill.
JK Dobbins Fantasy Forecast
In a class loaded with talent and a handful of very exciting running backs, the Baltimore Ravens were able to land one of the best ones. JK Dobbins out of Ohio State was selected by the Ravens in the second round, as the 55th player off the board. With 18 running backs drafted in this class, Dobbins ended up being the fifth running back off the board. Given how great this Ravens offense was last year and should be moving forward, Dobbins finds himself in a very nice spot from a long-term perspective. With a quarterback like Lamar Jackson able to run out of the backfield so well, it’s only going to make things easier for a running back to operate.
JK Dobbins Fantasy value will likely be slow to start. Mark Ingram is obviously still going to be a factor and will hinder Dobbins’ immediate fantasy production. However, Ingram is also 31 years old and has just $1.3 million in dead cap if the Ravens chose to cut him at the end of the 2020 season. I expect Ingram will be the lead back for at least the beginning of the season, and it’ll likely be a split backfield even when Dobbins gets his shot. That being said, the talent and pedigree at this point in time between the two running backs isn’t close. Dobbins is an extremely well-rounded back who is fully capable of catching passes out of the backfield. Sooner rather than later, it should be fairly obvious that Dobbins is the future of this backfield, and it’ll be his job to lose.
For redraft fantasy leagues, I’d temper expectations if you’re thinking about drafting Dobbins. With Ingram likely remaining the starter, and splitting carries even if Dobbins gets more work, I wouldn’t expect great fantasy production in 2020. From a dynasty perspective, this is an excellent spot for Dobbins to land, and with the upside that Lamar Jackson and this rushing attack brings, Dobbins has a lot to bring to the table. If you have a dynasty rookie draft coming up, you will likely see Dobbins as the third or fourth running back off the board, assuming Jonathan Taylor and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are the top two backs drafted. D’Andre Swift and Cam Akers could also be drafted ahead of him. At the end of the day, I’m comfortable drafting Dobbins with a top-five pick and see no problem with taking him sooner if you’re a big fan of him.
Quick Link: Dynasty Rookie Rankings – Check out JK Dobbins fantasy value in our 2020 rookie rankings
JK Dobbins Pre-NFL Draft Profile
Dobbins is one of the most well-rounded backs in the 2020 NFL Draft class. This balanced skillet, although appealing for NFL scouts and GMs, has driven down his value in fantasy football; as players focus on the explosive traits demonstrated by Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift. Still, Dobbins needs to be at the top of your radar when considering which players can give your fantasy football roster an immediate infusion of production.
- 209 lbs.
- Age: 20
Dobbins ran for the exact same amount of yards during the 2019 college football season as Jonathan Taylor, another player that is considered one of the top three backs in this draft class. Dobbins and Taylor both rushed for 2,003 yards; Dobbins reached that mark on 301 carries, while it took Taylor 320 attempts. Their 2019 seasons are both currently 33rd all-time in single-season rushing yards.
NFL Combine Recap
- Arm Length: 39 2/4″
- Hand Size: 9 1/2″
- Bench Press: 23 reps
Dobbins chose not to fully participate in the NFL Combine. Although disappointing, it is not a surprising move. I referenced his balanced skillset earlier, it is one that won’t necessarily flash in Indianapolis. He will rely on NFL teams valuing him on the basis of his tape, which makes sense. He ran for three straight 1,000 yard seasons and topped 2,000 yards in 2019 and the reason why becomes evident once you dig into his film.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Dobbins’ best trait is his field vision. He scans the entire field well, finds gaps that seemingly don’t exist, and is decisive in exploding into those holes. He shows great burst off the line of scrimmage and powers into the second level. He has elite change of direction; he tears up the field with sharp cuts that pair perfectly with his field vision. The former Ohio State back has fluid hips that make him extremely dangerous in the open field; if defenders aren’t squared up on him they don’t have a chance. He is a powerful running back, making him just as dangerous inside the tackles and he is in open space outside of the tackles. Dobbins’ lower body strength combined with his contact balance make him nearly impossible to take down with one defender. His consistent hands suggest he is a natural pass catcher that can quickly contribute to the passing game of an NFL team.
He can accelerate well within the first twenty yards off the line of scrimmage but doesn’t have the best long speed in the class; NFL defenders will catch up to him further downfield. Dobbins is a willing and aggressive pass blocker, but he needs to refine his technique to immediately jump into a three-down back role.
Pre-NFL Draft Dynasty Thoughts
Dobbins is one of my favorite values in 2020 dynasty rookie drafts. He is my second favorite running back in the class, but likely will slip outside of the top five picks of rookie drafts. The former Buckeye, though, has the potential to make a quick and lasting impact in the NFL. His value will increase if he lands in a spot where he is able to consistently get 15-20 touches per game. If that happens Dobbins has RB1 potential, right away. His proven production, balanced skillset, and versatility should allow him to stick around NFL rosters and be fantasy football relevant well beyond his rookie contract. JK Dobbins fantasy stock will be a valuable investment that will pay off both in the short and long term.
Matt is a seasoned fantasy football analyst that writes dynasty and devy fantasy football content year-round. In addition to writing for Gridiron Experts, he writes and hosts a podcast for The Dynasty Draft Room and publishes all of his work at patreon.com/theffeducator