Fantasy Football

Mark Ingram Fantasy Forecast and Beyond

Mark Ingram surprised many last season by, once again, finishing as a top 12 running back in PPR fantasy football formats. Ingram, however, did not surprise me-I projected a high workload for Ingram heading into last season on an offense that uses the run as a foundational element of their attack. Despite his success and the overall success of a 14-2 season, the Baltimore Ravens decided to use the 55th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on talented rookie running back J.K. Dobbins. Further complicating Ingram’s 2020 season projection is his contact situation. Ingram has a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not he’s worth his current redraft ADP of 3.11 (RB21).

2019 Season Rewind

Ingram ran the ball 202 times in 2019 and caught another 26 passes. His 202 touches on the ground equated to 33% of the total rushing market share for the Ravens-who lead the entire NFL with 596 total attempts last season. He found the endzone 10 times, good for seventh among all running backs in 2019, and the second-highest touchdown total of his career (12 touchdowns in 2017 with the New Orleans Saints). Ingram’s 1,018 rushing yards was his third-best season of his 9 year run in the NFL and was the 13th highest in the NFL. Mark Ingram was consistent too-seeing double-digit touches in all but one game and scoring double-digit fantasy points twelve times; 5 of which were above 20 PPR points. There’s no question that Ingram had a successful season as the foundation of the best rushing attack in the NFL.

Translating Success to 2020

Gus Edwards and Justice Hill accounted for 191 combined rushing attempts in 2019 for the Ravens, or 32% of the total market share-nearly an identical number to what Ingram did on his own. If you’re looking for that remaining one-third of rushing attempts, by the way, your answer is Lamar Jackson, who ran the ball 176 times by himself. Edwards, Hill, and of course Jackson all return as essential aspects of the Ravens offense in 2020.

The key to best projecting Ingram, then, is to figure out who stands to lose the most rushing attempts from the addition of Ohio State standout J.K. Dobbins. In my 2020 projections, which can be found for every team here, I have the Ravens rushing the ball 575 times, which should again lead the league but is a decrease of 21 attempts compared to last season.

My 2020 rushing projection for the Baltimore Ravens offense

Player Attempts Rush Yards Rush TDs Rush Market Share
Mark Ingram 184 901 7 32
Lamar Jackson 172 1121 8 30
JK Dobbins 126 645 6 22
Justice Hill 57 258 2 10
Gus Edwards 46 253 2 8

The answer to the question of who loses touches is fairly simple: everyone. As you can see in the projections I have provided, each Ravens running back should see a drop in total volume-which is the most predictive statistic for fantasy football success. Ingram, though, should still be the lead back on their offense.

Ingram has a current average draft position (ADP) of 4.09 (RB24) in seasonal PPR leagues. That lines up closely with the RB27 ranking I have for him in my 2020 projections. At least for 2020, we should be expecting his fantasy football impact to remain high. His past production solidifies his lead back role from a pure football perspective, but there is also business sense behind letting Ingram lead the way.

Mark Ingram Fantasy Future Beyond 2020

The Ravens initially signed Ingram to a three-year $15 million contract, beginning in 2019. He currently has the 8th highest base salary and 9th highest cap hit; a significant sign of what the financially stringent organization expects from him. Baltimore, though, has a potential out after the 2020 season-they can cut him for a $1.3 million dead cap hit, which would save them $5 million in cap space. It would make sense, then, that the Ravens continue letting Ingram take the load of a lead back, saving their trio of other running back, especially Dobbins, to be fresh and ready for a larger workload in 2021.

Ingram is entering his 9th NFL season and will be 31 years old following the season, suggesting that this may be his last run at being a true lead back on an NFL team. His impact this season should remain high, for both the Ravens and fantasy football players, but beyond that, we should not have high expectations.

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