Dynasty Sell High Candidate: RB Mark Ingram (Fantasy Football)
Geoff Lambert looks ahead to 2018 and explains why now is the best time to sell on Saints RB Mark Ingram.
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Mark Ingram is coming off his best statistical season in his seven-year career. In fact, he was the seventh best running back last year in fantasy football (PPR scoring).
He did all this despite sharing a backfield with future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson for part of the season and rookie phenom Alvin Kamara. He plays in one of the best offenses in NFL with one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, and he looks primed for another good season in 2018 — and that is why you must sell him now.
Everything I just said above should be exactly what you tell an unsuspecting owner to convince him to take Ingram off your hands. Ingram’s short-term outlook is a good one. Great offense. Great QB. Great defense. Great offensive-minded head coach.
Ingram could very well have a great 2018 season, but there are a number of factors that will affect his long-term prospects. Outlined below are just a few of the reasons that, as a forward-thinking owner, you need to move Ingram now while he is still hot.
Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger
With Brees as his QB, Ingram rarely has had to worry about eight-man fronts when his number was called. Even at 39 years young, Brees is one of the best QBs in the league, and despite his relatively down year in fantasy — by his standards — he is still capable of putting up 4,500-plus yards if he needed to.
However, Father Time is undefeated, and age tends to come all at once for quarterbacks. One minute they are lighting up scoreboards and the next minute they are washed up. Look at Peyton Manning in his last year, or Brett Favre in his last season playing for the Jets. Age will catch up with Brees, and when he goes, so goes the Saints, including Ingram — unless age catches up with Ingram first…
Mark Ingram isn’t getting any younger either
Ingram came into the league in 2011, and he will turn 29 during this season. As we all know, 30 years old is the proverbial cliff for running backs. Very few of them remain productive beyond 30, and the few that manage to stay relevant after 30 usually play a reduced role resulting in a drop in fantasy production.
They become an important piece for an NFL team, but not for your fantasy team. Ingram does have less tread on his tires than most 30-year old backs thanks to his limited usage early in his career, however, even if Ingram manages to stay productive by NFL standards beyond this season, there is another reason to expect his fantasy value to drop…
Kamara was the darling of the 2017 fantasy season. Likely going undrafted in redraft leagues or overlooked in the first round of dynasty rookie drafts, he ended the season as the highest scoring rookie RB this season (PPR scoring) and even had more points than the NFL’s leading rusher, Chiefs RB — and fellow rookie — Kareem Hunt.
There are some experts in the fantasy industry that don’t think Kamara’s success is sustainable, and some are even suggesting owners sell high on him over Ingram. No matter what side of the fence you fall on, Kamara and Ingram share a backfield, and I’d put my money on the younger guy getting the lion’s share of touches over the older veteran.
Sean Payton’s love for the RBBC
The Saints are renowned in the fantasy football world for having a two-headed and sometimes three-headed running back by committees (RBBC). Over Sean Payton’s tenure, he has thrived on the RBBC, from the days of Duece McAllister and Reggie Bush to Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles to last year’s failed attempt at having a trio with Adrain Peterson, Kamara, and Ingram sharing carries. The RBBC is a bad word in the fantasy football world, and while most of us have come to grips with it being the new normal, it never ends well for the older member of the RBBC — in this case, Ingram.
Moving Ingram now is your best option unless you are seriously hurting for running back depth. Even if you aren’t hurting for depth, you might be able to package him with a young wide-receiver to get a top-six draft pick in this year’s rookie draft, which could land you one of the top-four RB prospects to replace the aging Ingram.