RB - BAL
Week 2 Outlook
I wasn't expecting Mark Ingram to get just 10 carries in Week 1, but that's where he ended up as J.K. Dobbins siphoned 7 targets and scored two touchdowns. I still see Ingram as the better option, for the time being, although this can be a great matchup for both players. The Texans' defense allowed Clyde Edwards-Helaire to finish with 138 rush yards in his rookie debut. With so many players involved in this rushing offense, it's tough to depend on Ingram as more than a low-end RB2, but he's a fine start this week in a plus matchup. J.K. Dobbins should be seen as a high-upside RB3/flex play.
There will be some major reactions to this backfield after we saw the touches go Ingram 10, Dobbins 7, and Edwards 4 in Week 1, but how much can we really take from it when the Ravens stomped the Browns 38-6? Well, more than you'd think. The Ravens were continually running away with games last year, and through 15 games, there was just one game where Ingram totaled less than 10 touches. Not surprisingly, that one week was a game the Ravens won 49-13. The following week, they played against the Texans where Ingram totaled 16 touches in a 41-7 win. We knew Dobbins would cut the legs off his potential ceiling, but his floor is in jeopardy, especially when he doesn't score. The Texans are a team to attack with running backs, though. They've allowed 18 running back touchdowns over their last 17 games (10 rushing, 8 receiving). Losing D.J. Reader up the middle of the field is a crushing blow and we saw rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire crush them for 138 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut last week. Here are the touches by running backs in each of their eight games since their Week 10 bye last year (most recent first): 34, 33, 25, 25, 28, 35, 40, 30. That's a lot of touches to go around. My guess would be that Ingram gets back into the 12-14 touch range, which allows him to be played as a high-end RB3. Dobbins himself should get close to Ingram, though I still believe he's second in line when the game is close. Totaling just seven touches in a game hardly suggests you're a weekly play, even if two of those touches were for touchdowns. He's a risky RB3/4 who'd benefit if the game gets out of hand.
Dobbins had only seven rushing attempts for 22 yards, but he scored two touchdowns. Dobbins is going to have enough touches and he makes big enough plays to warrant flex consideration against a bad Texans rush defense.
Dobbins saw the most snaps of any Ravens running back against the Browns and scored two touchdowns, but don't anoint him the starter just yet. With such a big lead throughout the game, the Ravens may have opted to rest Mark Ingram and get the rookie's feet wet. Still, his stock is clearly trending up, and if he sees similar usage going forward, he could be one of the steals of the draft.