• Chris Miles

J.K. Dobbins: Unlimited Potential

The Draft Director / @ChrisMiles1017

Hey guys, Draft Director here. In fantasy we are always searching for that special, every down workhorse running back that can lead our teams to greatness year in and year out. I am here to tell you that player can be had for the low price of a 2021 1st, with just a little extra value tacked on. That running back is J.K. Dobbins of the Baltimore Ravens. In case you didn't know, the Ravens just broke the NFL rushing record for a single season. The Ravens also happen to run a similar style of offense that Dobbins was used in at Ohio State. They both used a lot of run option, and were very heavy users of the shotgun and play action. We all know J.K. Dobbins is an incredible athlete, he even broke college records held by Ezekiel Elliott. The fit could not be more perfect for Dobbins and the Ravens.

First, let’s talk about the Ravens running game from 2019. They ran 596 rushing plays, earned 3,296 rushing yards for 5.5 yards per carry (YPC) overall, and 21 touchdowns for a 3.5% touchdown rate. Here’s how the touches were split in 2019.

I predict in the future Lamar Jackson will not handle such a large % share of carries. The Ravens need to preserve their franchise QB so I can see them dialing back to 20% carries for Lamar. Mark Ingram got the majority of the workload, but he’s 30 now. I still think he’ll see a large share in 2020 but once he’s gone, in 2021 it will be J.K. all day. Here’s what I’m predicting for the Baltimore run game in 2020 and 2021 (these numbers are based on 530 carries each season). 

In 2020 I will readily admit, Dobbins will most likely not finish as a top 20 back. However, in dynasty we don’t focus on 2020. We are always looking into the future and trying to find the best ways to get a leg up on our opponents. Right now, J.K. Dobbins is that leg. Now that we have carry totals let’s dive into what kind of numbers we could see from Dobbins in 2021 and beyond. 

Mark Ingram averaged a healthy 5.0 YPC in 2020 with the Ravens, but let’s not forget. Ingram is leaving his prime right now and I think we can all agree Dobbins in 2021 will be a better athlete than Ingram was in 2019. I’d even say that Dobbins is absolutely a better college prospect than Ingram was. The Ravens backfield as a whole also managed 5.0 YPC in 2019. I don’t see this as unrepeatable due to the threats Lamar and Hollywood bring to a defense when paired with a nasty O-Line, built to run the football. In 2020 for his freshman season I am predicting Dobbins to average 4.8 YPC. I think this is very attainable when you consider even Gus Edwards had a 5 YPC average in 2019. Now when you look into 2021, that’s where things get interesting. Dobbins will be in his second season and that is where we see the biggest improvements from NFL players. So I have Dobbins clocking in at a very solid 5.5 YPC. With Dobbins being a better athlete than Ingram but for conservatively sake let’s use 5.25 YPC. If Dobbins were to receive 265 carries and average 5.25 YPC that would put him at a yardage total of 1,391. Then when you factor in the fact that the Ravens scored 21 rushing TDs last season we can look at Dobbins projected TD total. Mark Ingram scored a TD on 5% of his runs last year. Let’s say Dobbins can hit the mark of 4.5% just for the sake of regression (In college Dobbins had a TD rate of 7.6% and a YPC of 6.7 just by the way). That would have Dobbins scoring 12 rushing TDs over the course of the season, not too shabby. Finally let’s turn this into what really matters, fantasy points. With 265 carries, 1,391 yards, and 12 TDs J.K. Dobbins would be scoring 211.1 points. Keep in mind, that this is around Dobbins floor and also includes no receiving work at all. Let’s just say Dobbins can catch three passes a game for 30 yards and he catches three TDs all year. In 0.5 PPR that brings his total to 309.1 points. That would’ve been good enough for RB2 OVERALL in 2019. Now let’s try his ceiling. Let’s say 5.5 YPC, a TD rate of 5%, four receptions per game, 40 yards per game, and six receiving TDs. That comes out to 265/1458/13 rushing, and receiving stats of 64/640/6. Altogether that gives us 355.8 fantasy points which is still the RB2 and 60 points behind Christian McCaffery (Man that guy was ridiculous last year). Now you should get the point though.

J.K. Dobbins went to the best rushing team in NFL history, one of the current most explosive offenses in the league, gets to learn behind a great RB in Mark Ingram, and has the best rushing QB ever in the backfield with him. J.K. Dobbins’ talent and situation are built for long lasting fantasy success. He will be in the top 5 RB conversation for years to come. If you can acquire him for less than two firsts absolutely jump on it. And if you have two firsts that you think will be late send the Dobbins owner an offer. You won’t want to miss out on this source for unlimited potential. Draft Director out… Fin.