J.K. Dobbins Fantasy Outlook Relies on Value as a Handcuff in 2020

Jason Schandl
J.K. Dobbins fantasy outlook relies heavily on his value as a handcuff running back in the Baltimore Ravens backfield.
J.K. Dobbins fantasy outlook relies heavily on his value as a handcuff running back in the Baltimore Ravens backfield. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens offense created all sorts of fantasy football value in the 2019 season. Lamar Jackson was the top-scoring quarterback, Mark Andrews ranked fifth among tight ends (PPR scoring) and Mark Ingram ranked 11th among running backs.

That makes this a great atmosphere for rookie J.K. Dobbins to reach his potential, but fantasy football drafters may be better off waiting a year to draft Dobbins, as he's still stuck behind Ingram on the depth chart.

J.K. Dobbins Fantasy Football Value 2020

Ingram handled a team-high 202 carries in 2019, while Jackson was heavily involved with 176 carries of his own. Now, the Raven's run-heavy approach did leave room for Gus Edwards to see 133 carries and Justice Hill to see 58, but there are a couple reasons that we shouldn't expect Dobbins to see enough volume to be a reliable fantasy option as a rookie.

First, the Ravens were absurdly dominant in the 2019 regular season, with an average scoring differential of +13.7 points. They were often able to take their foot off the gas late in games and get their backups on the field.

That led to 57 of Edwards' carries and 26 of Hill's carries coming in the fourth quarter, compared to just 38 for Ingram. You just can't ever really project a team to be so dominant that their backups get more fourth-quarter touches than their starters, so it wouldn't be wise to rely on Edwards and Hill's 2019 volume to get excited about Dobbins' role.

Of course, this offensive environment does make Dobbins one of the highest-upside handcuffs in the league. If Ingram were to get hurt, Dobbins would step up as the RB1 in one of the league's best offenses. Having rushed for 2,003 yards and 23 touchdowns at Ohio State in 2019, we know Dobbins is more than capable of producing when he gets a shot.

Ultimately, Dobbins is being drafted much higher than a typical handcuff though. As the 33rd running back off the board according to FantasyPros' average draft position (ADP) data, Dobbins' upside is more than priced into his draft cost.

If he slides down draft boards Dobbins could be worth a speculative pick, but at his current price it may be wiser to stay away.

Join FanDuel Daily Fantasy to compete for cash in free & paid to play games. New users get a $5 bonus with their first deposit.

Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.