If there is one thing I really hate about fantasy running backs, it’s age. When players turn 30 it’s almost like they lose all that made them a super star early on in their careers. Today I want to talk about one old guy in particular — Mark Ingram. He was absolutely incredible last season. When I look at Mark Ingram, I see a very talented running back who is old. Age hasn’t seemed to phase Ingram in his career however I have seen countless running backs and WRs and any other position just completely fall off after a good year. Just look at how bad Xavier Rhodes was after being an All Pro just two seasons before. It doesn’t help that the Ravens felt the need to draft Dobbins in the second round who is very, very talented himself. Dobbins was arguably the best running back in this class and the high draft capital used on him illustrates that fact.
Let’s talk about how good Ingram was last year. He played in the run heaviest offense in football and was amazing. 15 total touchdowns is great plus his incredible juke rate which basically shows how effective his ability to evade tackles is. At 29 years old, Ingram was one of the most elusive running backs in football despite his age. Ingram showed that age was nothing but a number last year when he simply dominated football. He was tenth in fantasy points per game and finished 11th overall despite not having a big role in the passing game. It was arguably the best season of his entire career. Yes, I do realize that in 2017 Ingram finished as the running back six in fantasy, however, it is important to think about how good this Ravens team was. The Ravens finished 14-2 with the best offensive line in football according to PFF. Ingram and Lamar were a nearly unprecedented duo in terms of rushing finishing with over 2,000 combined rushing yards. Then the end of the season came along.
It was a bad sign that right before the playoffs, Ingram suffered a calf injury that made him pretty much completely ineffective in the playoff game against the Titans. It was a major factor in their loss in the first round of the playoffs to a 9-7(!) team despite having a 14-2 record with 12 consecutive wins at one point. I think that was the main reason that the Ravens drafted Dobbins. The Ravens couldn’t risk having their entire offense fall apart because their starting running back gets hurt again. Especially when Ingram is turning 31 in December. As a runner, I think Ingram is great, but when you are older you become more injury prone, and when your team relies on the run to win you simply need a more reliable option
I’m not taking Ingram in the fifth round. I’m willing to pass on a guy who has a career year and will almost certainly come back down to earth. I’m willing to live with the fact that he might repeat but I just don’t think it happens. He’s old and Dobbins will demand carries given his talent. Ingram isn’t terrible at his ADP but I would rather take guys like Chark, Scary Terry, and Woods. My bold prediction this year is that JK Dobbins finishes with more fantasy points than Mark Ingram. Watch out for older running backs. That’s all I have to say.