5 RBs Who Need To Be On Your Radar Now
For those who read both the fantasy and real life football section of Pro Football Focus, you probably noticed the impressive series of pieces on this preseason’s top performers. If you missed them, they can all be found here. I will attempt to use their findings and apply it to fantasy football.
I like to say that the preseason can be taken with a massive grain of salt. Although these games don’t count for much, some players are auditioning for new roles on both sides of the ball and others are vying to keep their spot on the depth chart and/or ascend past others. Mike Clay brought you this piece focusing on snap counts and player usage, and I will attempt to analyze how preseason performance has solidified and altered five different running back outlooks.
If you’d like to further discuss any of these players or anything else related to fantasy football, feel free to find me on Twitter @DanSchneier_NFL. I will do my best to answer all questions in a timely fashion.
To the naked eye, Ingram has looked like one of the best pure runners in the NFL during the preseason. That may sound like hyperbole, but take a look at the footwork, patience, and explosion he put on display the first week of the preseason. It surprised people when Ingram opened up training camp getting the first snap with the starting offense. His training camp usage carried over to the preseason where it has become clear that Ingram is ahead of both Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson for early down work.
Ingram has certainly taken advantage of his opportunity, racking up 156 yards and a touchdown on just 22 carries. He leads all running backs in the preseason in elusive rating, with a league-leading 4.90 yards after contact while forcing six missed tackles. Ingram has also been sound in pass protection and has yet to give up a pressure on seven pass block snaps.
There are also signs that Ingram’s role could be evolving. This preseason he caught his first career touchdown reception, and he has spoken about getting more involved in the passing game this season. When Mike Clay speaks on fantasy it’s wise to listen, and Clay has predicted a career high in receptions for Ingram. Up until now, Ingram has only caught 24 passes for 143 yards in his NFL career. However, Ingram is not a complete stranger to catching passes. In college he caught 53 passes over his final two seasons at Alabama.
Ingram has recently seen his ADP jump into the 120 range, but he provides upside even after reaching that plateau. Ingram has the chance to be an early-down back, behind a solid offensive line, in a top-tier offense, with potential to get the majority of goalline touches. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but this is the year that Ingram finally provides a major return on your investment.