It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the running backs. J.K. Dobbins missed last season due to an ACL tear, but how did the Ravens develop in his absence? What can we expect out of Dobbins for 2022 fantasy football?
J.K. Dobbins ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: RB22, 49 overall
Average Auction Value: $12.1
J.K. Dobbins Statistics:
|Year||G||GS||Rush||Ru Yds||Ru TD||Tgt||Rec||Yards||TD||Touches||Opp||Total Yards|
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tch||HPPR Pts/Tch||PPR Pts/Tch|
2022 J.K. Dobbins Fantasy Football Overview:
At this point, I’m really not sure what to think of J.K. Dobbins. He tore his ACL last preseason, the Ravens revamped their offense, then traded their deep threat and made some mix of Devin Duvernay and Tylan Wallace their #2 wide receiver, meaning they probably go back to running the ball, right? Right?
I certainly hope that’s true, but I’m not entirely certain what that means for J.K. Dobbins’ upside. We live in a PPR landscape and unless Dobbins can be Nick Chubb or Derrick Henry, he has no shot at finishing inside the top-12 at running back. In 2019 and 2020, when the Ravens ran their offense how they wanted, with Lamar Jackson and a bevy of talented running backs they didn’t pull off of the scrap heap, 21.5% of their running back PPR fantasy points came through the air (773 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, and 96 receptions across all running backs in those two seasons).
From 2019 to 2021, 20 of 150 top-fifty PPR running backs finished with fewer than 22% of their points coming through the air, and only four running backs have finished inside the top-12, and ten running backs have finished inside the top 24 with that point distribution over the last three seasons. Of the top-five best seasons, two were Derrick Henry, two were Nick Chubb, and one was Jonathan Taylor.
So when I say he has to be one of the best running backs in the league to make this work with this usage pattern, I mean it; only 5 running backs not named Derrick Henry or Nick Chubb have finished top-24 without getting at least 22% of their fantasy points through the air across the last three seasons, and all of them had at least 220 touches. 220 touches is at or near the ceiling for Dobbins, as only Mark Ingram in 2019 has topped that figure for the Ravens in the last three seasons. And you can say that we can discount 2021 because of the injuries, and I agree: but Gus Edwards is there, and has shown time and again that he deserves touches in the backfield.
2022 J.K. Dobbins Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
Please don’t draft J.K. Dobbins. Sure, he could be Mark Ingram (who had 15 touchdowns to return value), but the more likely scenario is that he doesn’t really improve on his draft price. If you want to take J.K. Dobbins, I implore you to instead take Breece Hall. Hall is going pick 58 overall, and Dobbins pick 42. Or if you want to take a shot on a guy with Damien Harris upside, just take Damien Harris (pick 56 ADP).
Best Case Scenario:
J.K. Dobbins dominates touches and scores fifteen touchdowns, and the Ravens not passing him the football doesn’t matter.
Worst Case Scenario:
J.K. Dobbins splits touches with Gus Edwards to the point that just taking Gus Edwards at value was the smarter play. In fact, I am going to call that the best-case scenario because if you think that comes through then you can get Breece Hall and Gus Edwards and profit, instead!
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/J.K._Dobbins.jpg under CC BY SA 2.0]