Longtime New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram officially has a new team for the first time in his career. After nine years in the Big Easy, Ingram is set to lead the Baltimore Ravens backfield for the 2019 season and beyond. Running back is the most important position in fantasy football, and this move indirectly affects several players all across the league. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the winners and losers of the Mark Ingram signing.
Fantasy Football: Winners, Losers of Mark Ingram Signing
Big Winner: Mark Ingram
Duh. The Baltimore Ravens spent big money on Ingram, and they clearly see him as the lead back heading into the 2019 season. As mentioned in an earlier article, Baltimore was the best-case scenario for Ingram’s fantasy value. Led by Lamar Jackson, the Ravens will do everything in their power to run the ball as much as humanly possible.
Baltimore finished the 2018 season with the ninth-ranked run block offensive line, per Football Outsiders. That line should remain intact heading into 2019, so Ingram will have room to run. The Ravens averaged a staggering 229.6 rushing yards per game with Jackson and finished the season with the most carries-per-game of any team in the league. Baltimore wants to run the ball, and they want to run it with Ingram. Entering his age-30 season, Ingram is poised to have perhaps the best fantasy season of his career.
Big Winner: Alvin Kamara
Mark Ingram is the biggest winner of this move, but a close second is New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara. Kamara is entering his third season in the league and has already established himself as one of the most explosive and dangerous dual-threat weapons in football. He’s always been a fantastic fantasy weapon, but his value has been slightly limited by Ingram’s presence.
However, New Orleans is making it clear that this is Kamara’s backfield. The Saints signed Latavius Murray to serve as Kamara’s backup, but he’s not nearly good enough to take significant playing time away from the Tennessee product. Kamara played four games without Ingram back in 2018. Over that four-game stretch, Kamara recorded 275 rushing yards, 35 receptions, 336 receiving yards, and a combined six touchdowns. While he probably cannot keep up that torrid pace for a 16-game season, he should be a top-five fantasy running back throughout the 2019 season.
Big Loser: Gus Edwards
The Gus Bus is officially broken down. Gus Edwards was one of 2018’s out-of-nowhere stars, climbing Baltimore’s running back depth chart and earning the starting job at the close of the season. Over the final seven weeks of 2018, Edwards recorded 539 yards and one touchdown on an efficient 5.13 yards-per-carry.
With Ingram in town, it’s hard to see Edwards having any fantasy relevance in 2019. Edwards offers nothing as a pass catcher, as the breakout running back recorded just two receptions throughout the 2018 season. Ingram’s hefty contract ensures he’ll be the lead back moving forward, which means that Edwards will only see the field as a change of pace option. Baltimore will probably run the ball enough that Edwards can be an adequate bench piece in a deep league, but he no longer has starting fantasy potential.
Essentially Unchanged: Kenneth Dixon
Kenneth Dixon was never going to have a big fantasy role in 2019, and that still rings true after the Mark Ingram signing. The second-year running back performed well in limited snaps over his first two seasons, but he only has 148 career carries to his name. Edwards was ahead of him on the depth chart, and now he’s third behind Ingram and Edwards.
If Dixon is to have any fantasy value in 2019, it will come through the passing game. Ingram and Edwards both are not natural pass catchers, so Dixon could potentially become the third-down back. The former fourth-round pick only 36 career receptions, but he has the skillset to get the job done. However, even in the deepest of leagues, Kenneth Dixon is not worth a roster spot right now.
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