Saints running back Mark Ingram was on his way towards being an end of the first round draft pick for fantasy owners in 2018. Then, something terrible happened. He was suspended for the first four games of the season because of PED testing which sent his stock plummeting. Teammate Alvin Kamara jumped into the six overall range with Ingram’s absence while he was hovering around an ADP of about 70. Fantasy sheep were quick to write off Ingram because his four game absence would be too much to overcome and deal with to start. That’s why us Wolves will take full advantage of this opportunity to snag Ingram in the fifth round. Let us tell you why:
If you’ve been following what the Wolf has been preaching this year, it’s that you need to build a stable of RBs. Depending where you draft from of course, you should be out of the first two or three rounds with two RBs already on your roster. Ideally, after drafting four players you will have two RBs and two WRs. Even if you have one RB and three WRs, it still works out in the end. Mark Ingram is the perfect RB2 or flex RB you can draft this season.
Last season Mark Ingram rushed 230 times for 1,124 yards and 12 scores. He also caught 58 passes for 416 yards on top of that. He finished as RB6 in PPR leagues. Think about getting RB6 talent in the fifth round without the suspension, that’s crazy. Now obviously the tough part of drafting Ingram is that you are passing on other quality flex guys who will actually be playing the first four weeks. Passing on the likes of Marshawn Lynch, Rex Burkhead, or Dion Lewis could prove difficult. However, a true wolf knows that there are plenty of options later in drafts that can be taken to soften the blow early on from Ingram’s absence. Let’s take a look at some.
- James White
- ADP of about 100, and he has shown in preseason that he’s one of the few guys in the Patriots offense that Brady truly trusts. Receiver Julian Edelman is also suspended for four games, which means White is going to factor a lot more into the offense for those first four games. In Brady’s first preseason action against the Eagles, White registered 6 catches for 61 yards and a score while just being PEPPERED by Brady on the drive.
- Adrian Peterson
- He’s going to rise up draft boards, but the signing of Peterson to Washington is big especially with Chris Thompson still working his way back from injury. Peterson looked real good in his first action for the Redskins and faces little competition around him. The fact that Thompson may not be full speed until a few weeks in should mean that more of a workload will be heading Peterson’s way early on. His ADP is sitting around 94 right now.
- Peyton Barber
- The current starting RB for the Bucs has a firm grasp on the gig for now. We don’t know how long that will last over second round rookie pick Ronald Jones, but we know Barber is going to get the most work early on. Four weeks is all you need production wise, and if Jones takes over the lead role after that, it won’t even matter with Ingram back. Barber sits at an ADP of 78 at the moment.
- Bilal Powell
- An ADP of 129 as the likely starter for the Jets, Powell not only possesses immediate potential for an Ingram replacement, but season long as well. He’s talented, and with rookie Sam Darnold marked as the starter we could see the run game focused on more often or Powell used out the backfield catching passes.
- Jonathan Williams
- If you need a real deep sleeper here look no further than the guy Saints beat writer Nick Underhill presumes to fill into Ingram’s “bruising back” role or early down work alongside Alvin Kamara. He’s likely to be undrafted in leagues so if for some reason none of the guys above make it to your roster, Williams can be a last resort to tread water until Week 5.
There are plenty of options at RB to keep you afloat during the first four weeks of the season while Ingram is suspended. A replacement RB2 isn’t that hard to find for four weeks, and if you have the luxury of having Ingram in the flex spot, then stack up on WR to fill in there as there’s dozens of quality pass catchers you can draft late. The main take away here is to not be a sheep and immediately write Ingram off because he’s missing time. Wolves recognize the talent he possesses, and the damage you can do in the playoffs with getting arguably a first round talent pick in the fifth.