Gus Edwards' 2021 Fantasy Outlook Explodes Following Unfortunate JK Dobbins' Injury - Roto Street Journal
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Gus Edwards’ 2021 Fantasy Outlook Explodes Following Unfortunate JK Dobbins’ Injury

JK Dobbins suffered a torn ACL in the Ravens final preseason game against the Washington Football Team on Saturday, ending his season before it ever got started. Given Dobbins was a popular third round fantasy pick in line for a potentially huge breakout, the implications are massive — especially for next-man-up Gus Edwards and his 2021 fantasy outlook.

In 2020, Dobbins got off to a slow start, averaging only 7.6 PPR from weeks 1 through 7. After the Ravens week 7 bye, Dobbins ended the season on a tear, finishing as the RB11 from weeks 8 through 17 with 13.6 PPR thanks to six TDs across his final five games (check but something like that)

Unfortunately, Dobbins’ ascension has come to a screeching halt, leaving fantasy owners left questioning: what’s next?  With Dobbins on the shelf for the rest of the season, Gus Edwards becomes the clear RB to own in this offense. In each of his first 3 seasons in Baltimore, Edwards has rushed for over 700 yards despite only receiving an average of 138 carries. Since 2018, Edwards’ 5.0 YPC and PFF grade of 90.2 both rank 5th in the NFL. His 17 rushing attempts inside the 10-yard line led the Ravens a season ago, so the TD upside is immense.   

Edwards already had stand alone value prior to the Dobbins injury and many (including the Wolf) viewed him as a sleeper late in drafts. He now takes over as the lead dog on a team that has run the ball more times than any over the past four seasons, averaging 540 attempts per season. They’ve led the NFL in rush attempts per game for three straight seasons since Greg Roman arrived, with 33.5, 36.8 and 34.6 per game. 

Meanwhile, in games where Edwards has seen 15+ carries, he averages over 94 rushing yards per game. Fifteen or more carries seems like an attainable weekly bar given the Ravens run-obsessed scheme. He’s been an efficient bulldozer who can pound it in at the stripe, and even has underrated receiving chops. 

In fact, Only six RBs have rushed for 700+ yards in each of the last 3 seasons… 

Here’s another fun stat: 

Not bad company to rank alongside.

Given the increased workload going to Edwards and Baltimore’s affinity for a committee, an opportunity has opened up for the RB2 on the depth chart. Second-year preseason standout, Ty’Son Williams has been one of Baltimore’s most impressive players. Through three preseason games, he has accumulated 130 rushing yards on 24 rushing attempts for a solid 5.4 YPC. Although only mustering 38 yards, he did tack on 7 receptions. Williams has shown the prowess in the three major skill sets that a RB must possess:  pass protection, receiving, and taking handoffs. His impressive blocking is going to give him the shot to move ahead of Justice Hill on the depth chart.

The Wolf has moved Edwards up to his RB19 +4 vs ECR and +18 vs ADP. The bottom line is that the Ravens extended Gus Edwards this offseason, so it’s pretty clear what the team thinks about him. They’ll likely add a veteran back before the season starts, given Baltimore’s preference for a committee, but Edwards’ role as the clear No.1 is solidified. It’s certainly within the range of outcomes that Edwards rushes for 1,300 yards and adds on 10 touchdowns and he should be drafted as an RB2 in all league formats.

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  • Fantasy football enthusiast & writer for Roto Street Journal. Graduate of Saint Joseph's University Class of 2019.

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