Now more than ever, it seems that players who suffer an ACL injury continue to play at a high level. Players like Adrian Peterson, Rob Gronkowski, J.J Watt, and Wes Welker have shown that playing at an elite level following a severe leg injury is not inconceivable. This year, look for J.K Dobbins to be the guy who returns from ACL injury to make an immediate impact on his team.
The Ravens lack real weapons offensively and seem to be relying more and more on the run game centered around Lamar Jackson’s decision-making in the backfield. Last season, the Ravens running back room was a revolving door of injured backs — with only Devonta Freeman being fantasy viable. Prior to his season-ending injury, Dobbins was in line to be the RB1 in Baltimore heading into the 2021 season. His late-August ACL tear was a major setback for both the player and the organization.
Although Dobbins and Gus Edwards started training camp on the PUP list, Dobbins made it clear to Ian Rapoport and his followers that he was “damn sure” going to be ready for Week 1 after RapSheet said the former Buckeye was questionable for the team’s opener.
Dobbins was also spotted by Ravens reporters talking to John Harbaugh and Ravens GM Eric DeCosta on the practice field last week. It’s clear the running back has had enough of the waiting game and is ready to get back on the field.
DOBBINS’ 2022 FANTASY OUTLOOK
As a third-year back looking to make his leap, Dobbins has the opportunity to solidify his role as the Ravens’ workhorse following an impressive rookie season where he averaged over six yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns. He will have to fight off a deep, yet unspectacular backfield that features the likes of Edwards, Tyler Baddie, Mike Davis, Corey Clement, and Justice Hill.
The Ravens’ offensive line should be much improved after dealing with the injury bug a year ago. All-Pro Ronnie Stanley is expected to return for Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. Stanley was a big reason for the Ravens’ decline in offensive line production as he was out for a good portion of last year’s campaign. The team also added heralded center Tyler Linderbaum in the first round of this year’s draft.
“I would say Tyler is all ball,” Harbaugh said about Linderbaum. “He doesn’t say a lot. I say, ‘Hi,’ to him, and sometimes he says, ‘Hi,’ back. Sometimes he’s in his center world thinking about blitzes.”
Assuming Dobbins and his surrounding talent on offense are healthy, look for him to eclipse 1,000 yards this season and easily hit double-digit touchdown numbers. Dobbins is coming off the board on Underdog Fantasy best ball tournaments at RB21 and 61.7 overall — use promo code RSJ for a 100% first deposit match up to $100. Dobbins checks in at RB21 and 61st overall on The Wolf’s 2022 Fantasy Rankings — making him an extremely viable fifth-round selection.