J.K. Dobbins Fantasy Forecast

Written by Dom Cintorino
May 11, 2020

J.K. Dobbins Fantasy 2020

With the 55th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected standout Ohio State running back, J.K. Dobbins. This pick was acquired by the Ravens as part of the trade that sent Hayden Hurst to the Atlanta Falcons. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the first running back off the board going to the World Champion Kansas City Chiefs with the last pick in the first round. The second round was a hot spot for running backs, as the next four in the class all came off the board in the top 25 picks of day two. Dobbins was the fifth running back selected behind D’Andre Swift (35), Jonathan Taylor (41), and Cam Akers (52). Many expected him to be a lock as one of the first three backs off the board, but that was not the case. Dobbins had more rushing yards (2,003), and yards per attempt (6.7) than any of the backs drafted ahead of him. He only participated in the bench press at the NFL combine, so not having the normal pre-draft process may have hurt his stock a bit. Regardless of where Dobbins was selected, he now finds himself in a favorable landing spot in Baltimore.

Buckeye Bellcow

In his three years at Ohio State, J.K. Dobbins led the Buckeyes' backfield in touches every year. He found himself inside the nation's top-50 in terms of rush attempts in these three years with at least 180 each season. Dobbins was also a consistent contributor in the passing game throughout his time at Ohio State with 68 career receptions. When comparing Dobbins' usage to the other running backs in the class, his 773 touches ranked third behind Wisconson's Jonathan Taylor (914), and Boston Colege's AJ Dillon (834). Seeing this type of workload in college may be a bit alarming due to the wear and tear over the years. However, this does display the ability to be a true workhorse running back if called upon. Dobbins saw his role increase each and every year leading up to his high-volume 2019 season. He was extremely productive with these opportunities, ranking second in the nation in terms of rushing yards, behind just Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard. Dobbins also finished T3 in rushing TD's with 21, and his 301 rush attempts ranked fifth in the nation. His 6.7 yards per attempt were the most of any running back that carried the ball more than 210 times in 2019. Dobbins saw the most success when running out of the shotgun, which will translate well to the next level. A majority of his longer runs came out of the shotgun, where he was able to do a lot of damage. Having similar looks in Baltimore will work in Dobbins' favor where he looks to continue his rushing success.

2019 14 301 2003 6.7 21 23 247 2
2018 13 223 1029 4.6 9 23 248 2
2017 13 181 1364 7.5 7 22 135 1

2020 Fantasy Forecast

Dobbins is joining a Ravens' rushing attack that set an NFL record for most rush yards by a team in a single season with 3,296. This was almost 1,000 yards more than the 49ers, who finished second. The Ravens did have the most rushing attempts in the league, but they were efficient in doing so, averaging a league-high 5.5 yards per attempt. Their success on the ground allowed them to control the clock, averaging a time of possession just shy of 36 minutes. This attack also led the NFL in rushing touchdowns (21) as well as points per game (33.2). The team produced two 1,000-yard rushers, with their MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson leading the way (1,206). Needless to say, Dobbins has landed in a dream offense who is committed to running the football. He may not be the lead back like he was at Ohio State, but there is work available.

Though Dobbins has proven his ability to handle a full workload, he will not be asked to do so in his first year in the NFL. He now enters a backfield that is headlined by the veteran, Mark Ingram, who had a solid 2019 season. Ingram will be playing the 2020 season at 30 years old but proved last season that he’s still got some left in the tank. In just 15 games, he finished as RB11 in PPR scoring with just 228 touches. When looking at FantasyData’s Advanced Efficiency Metrics, Ingram ranked first in Juke Rate and 11th in Breakaway Percentage. He made every touch count and was at the top of the league in some metrics we typically see younger backs thrive in. 

Ingram led the Ravens’ running back group in snap share, playing just 45.2% of all snaps. This ranked 30th in the NFL of all running backs, which is a bit surprising given all of their success on the ground. Gus Edwards was right behind him playing 35.8% of snaps, most of which should fall right into the lap of JK Dobbins. It’s safe to assume that Ingram’s snap share is going to come down a bit with Dobbins now in the picture. FantasyData’s initial 2020 projections have both Dobbins and Edwards receiving just over 100 touches each. As we approach the start of the regular season, Dobbins should see these numbers sway more in his favor. There is also a real chance that Gus Edwards doesn’t make the final roster. The Ravens signed Edwards this offseason to a one-year deal worth just $660,000, making him expendable if the team decides to part ways. This backfield should start with Ingram and Dobbins sharing the workload close to 50/50. As the season progresses, Dobbins should work his way into an increased role. However, expect Ingram to hold a higher ADP for a majority of the pre-season process. 

Dom Cintorino

Dom Cintorino is a Central Michigan University graduate who earned a Bachelor's degree in General Management. He has been writing in the Fantasy Sports industry for three years now. He began with Dominate Fantasy where he was the lead writer for season-long and DFS purposes during the 2016 season. Dom eventually moved on to write both Fantasy Golf, and Fantasy Football for RotoExperts through a majority of 2018. He represented RotoExperts in the Kings Classic - Brown Division which took place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dom is also currently a contributor at Fantasy CPR where he writes Daily Fantasy Golf.