Fantasy Soccer Rorschach Check: Ravens RB JK Dobbins

You watch football with your heart. You are playing imagination with your head. That can lead to interesting internal battles when it comes to player ratings. Sometimes you see what you want to see from a player. Welcome to the first in an occasional series on Fantasy Rorschach Tests.

Welcome back to that casual series. When I said “occasionally” I didn’t intend to drop one any more often than George RR Martin drops a new book. But things happen.

Rest assured that I made good use of the time at this place. Make a list. Check it twice. Search the entire MCU catalog of films. That last part didn’t help with everything fantasy football related. But it was a nice mental cleanser.

Oh, duty calls. Just like JK Dobbins. Last season’s finish for the rookie whetted the appetite for fantasy draftsmen heading into 2021. From week 8 through the end of the season, Dobbins averaged 13.6 PPR points per game – the 20. That was 7.6 points per game the rookie scored in the first six weeks of his NFL career.

The reasons were numerous. Increased knowledge of the Ravens Offensive Better acclimatization to the NFL. And the belittling of Mark Ingram in Baltimore. Ingram’s first five games averaged 19 snaps per game. He averaged a 10 in the last six games he played. This decline in playing time coincided with Dobbins’ production spurt.

But we were fooled by a strong end to the season before. Players don’t always pick up where they left off. That has led to disagreement about Dobbins’ outlook for 2021. Let’s plan the path ahead and see where it leads, right?

In 2020, all Dobbins stans were demanding one thing: one less run in the rotation. Your wish was granted. Ingram flew the stable for Houston this off-season. That opens the door for Dobbins to become Baltimore’s frontrunner. He won’t have the job all to himself, however. The Ravens recently signed the underrated “Gus Edwards” for a two-year extension. It’s a guarantee that the Ravens will plan at least a two-man rotation.

Then there is Lamar Jackson. Baltimore’s quarterback has logged at least 147 carries in each of his three seasons. For two of those three years he has been leading the team in a hurry. Even the most optimistic Dobbins fan should acknowledge a potential tripartite split in the backfield trio’s frantic attempts.

The good news is that the snap share should be closer to what we saw at the end of the season. At the beginning of the campaign, Dobbins played almost 21 snaps per game. That rose to more than 33 per game after Baltimore relegated Ingram to an almost non-existent role. The hope is that the number of Dobbins will be closer to 35 snaps per game for much of 2021. That would bring him closer to the 2020 season of Nick Chubb and Aaron Jones.

Where could Dobbins make up the deficit? In the passing game. Up until this point in his football life, passing catching wasn’t a big part of his repertoire. But that could change.

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