The Baltimore Ravens were dealt some tough news when it was announced that running back JK Dobbins would be undergoing surgery on his knee that will hold him out for the next 4-to-6 weeks. That means that a Ravens team that has struggled to get consistent production from their running backs will be looking for answers over the next few games.
Dobbins hadn’t been great in his return to the field for the Ravens this season, but he seemed to be on the verge of fully reclaiming Baltimore’s top running back role for himself. Not only does his latest injury update hurt Baltimore, but it also hurts Fantasy Football owners who had some high expectations for Dobbins over the next few weeks.
Now those same fantasy owners will be forced to scramble and find ways to overcome Dobbins injury. So let’s take a closer look at what Dobbins injury means for fantasy football owners, and what some potential avenues may be in order to get around his absence for the time being.
Fantasy football impact of JK Dobbins injury
Prior to his injury, Dobbins hadn’t been making much of an impact in the fantasy football world this year. He wasn’t very effective on the ground (35 CAR, 123 YDS, 1 TD) and struggled to do much in the passing game as well (6 REC, 39 YDS, 1 TD). Dobbins scored both of his touchdowns in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills, but other than that, he hasn’t been a player worth starting this season.
In deeper leagues, though, Dobbins was a player that some fantasy owners were starting, in hopes that he would eventually turn things around. But those hopes have been dashed, and now it’s time to move on and figure out how to replace Dobbins.
In the immediate future, this seems like a great time to pick up Kenyan Drake to replace Dobbins. Drake burst out for 119 yards on just ten carries last week against the New York Giants, as he seemed to be the first option to replace Dobbins for head coach John Harbaugh. Justice Hill has been very efficient when he’s been on the field this season, making him another potential option to look at heading into Week 7.
There’s also a chance that Gus Edwards will be suiting up in his first game of the season now that Dobbins is on the sidelines. Edwards, similar to Dobbins, missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, and has been practicing with the team for the past three weeks. With Dobbins out, would Baltimore activate Edwards and immediately give him the majority of their carries on the ground?
Right now, it seems very risky to lean on any Ravens running back, even with JK Dobbins out. Nobody has really emerged as the top running back so far this season, which has resulted in a very judicious running back committee in the early going. Drake could be a solid FLEX option if Edwards isn’t activated, but even then, Hill received eight carries last week after Dobbins was forced out of the game.
Elsewhere, this means that the Ravens passing game is going to have to take on a bigger workload. If you are an owner of Lamar Jackson at quarterback, this is great news. Not only will Jackson have to do more in the air, but the Ravens may draw up more designed running plays for him with Dobbins out.
Investing in Ravens pass catchers may not be the worst idea either. If you have Mark Andrews at tight end or Rashod Bateman at wide receiver, they should be able to continue to produce moving forward. Devin Duvernay, who is available in nearly 70 percent of leagues right now, may be a very strong FLEX candidate with the passing game due to get more work.
Replacing Dobbins isn’t going to be an easy task, but truth be told, most fantasy owners likely weren’t counting on him too much based on his production to start the season. It may be worth taking a flier on Drake or Hill this upcoming week and seeing if they can produce, and even Edwards may be worth stashing this week, regardless of whether or not he plays.
But counting on Ravens running backs for production isn’t a good idea, and they shouldn’t be in your starting lineup until they prove they can be counted on consistently. Right now, that guarantee doesn’t exist with any of the options available to replace JK Dobbins, and for that reason, it’s not worth counting on the remaining Ravens running backs as reliable fantasy options in his absence.