There are times where you write these articles and the excitement of opening day goes away as you simply become sad. This is one of those times as we learned today Baltimore Ravens running back JK Dobbins has torn his Achilles and will miss the rest of the 2023 NFL season. This is an absolutely brutal blow to Dobbins as his future in the NFL and dynasty leagues is now very much in doubt. Our job is to evaluate the news and reset the landscape in dynasty leagues, so let’s sadly do just that and discuss the players affected by this very unfortunate injury.
JK Dobbins, RB BAL
Dobbins’ season is over before it started and he’ll finish the year with just 22 rushing yards, two catches, 15 receiving yards and a touchdown. The unfortunate thing for Dobbins is the Ravens don’t have him under contract beyond this season and he was really hoping to put together a dominant season to earn a long-term deal in Baltimore or elsewhere. Instead, he will have played in a grand total of 24 games in four seasons after being a second round pick back in 2020 and will likely be looking for a new team this off-season. The list of running backs who come back from torn ACLs is long and distinguished. Those who come back from a torn Achilles is much shorter, Those who successfully come back from both is nearly non-existent.
Dobbins was hovering around the 50 mark in terms of ADP and his value is simply going to plummet now. While he’s not a player you can just cut bait on at this point, the reality is his career is very much in doubt. Dynasty managers are going to need to simply place him on IR and look at him as a lottery ticket instead of a key part of their future moving forward. It’s an awful reality but it’s the truth as Dobbins has simply had his career completely derailed by injuries. In shallow leagues, dynasty managers are unbelievably going to have a decision to make.
Gus Edwards, RB BAL
It seems like opportunity consistently knocks for Edwards, who will again look to be the starter for Baltimore this season. He’s never been a dominant force in the league but he has always been able to put up a solid yards per carry average and move the chains effectively. His pass-catching prowess (or lack thereof) will always limit his fantasy upside but this is a big boost for Edwards in the short-term yet again. Should the Ravens fail to add to the position (Jonathan Taylor, anyone?), Edwards has a chance to put up career highs in carries and touchdowns this season. He’d be the perfect low-cost target for a contender should the Ravens turn to him.
Justice Hill, RB BAL
Now it gets interesting. Hill has always had potential but never really had much of a shot at playing time. He was able to punch in two touchdowns on opening day but also had just nine yards on eight carries. Hill is going to be a solid waiver wire add as all of this shakes out. This could be just the chance he needs to show his ability but dynasty managers would be wise to not overpay for his services.
Keaton Mitchell, RB BAL
If there’s a sleeper in Baltimore, I believe it’s clearly Keaton Mitchell. He’s on IR right now and won’t be able to play until week five. However, if the other running backs on the Ravens depth chart fail to produce over the next month, he could very well get a shot to succeed. You could do much worse for a dynasty rookie stash.
Melvin Gordon, RB BAL
It’s been a weird couple of years for Gordon, who is currently on the Ravens practice squad. With the injury to Dobbins, it would be a surprise if they didn’t elevate him, though. While a committee back at this point in his career, he would be worth a look should he get the call up. After all, Baltimore really doesn’t have an established rhythm without Dobbins and any of these players could establish themselves as a worthy option and subsequent flex play in the near future.
Free Agent Running Backs
You could see James Robinson or Kareem Hunt get a look here this week should Baltimore not be content with their current depth chart. Hunt is certainly the more intriguing option as Robinson just hasn’t looked the same since he (ironically) tore his Achilles nearly two years ago. There are a host of other free agents out there as well. Stay tuned.
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