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RB J.K. Dobbins could be a fantasy football steal

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College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When the Baltimore Ravens drafted RB J.K. Dobbins out of Ohio State in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, many, myself included, questioned using the 55th pick on such a devalued position.

Dobbins was a phenomenal player at Ohio State, even passing Ezekial Elliott in rushing yards, putting him second in all-time rushing yards in school history behind Archie Griffin. The questions regarding the selection of Dobbins had nothing to do with the player himself, rather the value of taking a RB that high with Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill all returning after setting the all-time single season rushing record alongside quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Regardless of draft value, however, Dobbins will undoubtedly thrive in Baltimore’s lethal rushing attack. It’s unclear how much Dobbins will see the field as a rookie, but he could quickly climb the depth chart by making the most of his carries early in the season. For Fantasy Football, Dobbins has the chance to be an absolute steal.

Dave Richards of CBSSports.com had this to say about Dobbins in regards to his Fantasy Football outlook:

“Running backs in Baltimore have been fantastic since quarterback Lamar Jackson took over. That should help the speedy Dobbins put up great numbers once Mark Ingram gives up his grip on the starting job. Ingram, 30, won’t give up many touches this year but could be a cap casualty in 2021. That’s when Dobbins should take over, just as he took over Ohio State’s backfield the past three seasons, gathering over 1,000 rush yards per year including 2,003 yards in 2019. Not only is he a terrific fit for Baltimore’s pistol run game, but his receiving skills are clutch. About the only thing missing is consistent power in his runs, but the Ravens have been known to bring out the physicality in their players. The fear is we’ll have to wait a while to get the best from Dobbins.”

Dalton Del Don of Yahoo Sports recently gave his thoughts on Dobbins as well:

“He appears to be a perfect RPO fit on a team that easily utilized the formation most last season. The Ravens’ GM called Dobbins a “three-down back” and was John Harbaugh’s top-rated RB whom they graded as a first-rounder. While Baltimore’s backfield appears crowded, Mark Ingram will be 31 years old, has never eclipsed 230 carries and has a past injury history, and the Ravens finished with a ridiculous 991 more rushing yards than the No. 2 running team last year, so there are plenty of yards to go around even with a mobile QB.”

It’s clear that Dobbins is expected to be a very good player at the next level. The only problem, as mentioned by both writers above, is the already crowded backfield he is entering. If Dobbins shines early on, then he could easily become the backup to Ingram and even cut into his carries.

With this uncertainty in mind, Dobbins should not go very high in any Fantasy Football drafts, but he could very well be worth a shot in the later rounds. If Dobbins can carve out a significant role on the offense as a rookie, then he could be one of the steals of Fantasy Football leagues.