New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram has had a highly productive and efficient preseason so far. But in terms of his fantasy value, I’m selling him like he’s at a yard sale. He’s not worth the pick.
There’s no sense in beating a dead horse, but as everyone knows, 2014 will be a difficult year for Fantasy Football running backs. There’s simply very little upper-tier talent at the position causing fantasy enthusiasts to look for fantasy gold in later rounds.
Drafters are frantically looking for this year’s Zac Stacy to emerge and lead them to fantasy greatness in 2014. But be warned, Ingram is not fantasy gold—or silver for that matter. Maybe bronze. This has nothing to do with the former Heisman Trophy winner’s talent, because we’ve all seen what he can do. But in fantasy football, it’s not about “can,” but about “will.”
Will coach Sean Payton call a lot of runs?
Will Ingram get enough touches?
Will he be consistent enough to warrant a start any given week?
No. No. And…no.
When the former Alabama standout gets his touches, he’s pretty good. Through three years, Ingram has averaged more than four yards per carry. Plus, in a very limited role, he’s scored 11 touchdowns. More impressively, in a career 356 carries, only once has Ingram fumbled the ball.
Ingram is a powerful downhill runner who plays with heart and determination. If given a marquee role on a team in need of a workhorse, he would be someone to keep an eye on. But given the Saints’ needs, No. 22 simply won’t be called on enough to fill your running back void.
Only once in the Sean Payton and Drew Brees era, have the Saints produced a thousand-yard rusher. That was in 2006 when the two first arrived. Since then, they have adopted a running-back-by-committee approach, which has worked nicely for the team. There’s a reason why Reggie Bush never rushed for even 600 yards in the Big Easy, but has averaged more than 1, 000 yards per season since.
Ingram is a solid player, who contributes to the Saints in big, yet unnoticed ways. As for fantasy purposes, sure, he’ll come up big a few weeks out of the year, but he’s too unpredictable to rely on. Stay clear.