The running back situation in Baltimore has been muddied for quite some time, and things continue to be up in the air with J.K. Dobbins still working his way back from an ACL injury. With the news that Kenyan Drake has now signed with the team after being cut by the Las Vegas Raiders, does this mean that Dobbins won’t be ready for Week 1?
J.K. Dobbins injury update
Dobbins took the league by storm during his rookie campaign where he had over 900 all-purpose yards with nine touchdowns. He then missed all of 2021 after suffering a torn ACL during the team’s final preseason game of the year.
The situation for the running backs in Baltimore was quite difficult last year. Dobbins was one of three backs who suffered season-ending injuries before the year even started. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill were both hurt within the same two-week span as Dobbins.
As the offseason has progressed, the news around Dobbins has become more positive. When the team decided not to immediately place him on the PUP list during training camp, expectations grew that we would see him before Week 1. However, after a short spat with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Dobbins did ultimately land on the PUP list for a short amount of time. He was removed on Aug. 8.
However, early in August, head coach John Harbaugh spoke optimistically about Dobbins and his potential return.
“Yeah, [Dobbins] definitely wants to go,” Harbaugh said, according to the team’s site. “He’s made it very clear, and he’s not just clear in the fact that he tells everybody all the time. But that’s up to the doctors and him, and they’ll work it out. As soon as he’s back out there, we’ll be coaching him really hard.”
Unfortunately, Dobbins was not able to play in any of the team’s preseason games. This led to speculation that he might not be ready for Week 1 of the NFL season. Now, with the team signing Drake, that speculation is running rampant. Baltimore also added Mike Davis in the offseason to try and bolster their RB room.
Could Drake’s addition simply be because the team is traumatized from the rash of injuries they suffered last offseason? Or has Dobbins suffered a setback in his rehab? All reports are currently positive surrounding how much Dobbins has been able to do in practice, but as recently as Monday, Aug. 30, Harbaugh remained unsure if Dobbins would play Week 1.
Dobbins’ fantasy outlook
With such a complex situation in Baltimore, what does PFN’s fantasy team think of Dobbins’ outlook for the 2022 NFL season?
“Dobbins is our consensus-ranked RB23 in our 2022 fantasy football rankings. We are mostly in line with ADP on him. Dobbins is the type of running back I’m drafting when it makes sense. So, what exactly does that mean?
“If no WR jumps out at me and Dobbins is the top RB on my board, I’ll take him. If he falls to the sixth round, I’ll take him. I’m just not reaching for Dobbins or aggressively targeting him anywhere.”
As fantasy football drafts pick up this weekend, we’ve published detailed fantasy outlooks for more than 250 players, with more to follow this weekend. Search the table below or filter by position and team for more advice so you can win your fantasy football draft! Don’t forget about our Fantasy Football Draft Kit, which is packed with more information and proprietary research.