Mark Ingram is in a contract year in 2018, which is usually a great sign for a player’s fantasy value. Unfortunately for Ingram, he was hit with a four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. This news broke in May, and despite appeals, the suspension will stick. The Saints have a bye in Week 6, so fantasy owners will have Ingram for one game out of the first six of the season.
2017 Season Recap
In 2017, Ingram played all 16 games (despite having some injuries shortening his seasons in the first few years of his career). He ended up sharing carries with Alvin Kamara, but both running backs had RB1 value. Ingram ran for a career-high 1,124 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. He added a career-high 416 receiving yards to his totals. Drew Brees wasn’t passing the ball as much or as far as he used to, and the pair of running backs powered the Saints' offense.
Ingram’s fantasy value in 2018 depends on what the offense looks like by the time New Orleans is done with its bye. Sure, he’ll play in Week 5, but fantasy owners won’t get a true picture of the offense until Week 7. By that time, Kamara may very well be the lead running back. However, if the Saints run an offense similar to what they ran last year, both backs will still have fantasy value.
Where to Draft
Currently, Ingram is being drafted in the fifth round, as the 23rd running back off the board. The RB3 ranking seems low, but since rankings are based on an entire season, this actually makes sense. He can’t be a RB2 when he’s missing a quarter of the season and will enter into a timeshare situation. Kamara’s value is through the roof, but Ingram will be a solid RB2 once he’s eligible to play.
-- Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Athlon Sports’ 2018 Fantasy Football magazine, available for purchase online and at newsstands everywhere.