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On the surface, nobody wants a Ravens running back. There are too many to pick from!
Justin Forsett should start for the Ravens, Javorius Allen might handle passing downs, Terrance West could work in short yardage and Kenneth Dixon will start the season resting his torn MCL in his knee.
Impatient, casual Fantasy owners will see this as a messy situation and run away. Patient, sneaky Fantasy owners will see this as an opportunity to strike.
It might be the riskiest, wackiest blueprint for a running back group ever. But at a cost of two low-risk picks or two dollar bids in an auction, it’s worth considering.
|ATT: 7||YDS: 11||TD: 0||REC: 2||REC YDS: 14||REC TD: 0|
|ATT: 18||YDS: 35||TD: 0||REC: 7||REC YDS: 36||REC TD: 1|
|ATT: 25||YDS: 101||TD: 2||REC: 3||REC YDS: 25||REC TD: 0|
|ATT: 22||YDS: 107||TD: 0||REC: 2||REC YDS: 21||REC TD: 0|
The best Ravens running backs this preseason were West and Dixon. It wasn’t close. Not statistically, not when you watched the games.
If Forsett is the over-the-hill running back everyone drafts in Round 9 or 10 and Allen is the equivalent of vanilla yogurt (and I mean actual yogurt, not frozen yogurt), why not throw darts at the two Ravens running backs who might end up outperforming them both?
Dixon was on his way to landing meaningful reps in the preseason game against the Lions. His solid running was consistent throughout the preseason, generating power and speed, particularly behind the Ravens’ not-bad offensive line. When he got hurt and needed help getting off the field, the worst was assumed but expectations are he’ll be back after four weeks.
West was a huge camp surprise for the Ravens and actually fared well in the preseason, too. He specifically took on a role as a short-yardage/goal-line back in the Ravens’ third preseason game, a possible hint at what he’ll be asked to do this year. But he also showed some good hands throughout August and really earned a roster spot by bettering his game.
Here goes with a wild contrarian option on Draft Day: Take Dixon and West with very late picks. Both of them. Then wait for Forsett and Allen to fade.
What’s the harm? If one of them hits for you at some point within the first six weeks of the season then you’re victorious. If you end up cutting them, then at least you can say it didn’t cost you anything more than a couple of super-late picks.
This will require patience — Dixon won’t play for at least the first three weeks and West might be relegated to a part-time role in Week 1. Obviously if someone appealing is on waivers you’ll let one or both of these guys go. But if not then all you have to wait for is two not-so-hot running backs to fade. Then the Ravens will turn to Dixon or West and you’ll have some options.
If you don’t want to take both, I’ll still advocate for Dixon. Even with the knee injury. He’s just too talented a player to spend the season on the Ravens bench given their other options. He will get a chance this season.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / 2016 Fantasy Football Strategy: Are Ravens’ RBs sneaky Draft Day sleepers?