Dynasty Update: Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

By: Pete Davidson : May 09, 2013 6:19pm

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I have to say, I am surprised that there is not more Mark Ingram buzz out there. The deal sending Chris Ivory to the Jets should leave the early down work in New Orleans all to Ingram, whom the Saints are obviously committed to.

So why, in 12-team leagues, can you usually draft this guy in round eight or nine?

The first answer is that the fantasy world just hasn’t adapted yet. The other is that people are down on Ingram--some because they over-spent on him in the past and others simply don’t like what they’ve seen. But have they really been watching? I have a feeling that a lot of folks sort of missed Ingram’s second half--like walking out on a bad over-priced play.

As most of our readers know, I watch every snap every week, and I can assure you ... Ingram’s play improved over the second half. The extra carries served him well and, more than anything else, led to his improved play.

After a slow first eight games, Ingram became a consistent part of the offense as the year wore on. The Saints have been patient with Ingram, but all the signs I see point to them unleashing him in 2013. Yes, he will absolutely yield some snaps to Darren Sproles, and at times, Pierre Thomas, but Ingram’s role is most definitely on the rise. Ingram carried the ball 102 times over the second half of the season and if that continues, his 2013 production will easily eclipse his 2012 numbers and reach 200 carries for the first time as a pro.

Now factor in that he will most likely inherit a lot of Ivory’s snaps. Also consider that the return of Sean Payton could help the Saints offense. More first downs leads to more carries for a back in Ingram’s role. More leads help an awful lot too. Lastly, let’s consider that Ingram’s role has gotten larger each year. If that continues, he could see a bigger increase than predicted above. Ingram’s carry totals for 2013, as I see it, should be somewhere between 220 and 270. If he hits the high end, that should put him in or near the top-12 in the league. When you consider his talents and the scoring potential of the Saints’ offense, Ingram has upside that makes his ADP of 100 seem downright kooky.

I expect this to change as far as redraft leagues go. I expect Ingram to move up at least ten spots and probably more. That being said, while folks are still a little sleepy, Ingram might represent a solid trade opportunity for those in dynasty and long term leagues.

This is a good time to kick the tires. Remember, Sproles and PT are not getting any younger. Sproles will be 30 this season. Thomas will 29 in December and has had a lot of injuries.  Ingram is not a special back, but he’s a solid one and it could be his backfield before long. He’s an underrated asset right now. There aren’t many better bargains out there right now than Ingram at 100 overall. 

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