Don’t be in rush to play J.K. Dobbins

Staff report


By
nypost.com

Regina George is gonna be so mad.

Rachel McAdams’ protagonist in the 2004 film “Mean Girls” did not take kindly to efforts by Plastics pal Gretchen trying to start a trend and get her slang use of “fetch” to become hip, because that would be “so fetch.”

Gretchen kept trying and trying, but, as Regina finally scolded, “Stop trying to make fetch happen!”

Fantasy football has its own forms of “fetch.” For multiple seasons, pundits have touted players who keep failing to live up to the hype. Maybe Curtis Samuel will finally stay healthy and become a hybrid fantasy stud. That would be fetch. Over and over, Miles Sanders has tempted then disappointed fantasy managers. J.K. Dobbins also falls into that category.

There was a thought he could have big upside and perhaps take over the Ravens’ backfield as a rookie in 2020. He played 15 games, and had a modest 134 carries, but an impressive 805 yards on those carries. He also scored nine times. But backfield committee mate Gus Edwards had slightly more carries, and neither of them had as many as QB Lamar Jackson.

It wasn’t the breakout campaign some had hoped for, but it was good enough to barely crack into RB2 territory. Dobbins ranked 24th among running backs in PPR formats, though his 11.2 per-game average was 33rd among RBs.

But he was a rookie. Surely he would be even better in Year 2. Only there was no Year 2. He tore his ACL in the preseason and never got on the field. In fact, he still hasn’t. But this week, there is hope.

Dobbins practiced fully this week for the first time, increasing the chances he will make his season debut this week against the Jets. Could he finally be arriving? Ready to contribute to your fantasy success? Is fetch finally going to happen?

J.K. Dobbins
J.K. Dobbins
AP

Not so fast, whippersnapper. First, as of this writing, it was still unclear if Dobbins will play this week. But the following applies essentially for whenever he debuts, so if not Sunday, keep it in the back pocket of your mind.

With Jackson in the backfield, hogging so many carries and being such a threat to vulture touchdowns from RBs, the value of anyone in the Baltimore backfield will be undermined, even if they do land on a true feature back.

Also, Kenyan Drake got the lion’s share of the work last week. It is unlikely he will disappear immediately upon Dobbins’ return. Expect it to take a least a couple-few weeks for Dobbins to get into the flow. And when he does, we still don’t know if he is the type of must-start some believe him to be.

It’s not a matchup issues — this week they face the Dolphins, who were middle-of-the-pack versus RBs last season and are there again after Week 1 this season. The issue is the usage and the potential. And both need time to grow.

For now, leave Dobbins on your bench. If you have him on IR, leave him there as long as you can. And when he does play, don’t rush him into your lineup. Make him prove he’s worth it first.

In other words: Stop trying to make fetch happen.


Big Weeks

Jamaal Williams RB, Lions, vs. Commanders (FanDuel $6,400/DraftKings $5,400)

Williams had just four fewer carries than D’Andre Swift last week, and he vultured a pair of TDs. Swift has been dealing with an ankle injury this week. Even if he plays, expect Williams to have a significant role.

Jamaal Williams
Jamaal Williams
Getty Images

Darrell Henderson Jr. RB, Rams, vs. Falcons (FD $6,200/DK $5,700)

Whatever you were expecting out of feature-role Cam Akers, just shift those expectations to Henderson. And keep playing him until he proves unworthy.

Antonio Gibson RB, Commanders, vs. Lions (FD $7,400/DK $6,200)

As long as Brian Robinson is out, and in game Washington should remain competitive, Gibson will be quite useful.

Jarvis Landry WR, Saints, vs. Buccaneers (FD $6,100/DK $5,000)

Got more targets and catches and yards than Michael Thomas last week, and looked better doing it, despite MT stealing the TDs.

Small Weaks

Ezekiel Elliott RB, Cowboys, vs. Bengals (FD $7,100/DK $5,900)

Expecting to see more Tony Pollard in the Dallas offense than we saw last week, plus Cooper Rush will be at QB. If you have Zeke, wait for one good game then put him on the block.

Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott
USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Wilson Jr. RB, 49ers, vs. Seahawks (FD $6,300/DK $5,100)

If you snagged him to replace Eli Mitchell, you did well. But that doesn’t mean you have to force Wilson into your lineup. They’re still going to use Trey Lance and Deebo Samuel plenty in the run game.

Jahan Dotson WR, Commanders, at Lions (FD $5,500/DK $4,200)

What a great debut by the rookie — two TDs and nearly 20 PPR points. But he did it all on just two catches, and just three targets. Need more volume to confidently start.

Amari Cooper WR, Browns, vs. Jets (FD $6,300/DK $5,400)

He notoriously is feast-or-famine throughout his career. With Jacoby Brissett at QB, prepare for less feasting and more famining.


Fantasy Insanity’s Daily Duel

Site: FanDuel
Slate: Sun. main (12 games)
Type: $5 tourney
Top prize: $1M
Pot: $2.5M

Drew’s Crew

QB — Derek Carr (LV, vs. Ari) $7,300
RB — Christian McCaffrey (Car, at NYG) $9,000
RB — Saquon Barkley (NYG, vs. Car) $8,800
WR — Davante Adams (LV, vs. Ari) $8,800
WR — Curtis Samuel (Was, at Det) 5,700
WR — Greg Dortch (Ari, at LV) $5,500
TE — Darren Waller (LV, vs. Ari) 6,800
Flex — Parris Campbell (Ind, at Jac) $5,100)
DST — Lions (Det, vs. Was) $3,500

Wilk’s Warriors

QB — Carson Wentz (Was, at Det) $7,400
RB — Saquon Barkley (NYG, vs. Car) $8,800
RB — Antonio Gibson (Was, at Det) $7,400
WR — Davante Adams (LV, vs. Ari) $8,800
WR — Courtland Sutton (Den, vs. Hou) $6,800
WR — D.J. Moore (Car, at NYG) $6,200
TE — David Njoku (Cle, vs. Jets) $4,900
Flex — Curtis Samuel (Was, at Det) $5,700
DST — Bengals (Cin, at Dal) $3,900

Season risked: $10
Season winnings: Drew $0, Jarad $0



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