Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans Saints

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 2:16pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

There's no question about job security up top for the Saints running backs. The only question is how the Saints will divide the workload between their three talented running backs.

Mark Ingram is the leading runner, with a good chance at 1,000 yards, while C.J. Spiller could catch 60-plus passes for the first time in his career and gain more than 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards.

Khiry Robinson's touches will likely be limited. But as he proved last season when Ingram suffered a hand injury, he's more than capable of stepping up when needed.

Fantasy Impact:

Our projections for the Saints backs are pretty much right on par with what writer Mike Triplett believes. We have Ingram just under 1,000 yards and Spiller among the leaders in receptions and collecting a total of just under 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. Spiller, of course, will have his value in PPR leagues with a Darren Sproles-like role it appears. Ingram should get the early down work and proved to be able to carry the load last season.

Scouting Report

Fantasy Upside
In four seasons with the Saints, Mark Ingram has carried 582 times for 2,426 yards (4.2 YPC) and 20 touchdowns. He's also added 53 receptions for 288 yards and should be the lead back in Sean Payton's system as the Saints shift their offensive identity from pass-happy and up-tempo to more of a balanced approach. In 13 games last season, Ingram had 226 carries for 964 yards and nine touchdowns. Despite the offseason addition of C.J. Spiller, Ingram is a good bet for around 15 carries per game and should receive the majority of the goal line work. Payton knows that 36-year-old Drew Brees can't continue to put the ball in the air 440-plus times a season. With Jimmy Graham now in Seattle, Ingram stands to benefit from Payton's desire to run the ball more frequently than in year's past.

Fantasy Downside
Even if Ingram gets a bump in carries, Payton has always based his running back usage on the situation. Spiller and Khiry Robinson will cut into Ingram's touches, especially Spiller when it comes to screen passes. Only once has Ingram played a full 16-game season, which came in his sophomore campaign of 2012. Just last year he dealt with ankle, toe and shoulder injuries while limited to 13 games.

Bottom Line
Ingram finished as fantasy's No. 15 running back last year and currently ranks as our No. 17 RB for 2015. The addition of Spiller hurts Ingram's value but the team's shift in offensive philosophy gives his outlook a slight bump from last year. If he stays healthy, he projects to receive around 240 carries, which should translate to roughly 900-1,000 yards and 6-8 scores. Those numbers put him in the mid-RB2 category and the middle rounds of your draft.

2015 Strength of Schedule - NO
W1W2W3W4W5W6W7W8W9W10W11W12W13W14W15W16W17
1
@ARI
22
TB
14
@CAR
20
DAL
26
@PHI
31
ATL
19
@IND
21
NYG
30
TEN
9
@WAS
BYE8
@HOU
14
CAR
22
@TB
11
DET
25
JAX
31
@ATL

Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.

2014 Game Stats
WeekOppRuAttRuYdsRuTDFumYPRRecRecYdsRecTDTgtsYPCSnaps%
1ATL1360204.6211011.0020/7527%
2CLE1183107.55321047.0020/7029%
3MIN------------
4DAL------------
5TB------------
6BYE------------
7DET1016001.60213036.5025/7434%
8GB24172107.1713023.0054/6879%
9CAR30100203.331100210.0050/7666%
10SF27120004.44319056.3348/8159%
11CIN2367002.91730074.2953/7175%
12BAL1127002.45215027.5025/7334%
13PIT23122005.302-102-0.5039/5670%
14CAR1043014.30213026.5016/7023%
15CHI1759103.470000-29/6843%
16ATL1338102.92317035.6753/7076%
17TB1457104.0724032.0038/6558%
Totals226964914.27291450365.00470/91751%

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