Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans Saints

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Mark Ingram showing he can be involved in passing game

Monday, August 24, 2015, 10:51am

Times-Picayune - [Full Article]

Mark Ingram on Saturday showed he can play a big part in the New Orleans Saints' passing game. The fifth-year NFL running back caught the first two pass attempts from Drew Brees and gained 11 yards on the first play, and 29 on the next.

The 25-year-old Ingram said Sunday he always had the hands and route-running ability but "I really wasn't asked to do it much early in my career, when we had (Darren) Sproles, Pierre (Thomas)."

Fantasy Impact:

With running back C.J. Spiller reportedly having undergone arthroscopic knee surgery to keep him out of practice, Ingram has received more chances to catch passes. Ingram in 2014 set career highs in rushing and receiving marks, with 226 carries for 964 yards and nine touchdowns, and 29 catches for 145 yards, the story said. The Saints won't be able to throw to Spiller every time he's on the field, so changing things up will be key to the Saints passing success. With Ingram a threat to catch passes, it will only keep defenses on their toes and it could be a nice bonus for fantasy owners.

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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