J.K. Dobbins had a false start to last season, injured heading into the year, then injured again after attempting to get going from Week 3 through Week 6. Coming off an ACL injury, it wasn’t surprising to see him struggle to get back to full strength right away. He finished the season strong. He was the RB14 during the four weeks he played late in the year, and finished 2022 with 520 yards and three touchdowns in eight games. He should be the primary ball-carrier in Baltimore heading into this season, giving him upside to continue where he left off in December.
The injuries are an easy place to start when looking for downside, but the bigger concern with Dobbins is a change in offensive philosophy and the lack of activity in the passing game. Dobbins had just seven receptions in eight games last year. He averages just 1.4 targets per game in his short career. The arrival of Todd Monken at offensive coordinator isn’t expected to help in that aspect. Monken likes a downfield passing attack, which could reduce Dobbins’ touches. With Lamar Jackson already a threat to vulture touchdown opportunities, there’s a lot to be concerned about for managers banking on Dobbins for a big 2023 breakout.
2023 Bottom Line
Dobbins has upside now that he’s healthy and is the clear lead back in Baltimore, but the risks keep him from being a true fantasy RB1 target. Luckily, his ranking (RB20) and ADP (fourth round) reflect the risk of taking him. Dobbins is likely to continue the pace he was on at the end of last season, making him a viable RB2 option in most leagues. Draft him at cost.