J.K. Dobbins – The Playoff Hammer
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Image Credit: James Black/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: J.K. Dobbins.

In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.

J.K. Dobbins has been one of our favorite dynasty and redraft targets all offseason. The former Ohio State star is not exactly overlooked, but he’s less expensive than a 2,000-yard rushing second-round pick should be. That may be changing soon as the Dobbins’ buzz keeps building. From the RotoViz News:

Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins has looked “dynamic” in training camp, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. According to Zrebiec, Dobbins will have a role in Week 1’s season opener against the Cleveland Browns. He wrote, “Mark Ingram remains the starter and Gus Edwards still figures to get his touches, but Dobbins will have a role in Week 1.” Dobbins has boom/bust potential in fantasy leagues depending on how his drafters want to view his situation. Fellow running backs Nick Chubb and Miles Sanders both overcame veterans ahead of them on the depth chart in the previous two seasons to make an impact in fantasy. Of course, Ingram is a more productive runner at this stage of his career than either back Sanders or Chubb supplanted.

The note about Ingram reminds us why Dobbins is so inexpensive. But is he really better than Carlos Hyde and Jordan Howard, or has he simply had the opportunity to play for New Orleans and Baltimore? As Archer would say, little Column A, little Column B.

* Hyde makes his way onto Curtis Patrick’s RB Sleepers list, and Howard appears in my discount options for Josh Jacobs drafters. Maybe it’s more Column B.

The reference to Chubb and Sanders is especially interesting, since both were hits for our league-winning rookie RB methodology. In my picks for 2020, we deploy the research again in These 2 Backs Could Be the Next Miles Sanders, and They’re Not the Guys You Think.

In fact, those backs weren’t the players you might think. Neither was Dobbins, for example, but he could still be the fantasy playoff hammer you need in 2020.

J.K. Dobbins – Superstar in a Crowded Class

First, let’s talk a little bit about Dobbins. In his prospect profile, Curtis Patrick points out some stats that will make you question his redraft and dynasty ADPs.

On the comps:

Jamaal Charles was one of the most efficient fantasy running backs ever, but Dobbins has a much more impressive production profile and will be at least 15 pounds heavier.

On the models:

When running Dobbins through Anthony Amico’s breakout age regression tree model, he lands in node 13, which places him in a cohort that produced an RB1 season 86% of the time within three NFL seasons.

If anything that may undersell Dobbins, who managed at least 1,300 yards from scrimmage in all three seasons, crested 1,500 yards as a freshman, and exploded to more than 2,200 in his final season.

These numbers led Dobbins to an impressive score in the RB Prospect Lab, where his 80 easily bested Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cam Akers, and De’Andre Swift. As a result, I selected Dobbins at No. 4 in the Black Crown Superflex rookie draft.

But while Dobbins is an easy buy in dynasty, his risk/reward in redraft may be the most intriguing. Madison Parkhill explains why he’s going to leave every 2020 draft with Dobbins.

J.K. Dobbins – Fantasy Playoff Hammer

Brian Malone’s research suggesting rookie RBs are the key to the fantasy playoffs stands the test of time as new backs fill that role every year.

Using the RotoViz Screener and pulling up all rookie seasons since 2008, we can quickly see that 20 RBs have scored at least 90 points in Weeks 12 through 17. Seven of those backs scored more points during those final six weeks than they had over the previous 11.

PLAYERTEAMSEASWeeks 12-17Weeks 1-11
Alvin KamaraNO2017133.8183.6
Saquon BarkleyNYG2018133252.8
Alfred MorrisWAS2012130.9127.1
David JohnsonARI2015123.788.1
Eddie LacyGB2013117.9126.6
Miles SandersPHI2019113.9106.8
Steve SlatonHOU2008112163.9
Matt ForteCHI2008111.6194.9
Le'Veon BellPIT2013110.2109.3
Ezekiel ElliottDAL2016107.2220.3
Jordan HowardCHI2016107125.2
Doug MartinTB2012106.7206.9
Kareem HuntKC2017105.4191.8
Jamaal WilliamsGB2017103.739.1
Javorius AllenBAL2015100.448.5
Knowshon MorenoDEN200998.399.7
Jeremy HillCIN201497.4117.5
Roy HeluWAS201191.877.1
Tashard ChoiceDAL200890.38.4
Nick ChubbCLE201889.8104.5

Madison explains the talent, scheme, and team volume elements that make Dobbins the perfect candidate to accomplish this in 2020, and I agree. His price makes him even more appealing.

Going a round after Akers and Swift, you have an opportunity to deploy him in a wider variety of builds. Blair Andrews and I almost selected him at 6.01 in our recent FFPC Main Event, and we probably should have taken the plunge.

Icing on the Cake

It’s a long way until Week 14 and defenses will change quite a bit along the way. It’s still nice to see the Ravens with one of the best playoff schedules as things stand today.

RB Strength of Schedule – Week 14 to 16

Draft J.K. Dobbins today, and there’s a very good chance he’ll be a part of your championship run in December.

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Shawn Siegele

Author of the original Zero RB article and 2013 NFFC Primetime Grand Champion. 11-time main event league winner. 2015, 2017, 2018 titles in MFL10 of Death.

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