Jul 28, 2014; White Sulpher Springs, WV, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries the ball during training camp at The Greenbrier. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is a Heisman Trophy winner taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, having spent the last three years in the Saints’ running back carousel.
Being in that group of players has left him fighting for touches each and every week. Ingram has shown flashes of greatness, including last year when he went off on the Dallas Cowboys for 145 yards and one touchdown.
Actually Ingram’s numbers last year for the season were 78 carries for 386 yards and one touchdown, and no fumbles. In fact, Ingram last had a fumble in ’11.
In 11 games last season Ingram has seven receptions for 68 yards and no touchdowns. The running back was targeted just 11 times by Saints QB Drew Brees in the passing game.
The Saints are likely going to let Ingram test free agency after this season, and that could be a blessing for Ingram and for this who may have him in a dynasty fantasy football league.
Ingram could possibly go to a better situation in ’15, where he could get the bulk of the work load. With Ingram’s talent his value is going to rise, plus remember he is just 24 years old and won’t turn 25 until Dec. 21.
Gerhart had just 36 carries in ’13 for 283 yards and two touchdowns. For his four seasons in Minnesota, Gerhart had 276 carries for 1,305 with five touchdowns.
Gerhart, 27, tested the waters of free agency this year and landed the landed in Jacksonville where he will be the lead back, so there is still some fantasy hope for Ingram.
Ingram is more talented than Gerhart, including being faster and more explosive in space. Right now Gerhart has an ADP of No. 67, compared to Ingram’s current ADP of No. 150. If Ingram lands in a better situation he should easily be in the Top 50 of players drafted in fantasy drafts in the future.
It feels like Ingram has been in the league forever since being drafted out of Alabama, but next season remember he will only be 25 years old, which he is a few months younger than Tampa Bay Buccanners running back Doug Martin.
You will be getting a good 2-4 years of production from Ingram when (if) he leaves New Orleans and lands with another team after this upcoming season.
The Saints are looking to run the ball more this season, and with Darren Sproles is no longer with the team (he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles), that could open up more touches (hopefully) for Ingram.
I see Ingram getting the bulk of the goal line work, and I won’t be surprised to see him with 8-10 touchdowns this season.
Ingram is a talented back who could be walking into a juicy situation next year. There is nothing to lose with him since he is so cheap to acquire. I recommend going all in on Ingram and watching your asset grow in value.