5 Reasons to Draft Mark Ingram in Your Fantasy Football League

Ryan Phillips@@RumorsandRantsContributor IIIAugust 2, 2012

5 Reasons to Draft Mark Ingram in Your Fantasy Football League

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    Mark Ingram didn't have the season he was expected to have as a rookie in 2011. He played in just 10 games and couldn't really get into a rhythm as a part of the New Orleans Saints' explosive offense. 

    Ingram is back for his second season and he could be a fantasy steal. 

    Here are five reasons you should draft Ingram to your fantasy team this year. 

He's Finally Healthy

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    Ingram's rookie season was cut short by turf toe surgery, which was an injury that limited him to just 10 games in 2011. He then underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in May that was classified as a "cleanup," not a repairing of a specific injury. 

    Ingram had arthroscopic surgery before his junior year at Alabama as well. 

    While the team has limited him in training camp so far, Ingram finally appears to be fully healthy. That will lead to far more production than his rookie season.

The Saints Want to Get Him More Touches

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    This year the Saints want Ingram to be a bigger part of the team's offense. They would like him to get at least 200 touches this season after he had just 133 in 2011. 

    While he will split time with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles, at 5'9" and 215 pounds, the 22-year-old Ingram is in a great spot to be the team's goal-line back. That could lead to a bunch of touchdowns. 

He's a Great Value

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    After being a popular sleeper pick before last season, Ingram's average draft position has dropped to the eighth round. In touchdown-heavy leagues that will make him a solid value. 

    After spending a first-round pick on Ingram in the NFL 2011 draft, the Saints will definitely want to get Ingram into the mix offensively this year after he missed time thanks to injuries as a rookie. 

    New Orleans had the sixth-best running game last season, averaging 132.9 yards per game. That's not bad, but Ingram can add an element between the tackles that the Saints don't currently have. 

New Orleans Will Be Explosive on Offense

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    The Saints had the NFL's best offense in 2011, averaging 467.1 yards per game, which was almost 50 yards per game ahead of the second-best team (Patriots: 428.0). 

    When a team is that explosive on offense, the fantasy points get spread around to everyone. Ingram will be a beneficiary, particularly in the red zone. He's going to get plenty of touches near the end zone and will have a chance to put up a lot of points. 

    He'll be a solid guy to have on your team and at the very least he's a great depth option early who could turn into a primary back as the season goes along.

He Has Something to Prove

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    As a rookie, Ingram had just 474 yards and five touchdowns on 122 carries (3.9 yards per carry) in 10 games. He also had 46 yards on 11 receptions.

    This year he, like the rest of New Orleans' roster, has something to prove. He was hyped up before last season and fell far short of expectations. 

    With the fallout from "Bounty Gate" still surrounding the team at every turn, the entire roster will be trying to prove itself. Ingram will obviously be a part of that.