Gus Edwards, Justice Hill Updated Fantasy Outlook After J.K. Dobbins' Knee Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 28, 2021

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley hands the ball off to running back Gus Edwards during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins left his team's preseason game against the Washington Football Team with a knee injury Saturday.

Kevin Patra of NFL.com provided more details.

"Running back J.K. Dobbins was helped off the field, putting no weight on his left leg. The running back had his leg bent backward after catching a screen pass. He immediately grabbed his left knee.
"Dobbins was taken directly to the blue medical tent. He was carted to the locker room and ruled out with a knee injury.
"The severity of the injury is not immediately known."

Dobbins was excellent during his rookie season, amassing 925 total yards (805 rushing, 120 receiving) and nine scores. He rushed for 6.0 yards per carry and caught 18 passes.

He largely split time in the backfield with Gus Edwards, with Hill also getting a few carries.

Expectations are high for Dobbins entering his second season after a fantastic rookie campaign.

Unfortunately, the injury could very well cost Dobbins time with the Ravens' season set to start Sept. 13 against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Hopefully that's not the case and the talented Dobbins is able to suit up in Week 1.

If not, then the Ravens will turn to Gus Edwards and Justice Hill to lead the backfield, and here's a brief peak at their outlooks.

The 26-year-old Edwards had 144 carries for 723 rushing yards (5.0 YPC) and six touchdowns last year. He added nine receptions for 129 more yards.

The 23-year-old Hill had 12 carries for 60 rushing yards in limited action. He also had five catches for 20 yards. He saw more time in 2019, amassing 58 rushes for 225 yards and two scores alongside eight receptions for 70 yards.

Dobbins missed one game last year, a 19-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. During that game, Edwards and Hill split time, with the former running back earning 51 percent of the snaps and Hill getting 49 percent.

Hill out-touched Edwards 11-9 with 35 rushing yards on nine carries and two catches for five yards. Edwards had nine carries for 10 yards and a touchdown.

The Ravens were severely short-handed that day due to a COVID-19 outbreak, which is why Dobbins sat the game.

Edwards will likely lead the backfield in touches. He isn't going to make much of a dent in the pass game, but he's proven to be very capable of moving the chains at an efficient clip. He'd also be the go-to back at the goal line if Dobbins is out.

As for Hill, he's more of a pass-catching threat than Dobbins, but chances are Edwards will get most of the carries. The Ravens asked him to carry the ball 10 or more times on six occasions last year, while Hill had just 12 carries on the entire season.

For fantasy purposes, Edwards is a solid second starting running back option in standard and point-per-reception leagues. Even if he won't get a ton of cheap points in the pass game, he'll get the lion's share of the carries for the Ravens alongside plenty of red-zone rushes.

As for Hill, he's worth potentially adding as a backup running back in deeper leagues, but unless this partnership turns out to be a timeshare, then Edwards is the best fantasy back here.