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Monday, January 2, 2017

FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: CAREER-YEAR FOR MARK INGRAM.....RIGHT?

It was a weird and strange season for New Orleans Saints running back Mark Inrgam and his fantasy football owners.  After posting a career-best 50 receptions in 2015 that made him a PPR back for the first time, Ingram saw his 2016 fantasy football draft stock soar into early second round territory last summer as he already seemed assured of being the bellcow back in the offense.  What Ingram's owners soon realized though is that a Sean Payton-led offense is never predictable in terms of expected production.  Leaving his owners with their mouths agape in horror, Ingram rushed for over 60 yards just TWICE in the first seven games of the Saints' season; with the lowlight being a 3-carry-for-5-yard disgrace on October 30th.  Throw in the public endorsement by Payton of Tim Hightower as a committee member at running back for the Saints and Ingram was all of a sudden a RB 3 on paper given the uncertain workload and likely loss of goal-line work.  Luckily for Ingram;s owners, the former Alabama star rallied with a 158-yard monster game on November 6th which became the first of three 100-yard games the rest of the way.  By the time the season wrapped, Ingram has posted a career-best 5.1 yards per carry and his first 1,000-yard campaign with 1,043.  While the 6 rushing touchdowns were lower then expected, Ingram also was a solid receiver for the second year in a row with 46 catches for 319 yards and another 4 scores.  Overall it was a decent RB 2 campaign for Ingram in all formats but overall it still felt like a bit of a letdown considering the preseason expectations.

So as the offseason approaches, it will be interesting to see what happens with Ingram and more specifically with Sean Payton,  Rumors continue to swirl that Payton could be traded as he apparently is growing unhappy in New Orleans and that could be a good thing for Ingram as his coach has liked using a committee at running back.  If Ingram gets a chance to be a bellcow back, he could easily be knocking on the RB 1 door for 2017.  Of course the smaller workload this past season could have gone a long way toward Ingram playing in all 16 games for the first time in his career which is no small thing for a guy who had one of the more pronounced injury habits in the game.  Still Ingram has untapped overall potential and his outlook will be one to keep an eye on this summer.


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