Mark Ingram & Tim Hightower: Saints RB Situation Now Complicated

In fantasy football, no word makes owners cringe more than “committee.” In a game that revolves around individual performance, fantasy players try to avoid committees at all costs.

Mark Ingram was not in a committee. Now he is.

After being benched in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against Seattle, Tim Hightower took over the RB duties for the remainder of the game.

Then the worst possible scenario played out for Ingram: the Saints won.

Hightower rushed 26 times for 109 yards, and the Saints got a much-needed five point win. ESPN’s Britt McHenry is now reporting that Ingram and Hightower will share the backfield next week against San Francisco.

What compounds the frustration for Ingram owners is not only the lack of production, but the volume of carries Hightower received in his absence. Ingram, who has been with the Saints since 2011, has only had more than 25 carries twice, both in 2014. He has not had 20 carries in a game this season.

So Ingram was the starter, and now he’s the lesser member of a two-man committee. Fantasy owners rejoice.

The benching for Ingram came in the first quarter, after he lost a fumble for the second consecutive game. But it wasn’t just the fumble, but the circumstances around it. Last week against the Chiefs, he fumbled in the fourth quarter in the redzone. Against Seattle, Ingram was stripped while fighting for extra yards and was scooped by Seattle’s Earl Thomas for a touchdown. Ingram fumbled just six times in his first five NFL seasons.

The fantasy verdict? Picking up Hightower would be wise, especially if you need help at that position. There aren’t many free agents that are viable these days, so Hightower has high potential, even as a short-yardage back. Both should be in lineups against the soft 49ers defense, but the Saints will always be pass-first and that hurts their overall value.

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