If you’re one of the many fantasy football players who’s spent the season attempting to figure out the Baltimore Ravens running back situation, you aren’t alone. It seemed pretty clear-cut early on, with Alex Collins expected to do the bulk of the heavy lifting and Javorious Allen as the change-of-pace back. That didn’t exactly stick, and the team then traded for Ty Montgomery from the Green Bay Packers.
Montgomery has been a non-factor for the Ravens to this point, but a new face emerged in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals – Gus Edwards. The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers had totaled just 15 carries prior to last game, but in the 24-21 win over the Bengals, broke out in a big way.
Edwards finished the game with 17 carries for 115 yards and one touchdown. He out-touched Collins by 10 and no other Ravens back received more than one carry. Now, fantasy owners are left wondering what the situation and outlook for Edwards is moving forward.
Let’s break down if the 23-year-old is a start or sit in Week 12 against the Oakland Raiders.
Should You Start or Sit Gus Edwards?
The Ravens will not play Collins in Week 12, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. This places Gus Edwards squarely in play as a fantasy option. I believe he’s worth starting in all leagues with 12 teams or more now.
He should see the bulk of the work and there’s little reason to believe that he won’t wind up as the team’s feature back with both Allen and Montgomery being pass-catching backs. Edwards could easily see 18-20 touches this week.
As great as the opportunity looks, it would be wise to tread lightly for another week. The Ravens backfield situation is nearly impossible to predict on a weekly basis and there are quite a few question marks and unknowns. With that said, there’s a lot to like about Edwards’ situation heading into this game.
For starters, the rookie back played 49 of the team’s offensive snaps last week, compared to just 17 for Collins, nine for Montgomery and five for Allen, per Football Outsiders. I have a hard time believing this was a fluke or something randomly decided at the start of the game. The Ravens almost certainly wanted to give their young back an opportunity, and he took advantage.
Beyond that, the matchup against the Raiders is appealing. Oakland is essentially in rebuild mode at this point and they’ve struggled against opposing running backs. On the season, they’ve given up 1,310 yards on 256 carries along with 34 receptions for 388 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns. The 5.1 yard-per-carry average makes Edwards a potentially excellent play if he logs heavy snaps again.
Even with the great matchup, I have a hard time buying in until we know for a fact that Edwards will see the bulk of the work or at least a fair amount of it. With the fantasy playoffs approaching, I’d play it safe unless you need a back badly in 12 or 14-team leagues. I do think Edwards is a fine option in larger leagues (16-plus teams) based on your roster, as running backs are tougher to come by.