The new-look offense of the Baltimore Ravens doesn’t just feature a new quarterback in Lamar Jackson, but also a new lead running back in Gus Edwards. The rookie out of Rutgers has dominated the workload for the Ravens over the past two games, and with Alex Collins placed on injured reserve, has a chance to continue rolling along.
With that said, it is worth noting that the move rule Collins, the team’s former starter, out for the rest of the year, also led to another interesting move. Baltimore activated another running back in Kenneth Dixon, who was slated to see a big workload earlier in the year prior to his injury. Dixon played in just one game this season, totaling 13 carries for 44 yards and one touchdown.
How much Dixon’s return will impact Edwards remains to be seen, but the rookie has racked up 40 carries for 233 yards and one touchdown over the past two games. He’s clearly been the team’s best back, and most importantly, they’re 2-0 over that stretch.
Let’s take a look at whether Edwards is a fantasy football start or sit in the Week 13 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Matchup & Outlook for Gus Edwards
For starters, it’s worth pointing out that while Edwards is dealing with an ankle injury, he’s expected to play, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
That’s a great sign and it seemed like there wasn’t a ton of concern over his outlook. To piggyback off his health, Edwards has seen the bulk of the team’s offensive snaps over the past two games. He received 62 and 61 percent of the snaps in the past two games, as Football Outsiders shows. While Ty Montgomery also saw an increase in work, it seems likely that if Dixon takes anyone’s workload, it’ll be his.
The matchup for Edwards is an incredibly appealing one from a fantasy perspective. The Falcons have struggled against opposing running backs, and while arguably their biggest area of concern is through the air, they’ve had tough sledding against the ground game also. On the year, Atlanta has allowed 1,084 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 218 carries (roughly 5.0 yards per carry).
For good measure, the Falcons have also allowed 88 receptions for 695 yards and four scores through the air. This benefits names like Montgomery and/or Dixon more than Edwards, but upside at running back for the Ravens in this matchup is there.
Should You Start or Sit Gus Edwards?
It’s tough to sit a player who’s been as red-hot as Edwards has been. Although his appeal is slightly lower in point-per-reception leagues, you don’t find running backs who can see 20-plus carries on a consistent basis all that often. There is certainly a bit of concern over Dixon’s return, but it’s unknown how he’ll be utilized.
I’d roll out Edwards as a starter if you were planning on doing so before in all 12-team leagues or above. I can seven see using him in 10-team leagues as a flex play, specifically in standard (non-PPR) spots. He has the matchup, the upside, and workload, so there doesn’t seem to be a ton of risk for the rookie running back here.
Source: Heavy Sports