In a twitter request from my wife (to stop talking to her about it), I take a look at two running backs that became fantasy relevant in 2014 and will be looked at as RB1/RB2’s. Jeremy Hill showed he could be a workhorse and punish defenses for all four quarters and rack up yards. Ingram showed his Heisman-winnings talent last season when given the chance to be the lead back in New Orleans’ offense. When the clock is ticking, who is it going to be for you?
Let’s start with some strengths and weaknesses of each player from a Fantasy standpoint:
Jeremy Hill (Cincinnati Bengals):
- Showed that he can be the lead back in an offense and be productive week-to-week in the 2nd half of the season
- The Bengals want to feature a run game to help Dalton and Hill is the main back
- He was a monster down the stretch last season racking up over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, what could he do in a full season?
- Added two great young talents for the offensive line to add depth so even with injuries, the Bengals will have a top-tier offensive line all season
- Giovani Bernard will be healthy heading into 2015, could he steal more touches than last year?
- Teams may test Andy Dalton this year and stack the box forcing the passing game beat them
- Has had off-field issues
Mark Ingram (New Orleans Saints):
- Came on last year as a top-15 fantasy back, showed he can be a workhorse in this Saints offense
- Saints are moving to more of a run-oriented attack trading Graham, Stills and adding Spiller, Peat
- Brees is getting older and can’t carry the offense all by himself
- Teams will still key on Brees and his ability to make plays through the air keeping away from stacking the box
- Will fight for carries with Spiller, not red-zone carries, but opportunities will be taken away if Spiller can stay healthy
- Brees is still the quarterback, Payton is still the head coach, are they really moving to a run-oriented offense?
- Missed 3 games last season, can he stay healthy?
The Argument for Hill over Ingram
Jeremy Hill was a stud in the 2nd half of the 2014 season, what could he do in a full season? That is the question that gets me excited about his potential! Hill is healthy, No. 1 on the depth chart, and will be the focal point in the Bengals’ run-first offense. Bernard has had issues staying healthy leaving Hill as the feature back. Dalton has struggled and the Bengals will look to take any opportunity to lighten his passing workload. Hill showed he could be a workhorse and carry the offense on the ground. His potential to explode into a top-10 fantasy back is too much to pass up in 2015!
The Argument for Ingram over Hill
If you haven’t heard, the Saints are heading to a run-oriented offense. You wonder why? Ingram showed them they have a solid running back that can be their workhorse and lead their offense through the ground. They traded Graham to pick up an All-Pro Center in Unger and drafted Andrus Peat for their offensive line; they are serious about getting their trenches in order to hit the ground game hard and fast in 2015. They have Cooks and Colston as receivers that have proven they can be top-notch wide receivers in the NFL; they need a good run game to be a complete offense. All signs are leading to Ingram being a monster for the 2015 season!
Would You Rather Draft Decision:
Jeremy Hill (Cincinnati Bengals):
Most fantasy experts have this comparison neck and neck. Both are lead backs for their offense, have pass-catching backs as their backups, and have shown they can be workhorses if asked to do so.
1) Offensive Line: Bengals = Saints
Similar talent for both sides
2) Run Focus: Bengals > Saints
Hue Jackson (OC) and the Bengals focus on the run to create offense. The Saints have said that they want to run the ball, but will they really focus on the run game in 2015?
3) Red-zone Touches: Bengals = Saints
4) Injury History: Bengals > Saints
Ingram has missed 14 games in 4 seasons; Hill has yet to show injury issues.
Bengals: 2 points
Saints: 0 points
As you can see from above, Hill has the offensive coordinator and health to overpower Ingram in 2015. They may have similar stat lines, but Jeremy has a better chance to stay healthy and get more touches in 2015.
If you have a “Would You Rather Draft” question for Dan, tweet your idea to Shep_Collins and he may pick yours to debate in an upcoming article. Follow Dan for Fantasy Football and NFL Draft insight.