Buy or Sell | AFC North Running Back Dynasty Values

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Alex Kurpeski

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have one of the best rushing attacks in the league, buoyed by the dynamic option play duo of Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram. With no upstart back on the roster nipping at his heels, Ingram has virtually been the “bellcow” back for this offense, accounting for well over 50% of snaps at the position despite being banged up these past few weeks. As much as Jackson has improved as a passer, the Ravens offense will always be run-first philosophically. Owning the lead back in this backfield should present you with a very solid RB1/RB2, with startable upside week to week. However, at nearly 30 years old, it is unlikely that Ingram will be sticking around in the same role for much longer. I fully expect the team to make a run at a lead back in free agency (Matt Breida, Derrick Henry, Jordan Howard, Austin Ekeler, Melvin Gordon, and Kareem Hunt are just a few names that could be on the market this spring) or use a high draft pick to acquire a back with a higher upside than Ingram (Jonathan Taylor would look great in purple and black). As for the remaining options on the roster, I like the potential of both Justice Hill and Gus Edwards, but neither of them have the upside worth building a dynasty team around. 

Verdict: Selling the Ravens backfield

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) avoids a tackle by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Maurice Canady (26) while running for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

If there were ever a perfect fantasy situation for a running back, it would be the one that Nick Chubb is in right now. With a snap share over 75%, Chubb currently finds himself second in the NFL in rushing yardage and tied for third in rushing touchdowns. The looming presence of Kareem Hunt should present an issue for Chubb this season, as he will likely lose a significant amount of carries down the stretch with the introduction of a fresh Hunt. However, the long term outlook is great for Chubb, as he should be the “bellcow” for this offense well beyond 2019. As for Hunt, his talent alone makes him a worthwhile stash. With teams in need of running back help, expect Hunt to suit up as a starter once again in 2020. 

Verdict: Buying Chubb and Hunt, Selling the rest of the Browns running backs

Pittsburgh Steelers

I really like James Conner. I really, really like Jaylen Samuels. Heck, I even like Benny Snell. Regardless of who is starting on a given week for the Steelers, they will be a productive back for fantasy. While Conner and Samuels have some injury concerns, I believe that the team trusts both of them enough to rely on as the lead backs for this offense in 2019 and beyond. If you own one, you should move to pick up the other, as the team will likely continue to platoon them as long as both are on the roster. 

Verdict: Buying James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, and Benny Snell as a handcuff, Sell the rest

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon is a very talented running back, he just happens to play for the Bengals. He’s yet to rush for over 100 yards in a game this season, thanks to the terrible offensive play calling by his team and the dearth of offensive line talent on the roster. I sincerely hope this improves soon, but given their track record, this roster could be bad for a very long time. 

Verdict: Buying Mixon, Selling the rest of the Bengals backs

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