Fantasy football injury update: Ravens lose starting RB, others injured

During their low-scoring slog - especially for fantasy purposes - with the Houston Texans, the Baltimore Ravens lost two key starters for the rest of the season.

J.K. Dobbins dives over Derek Stingley Jr. during the game against the Texans.
J.K. Dobbins dives over Derek Stingley Jr. during the game against the Texans. / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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In their first game of the 2023 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Houston Texans 25-9, but suffered two significant losses in the process. After the game, head coach John Harbaugh revealed that star running back J.K. Dobbins tore his Achilles and would be out for the rest of the year. Dobbins, 24, has now suffered his second season-ending injury in the last three years after tearing his ACL in 2021. A long recovery and some setbacks limited him to just seven games in 2022, and he'll head into 2024 with just eight regular season games played since 2020.

Heading into 2023, the Ravens' star running back was ranked 29th by ESPN in PPR formats, and was drafted as the 30th RB, on average, by fantasy players. This placed him in between the likes of the Detroit Lions' David Montgomery (29th) and the Philadelphia Eagles' D'Andre Swift (31st). The good news for Dobbins' fantasy owners is that backup Gus Edwards is available in nearly 80 percent of leagues. Third-string back Justice Hill, who had eight carries for nine yards and two (!!) touchdowns, is rostered in a whopping 0.3 percent of ESPN leagues.

Edwards and Hill will probably get stuck in a timeshare, which isn't fun for fantasy purposes, but the Ravens offense should supply plenty of opportunities for both. It also wouldn't come as a shock to see Baltimore go out and try to sign another ball carrier, such as a Leonard Fournette or a Kareem Hunt. The Cincinnati Bengals got blown away by the Cleveland Browns, and the Ravens now need to seize the opportunity and take advantage of their 1-0 start.

With their latest injury on the defensive side of the ball, though, that'll be a lot more difficult than advertised. It was also revealed after the game that starting safety Marcus Williams would be undergoing an MRI for what appeared to be a torn pec muscle. Ian Rapoport reported that the former New Orleans Saint has a limited amount of pain and has full range of motion, but is dealing with severe swelling.

The blow is a big one for a Ravens D/ST that scored 12 fantasy points against C.J. Stroud and the Texans. Baltimore picked up a fumble, recorded five sacks, and limited Houston to just nine points on the afternoon. Without Williams, they can probably be avoided in fantasy lineups for Week 2 when they take on Joe Burrow and the Bengals in Cincinnati.

Lastly, starting offensive linemen Tyler Linderbaum and Ronnie Stanley both exited the game early, and will both have MRIs, per Harbaugh. If true, the Ravens offense takes a big hit in both fantasy and in real life, as their rushing attack was already almost non-existent against the lowly Texans. Houston was one of the worst teams against the run last year but limited Baltimore running backs to just 63 yards on 22 carries on Sunday.

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It'll be interesting to see what kind of moves the Ravens make in response to all the injuries. If one thing is for certain though, how they navigate the next few weeks will be crucial to how their season goes. Fantasy players and Ravens fans alike know how important health is to this team's success.