Shark Bites

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec believes Ravens TE Maxx Williams still isn't at 100% after undergoing offseason knee surgery. He avoided the PUP list and was active for the preseason opener, catching 1 pass for 3 yards. We'll keep an eye on his progress, but Williams isn't worth drafting right now. Zrebiec told us that the current pecking order at TE for Baltimore is: Nick Boyle, Ben Watson, Williams, Larry Donnell.

Ravens WR Breshad Perriman has been sidelined since August 1 with a hamstring injury. There's no timetable for his return. It's the latest issue in what's been an injury-ravaged start to Perriman's NFL career. He had a strong spring and, if healthy, still figures to open the season as Baltimore's #3 WR. But he's only a later-round flier in fantasy drafts.

The Ravens will not play QB Joe Flacco at all in the preseason because of his back issue, but they expect him to be ready for the regular-season opener, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. We'll obviously keep an eye out for any further updates on his status, but this doesn't represent any change to his fantasy outlook. It's been clear since the start of camp that Baltimore would err on the side of caution with it's QB's back.

Ravens HC John Harbaugh said Tuesday that he expects QB Joe Flacco (back) to return "soon ... definitely during the preseason." He's missed about a week of camp now, but that's not a major concern for a 9-year veteran. It's looking more and more like this back issue won't be a factor this season. Flacco remains a low-upside QB2, but his presence is important for Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and the rest of Baltimore's skill-position players.

Ravens TE Crockett Gillmore is out for the season following knee surgery. Gillmore underwent a procedure to repair his MCL. Baltimore is down to Ben Watson, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle and Larry Donnell at TE. It’s a situation to avoid in fantasy leagues.

Ravens TE Crockett Gillmore is set to undergo surgery on his meniscus on Monday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. As we saw with RB Kenneth Dixon, Gillmore's timetable for return will depend on whether the meniscus is trimmed or fully repaired. He could be out anywhere from 4 weeks to the entire season. We'll update his status when we know more, but Gillmore is off the redraft radar right now.

The Ravens have signed TE Larry Donnell. Averaging 8.8 yards per catch for his career, Donnell is no better than a replacement-level talent. There's opportunity in Baltimore's Dennis Pitta-less TE corps, though. Donnell will compete with Maxx Williams, Ben Watson and Nick Boyle for playing time. (Crockett Gillmore hurt his knee on Friday.) We'll keep an eye on this battle, but the winner will be no more than a low-end TE2 in fantasy.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco told reporters on Friday that he's only dealing with back "stiffness," not a disc issue. He added that he's been assured it won't be an issue throughout the season and hopes to be back on the practice field in a week. Players tend to be over-optimistic about their injuries, but all indications over the past couple of days are that this is a relatively minor issue. We'll continue to keep an eye on Flacco, but it seems like he'll be fine for Week 1.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco is dealing with a disc issue in his back, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. His timetable for return is murky. Per Rapoport, Flacco will miss "at least a week or 2" but is "is preparing to miss 3-6" weeks. The longest end of that range would have him sidelined until a few days before Baltimore's regular-season opener in Cincinnati. At minimum, Flacco will miss valuable practice (and probably preseason) reps with new weapons Jeremy Maclin and Danny Woodhead. Already a lower-end QB2, Flacco isn't worth drafting outside of 2-QB and best-ball leagues now.

Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon will miss the entire 2017 season after undergoing surgery today to repair his torn meniscus, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The meniscus needed to be completely repaired, rather than the trimming procedure that would have sidelined him 6-8 weeks. Dixon's rehab is now expected to take 4-5 months. He should be a full-go for the start of the 2018 campaign, but he's now had 3 knee injuries in just a little more than a year in the NFL. Terrance West is the big winner here -- essentially locked in as the lead ball-carrier on an offense that should run more this year with Greg Roman on staff. He's not an exciting talent but should at least be a volume-based RB3 or flex. RB Danny Woodhead should also pick some up extra carries while dominating passing-down work.

Ravens TE Maxx Williams (knee) has avoided the PUP list and is ready for the start of training camp. He underwent a reportedly rare knee surgery this offseason, but it looks like that'll be a non-issue going forward. Baltimore's starting TE spot is wide open following the loss of Dennis Pitta. Williams, Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore and Nick Boyle are all in the mix.

Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon will undergo knee surgery today, according to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. The team believes Dixon has a torn meniscus but will know more after the operation. Zrebiec notes that meniscus tears usually sideline guys for 6-8 weeks -- but that can vary based on the severity. Dixon, of course, is suspended for the first 4 games of the season, so it's possible that this injury doesn't cost him any additional time. But he'll likely miss all of training camp and the preseason, costing him valuable reps to earn playing time. It's also worth noting that Dixon suffered a pair of knee injuries last summer, so durability is certainly becoming a concern. There's still a chance that he emerges as Baltimore's lead RB at some point this season, but Dixon can't be drafted as more than a late-round flier at this point. Terrance West will serve as the primary ball-carrier early on. Danny Woodhead will handle the majority of the pass-catching work.

Ravens WR Michael Campanaro will open training camp on the PUP list with the toe injury that cost him the final 3 weeks of offseason workouts. Durability has been a problem for Campanaro, who's played in just 11 games through 3 seasons. He looked a potential deep sleeper back in the winter, but this injury and the arrival of Jeremy Maclin has knocked Campanaro off the fantasy radar.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco liked what he saw from WR Breshad Perriman this spring. "You can just see the confidence in his eyes," Flacco said. "That's the first thing. Then when you go out there, it's kind of back to how I felt probably the first couple of practices his rookie year, when he was running by people, and you can tell he had something. He's back at that level, running, and his confidence is at an all-time high. He's out there playing, man. It's exciting to see." HC John Harbaugh and TE Dennis Pitta talked up Perriman in May, and ESPN's Jamison Hensley believes he had the "most impressive offseason" among Ravens WRs. Perriman's 2017 fantasy projection took a hit with the arrival of Jeremy Maclin, but his ADP has also sunk into the 14th round. He's a fine stab at that point.

Ravens WR Jeremy Maclin told ESPN's Adam Schefter that he never got back to 100% after missing 4 games with a torn groin muscle last season. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has checked his stats and/or playing time for the 4 weeks after his return. We'll watch this summer for reports on Maclin's health and movement and then check his preseason performance.

Ravens TE Darren Waller has been suspended for at least 1 year for violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to insider Jeff Zrebiec. It's Waller's 2nd violation as a pro. He was also suspended at Georgia Tech for drug use. Waller transitioned from WR to TE last year and had a shot to claim a bigger role in 2017 after Dennis Pitta's season-ending injury. Baltimore is now down to Ben Watson, Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore and Nick Boyle at TE.

Ravens HC John Harbaugh told The Associated Press this week that RB Danny Woodhead is "a big part of the passing game." QB Joe Flacco added that the free-agent addition returned something to the offense that had been missing since Ray Rice left. "Ever since we lost Ray, we haven't had the type of back quite like Ray was and quite like Danny is in the passing game," Flacco said. "They just have a very good feel for when they're open, how to get open, how to sit in holes, how to find my eyes." Rice caught 58+ passes in each of his 5 seasons as Baltimore's starter, including years of 76 and 78. Woodhead will have to share his new backfield with deft receiving back Kenneth Dixon once the later returns from a PED suspension. But a team that has lost WR Steve Smith, TE Dennis Pitta and WR Kamar Aiken from last year offers lots of available targets. Woodhead's a nice PPR value at his current mid-Round 7 ADP in MFL10 drafting.

Ravens TE Benjamin Watson was on the field for Tuesday's minicamp practice. He's about 9 months removed from surgery to repair a torn Achilles. His recovery has taken on increased importance since Baltimore lost TE Dennis Pitta. Watson is 36 but posted a 74-825-6 line in his last action back in 2015 with the Saints. He'll duke it out with Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore, Nick Boyle and Darren Waller for playing time this year.

The Ravens have signed WR Jeremy Maclin to a 2-year deal. A cap casualty in Kansas City, Maclin joins a Ravens squad that's missing a whopping 345 targets from a year ago. He figures to compete with Mike Wallace for the target lead this year -- although Breshad Perriman could also have a say in that battle if he takes a step forward. Maclin endured a disappointing, injury-stricken 2016 campaign but posted an 87-1,088-8 line the previous year. He's still only 29. And he has experience in Ravens OC Marty Mornhinweg's system, playing for Mornhinweg in Philadelphia for his first 4 NFL seasons. Maclin averaged 65 catches, 863 yards and 6.5 TDs across those years.

The Chiefs have released WR Jeremy Maclin. This one comes out of nowhere. Maclin missed 4 games last year and finished with a disappointing 44-546-2 line. But he's just 29 and went for 1,088 yards and 8 scores back in 2015. It sounds like this was a salary cap move, with Maclin's release saving the Chiefs $10 million. It shouldn't take him long to find a new employer. The Ravens would be a nice landing spot. In Kansas City, meanwhile, WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce are left as the clear top 2 options in the passing game. WR Chris Conley figures to join those guys in the starting lineup and could be an intriguing late-round flier in fantasy drafts.


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