FF Tips

Baltimore Ravens Fantasy Football Preview

By Jared Smola 1:07am EDT 7/7/16

Injuries crippled the Ravens offense last year. WR Steve Smith tore his right Achilles' tendon in Week 8. QB Joe Flacco and RB Justin Forsett went down with season-ending injuries in Week 11.

Still, this unit ranked 14th in total yards in its 1st year under OC Marc Trestman. With another offseason in the system — and hopefully better injury luck — the Ravens could be a source of sneaky fantasy production in 2016.

What will happen: Mike Wallace will outperform his ADP

That won’t be too difficult. His ADP is sitting at WR60.

There are a lot of Mike Wallace haters out there. He’s a 1-dimensional WR who, at best, is a boom-or-bust fantasy starter. He’s also coming off a 74th-place PPR finish last year.

But let’s not forget that this guy had previously turned in 5 straight top-27 seasons with 2 different teams. He could climb back into that territory in 2016.

Wallace inked a surprisingly lucrative 2-year, $11.5 million deal with the Ravens in March and has been talked up ever since. He joins a wide-open WR corps on a team that led the league in pass attempts last year. That helped Steve Smith score as a top-8 WR over the 1st half of the season and Kamar Aiken a top-15 WR during the 2nd.

There’s fantasy value to be mined in this Ravens passing game. Wallace, at his current 13th-round price tag, looks like the best way to get a piece of it.

What won
t happen: A Ravens TE becomes a reliable fantasy starter

It’s simply too crowded. Baltimore surprisingly ponied up $8 million over the next 2 years to land Ben Watson in free agency. He joins Maxx Williams and Crockett Gillmore atop the depth chart. The former had a mostly quiet rookie season but remains an intriguing pass-catching prospect. The latter led Ravens TEs with 33 catches, 412 yards and 4 scores last year but is coming off shoulder surgery.

Plus, Dennis Pitta is eyeing a return after missing the last 2 seasons with hip injuries. And former WR Darren Waller is transitioning to TE (though he'll lose the 1st 4 games to a drug suspension).

The entire group will battle with a deep (albeit muddled) WR corps, plus a trio of capable pass-catching RBs. There simply won’t be the volume to support a weekly starter.

Take a shot on Watson, Williams or Gillmore late in best-ball drafts, but don’t bank on any of them in your standard lineup-setting leagues.

What might happen: Kenneth Dixon emerges as a weekly fantasy starter

Dixon is the man to target if you’re looking to dabble in the Ravens backfield. And it’s worth

dabbling in considering OC Marc Trestman’s history. He’s had a RB catch at least 45 balls in all 11 of his seasons calling plays. His top RB has averaged 63.5 grabs.

Dixon surprisingly dropped to the 4th round of this spring’s draft but remains an exciting prospect with a 3-down skill set. He carried the Louisiana Tech offense for the past 4 years, racking up 4,483 rushing yards, 969 receiving yards and 87 total TDs — the 2nd most in NCAA history. He left school with a career 5.6 yards per carry and 11.1 yards per catch.

Dixon is big enough at 5’10, 215 pounds. And he turned in a SPARQ (athleticism) score in the 64th percentile among RBs. He’ll need to earn playing time this summer but could quickly emerge as Baltimore’s best all-around back.

Justin Forsett turns 31 in October and has never been an efficient pass-catcher. Buck Allen is good in the passing game but mustered just 3.8 yards per carry last year.

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