The Ravens will start veteran S James Ihedigbo over rookie S Matt Elam in the Thursday night opener at Denver. ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley -- a former Ravens beat writer -- calls that the smart move, saying it wouldn't be right to throw Elam out there against Peyton Manning in his 1st NFL start. Hensley also opines that Elam will take over the job some time this season. We agree. We've been ranking Elam under the assumption that he'd take the job before the regular season. The 1st-round pick did perform impressively in exhibition action. But we had to knock him down the DB rankings today. If you drafted Elam -- or plan to -- and have the roster room to stash him, that would be a good idea. He'll bring a high IDP ceiling whenever he enters the lineup. Ihedigbo, meanwhile, carries little fantasy upside. He's expected to cede some snaps to Elam even while starting.
The Ravens made the pick many expected at the end of Round 1: Florida S Matt Elam. The former Gator looks like an instant starter next to free-agent pickup S Michael Huff. Elam is short but enjoyed an All-American type career at Florida. He could help IDP owners right away in SS Bernard Pollard's old spot.