Sunday, June 17, 2012

32 in 32: Baltimore Ravens

After a few days out of production, the Baltimore Ravens are the next team up. The Ravens defense is always one of their brightest points, but they could be a little off their game this season. Ed Reed is really getting up there in age, and Terrell Suggs accounted for a full 25% of the team's turnovers last season. This defensive unit will be drafted, but I would pass on them, personally.

Of course, Ray Rice is going to be a top-5 pick in virtually every fantasy league. Rice's numbers have been pretty consistent over the last three seasons, so if he comes back before training camp you should expect him to have 1,300 rushing yards and 500-700 receiving yards to go with 10 total touchdowns. Rice is a little older than Chris Johnson was last year, so I don't expect him to be as unprepared for the coming season even if he does miss some of training camp. Right now I have him pretty much dead even with LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster, but if this contractual situation continues until training camp then I would drop him down to the Ryan Mathews/Chris Johnson level. Still elite, certainly, but there would be more risk involved in that particular pick.

Joe Flacco is almost guaranteed to have 3,600 yards and 20-25 touchdowns. He has had almost identical stat lines for the last 3 seasons. He is a solid number two who doesn't turn the ball over a whole lot, but don't expect him to break out. The Ravens just aren't a break out team, but their two biggest players, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, have been extremely consistent over the last three seasons. Flacco will not be in the top 10 quarterbacks, but he should be somewhere from 11-20th overall. No reason to obsess over this, grab him if you expect to use him once per year, but not if you want more from your QB2.

The wide receiver position is the most unknown position for the Ravens. Anquan Boldin has had two sub-900 yard seasons with 10 total touchdowns in Baltimore. Those numbers don't instill confidence, and one would think that if he was going to have a great season in Baltimore it would have already come. There is no way I'm drafting a receiver who is 31 and coming off two decent but not great seasons. Torrey Smith is definitely the best candidate to have a great season in Baltimore. If you watched the Ravens last season, you know that Smith was adept at dropping the ball. I would say that Torrey Smith is going to be a poor-man's version of Mike Wallace or DeSean Jackson. My goal for Smith would be to play him with a compliment of strong players, because he isn't going to be a consistent players. He is a burner, and I would be surprised if he didn't have 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns but that will probably be concentrated in about 8 games. The two tight ends, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, will probably share too much to have much value. If either one of them gets hurt, though, jump all over them. If you put them together from last season, they would have had 900 yards and 8 touchdowns which is wonderful for a tight end. 

Don't worry about drafting Billy Cundiff. He was 1 of 6 from 50+ yards last season, meaning he won't score you enough in fantasy. 

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