The Baltimore Ravens have made the playoffs each of the last three years since their face of the franchise, Lamar Jackson, has been at the helm. They have made deep playoff runs the last two years, falling just shy of the AFC Championship game. They are looking to take the next step and capitalize on a roster constructed like a Super Bowl contender on both offense and defense.
The Ravens’ most glaring issue last year was the lack of passing production throughout the season and into the playoffs. Lamar Jackson is an electric athlete, but such a one dimensional offense can only go so far. The organization made a point to bring in new weapons via the draft and free agency to set Jackson up for success. There should be no excuses in elevating the passing attack and creating a more balanced offense. This team is expecting a deep playoff run in 2021.
2021 Fantasy Preview Baltimore Ravens- Projected Depth Chart
- Lamar Jackson: In 2019, Lamar Jackson was the QB1 and there is a perception that Jackson had a down year in 2020. He was the QB10, and if that is his fantasy floor, fantasy managers can’t ask for much more. His rushing upside provides a top-tier floor, and if he improves his passing game with the new weapons in Baltimore he is more than capable to repeat a QB1 overall performance.
- Mark Andrews: Andrews has been Jackson’s most reliable target over the past 2 years. Posting TE5 and TE6 finishes over that span and he shows no sign of slowing down. He is locked in as a top-tier TE1 and a consistent option at a scarce position for the foreseeable future.
- JK Dobbins: Dobbins is a year away from being on the “Studs” list, but we need to see him get the necessary workload to be considered there. Dobbins is a top-tier talent as a player and was ultra-efficient in the opportunity he was given. If the Ravens give Dobbins the rock, he’s going to smash his ADP regardless of Gus Edwards’ presence.
- Rashod Bateman: Bateman was a top-tier prospect at wide receiver in the 2021 draft and Baltimore grabbed him at the end of the first round. There is a worry that there won’t be enough passing work to sustain a fantasy-relevant season for Bateman, but he could also be part of the reason the offense elevates. He’s a solid asset to have on dynasty rosters, but may not be so valuable to redraft rosters in 2021 as he acclimates to the NFL.
Keep an eye on
- Marquise Brown: Brown has been viewed largely as a disappointment thus far into his career. That being said, he is going into his third year and is still a starting wide receiver for the team. He was visibly frustrated last season, but he garnered 100 targets and if Jackson steps forward as a passer the quality of targets should improve. He still provides some upside and is worth keeping an eye on.
- Sammy Watkins: Following his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs, Watkins has made his way to Baltimore. He figures to slot in as the starting wide receiver opposite Brown, but he has struggled to put together a healthy season recently. A starting wide receiver always holds some value, so Watkins’ veteran presence could prove valuable as a bye-week fill-in or depth piece.
- Gus Edwards: With the departure of Mark Ingram, that opens up a potentially significant role for Gus. He has been very consistent over the past three years with over 700 yards and over five yards per carry each year. His role will greatly depend on the amount of carries Dobbins takes this year, but Edwards could prove to be fantasy-relevant.
- Tylan Wallace: Wallace was a favorite for many this offseason, but the combination of his draft capital and landing spot has pushed him significantly down draft boards. At his cost to acquire, he is worth a stash in dynasty to see if his perceived talent can rise to the top of the Baltimore offense and earn him a starting role. Watkins is on a one-year deal and Brown has two years left on his contract. With the departure of one of those receivers, there is a path for Wallace to garner a starting spot in three-wide receiver sets.
***Note: All projections and discussions are assuming full PPR formats.***
IDP Analysis With IDPIggy
Justin Houston, Chris Smith, and Geno Stone
Fantasy Football Starters
Patrick Queen (LB), Marlon Humphrey (DB), Calais Campbell (DL), Justin Houston (LB) and Marcus Peters (DB) in deeper leagues
The Baltimore Ravens focused on retaining their defensive free agents. They brought in several offensive lineman but only a few pass rushers, most notably LB Justin Houston.
The Ravens are a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. LB Patrick Queen will be asked to captain the defense in his second year, but he will have numerous veterans around him. DL Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe in front of him, LBs Houston and Tyus Bowser flanking him, and DBs Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters on the outside.
Humprey and Peters are arguably the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. DB DeShon Elliot is an elite safety, and DBs Chuck Clark and Anthony Levine Sr. will be in the strong safety slot. It is a well built secondary with the capability to make big plays, particularly if the Ravens are leading late in games.
2021 Fantasy Preview Baltimore Ravens- Stat Projections
***Note Player Projections are only fantasy relevant players. Team totals may not add up as we left out players that may not have a significant impact on the season. Projections provided by Rich King and are based on 16 games.***
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