Ravens 2018 baltimore ravens Fantasy Preview

Is it possible to have a top 10 offense if your kicker is your most valuable asset (both in fantasy and reality)? Apparently, yes. The 2017 Baltimore Ravens proved it. Justin Tucker made 34-of-37 field goal attempts, including 29-of-30 from inside 50 yards, and was a perfect 39-for-39 on extra point attempts en route to another top five kicker season (the fourth of his six-year career). Enough about kickers, though. Joe Flacco had a down season, throwing for 3,141 yards, 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and finishing as the QB24 (behind the likes of Jacoby Brissett and Josh McCown). Just below Flacco? Rookies DeShone Kizer and Deshaun Watson, the latter of which played just seven games. Running back Alex Collins impressed in his first season as a Raven, rushing for 973 yards and six touchdowns after starting the season fourth on the depth chart. Terrance West, Danny Woodhead and Javorius Allen started the season as the top three backs, but Collins started Baltimore's final 12 games and finished with more rushing attempts (212) than those three combined (206). West and Woodhead were lost to injury for much of the season, but Allen firmly supplanted himself as the lead back in Baltimore. Mike Wallace was the Ravens' top receiver again in 2017, but was only valuable as a flex play (WR38). Baltimore's No. 2 receiver, Jeremy Maclin, was unimpressive in his first season as a Raven, catching just 40 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns (WR67). Coming off an Achilles injury that cost him his 2016 season, tight end Benjamin Watson continued to evade Father Time, wrapping up his 14th season as the TE16, a solid backup option in most leagues. The Ravens defense was one of the best bargains in fantasy last season. The unit came into the season outside of the top 12 in defense/special teams rankings, but finished as the DST2, scoring seven total touchdowns.



QB - Ravens

FACT: In 2017, Flacco suffered his worst numbers since his rookie season in passing yards per game (196.3) and quarterback rating (80.4). He also finished with career-lows in yards per pass attempt (5.7) and yards per completion (8.9).
Offseason Moves

The Ravens made a lot of changes in the offseason, but none were bigger than trading up to draft Lamar Jackson with the final pick of the first round. Jackson is firmly slotted behind Joe Flacco on the depth chart but if Flacco starts to slip, Jackson is there to pounce. The team is working hard to devise two-quarterback sets so they can best utilize Jackson's explosive skill set. Jackson isn't a guy owners need to draft, but keep a close eye on Flacco and the Ravens as the season progresses. Flacco's top two wideout targets (Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin) weren't re-signed and were replaced by Michael Crabtree (WR28 last season) and John Brown (WR81). Crabtree could serve as a deep WR2 or flex play, but Brown is likely a forgettable fantasy piece. The Ravens also added Willie Snead from New Orleans, who had two straight seasons of at least 69 catches and 895 yards before suspension and injuries limited him to just eight receptions in 2017. He could be a bounce-back candidate. Veteran Benjamin Watson returned to New Orleans and the Ravens drafted his replacement, Hayden Hurst, in the first round of April's NFL Draft. Hurst should be the TE1 heading into the season, but he isn't worth taking a draft flyer on unless he posts a breakout preseason. The running back spot will look like it did at the end of last season with Alex Collins getting most of the snaps. Danny Woodhead retired and Terrance West wasn't re-signed, so Collins is definitively the Ravens' RB1.

Sleepers & Busts

Baltimore entered 2017 with multiple options in the backfield. Terrance West and Danny Woodhead were ranked as the RB29 and RB32, respectively, before the season by NFL.com Senior fantasy analyst Michael Fabiano. West and Woodhead played a combined eight games, though, and both are now out of the picture. Who's in the picture? Enter Alex Collins. He was inactive in Week 1, before getting some carries in Weeks 2, 3 and 4. After he officially snagged the starting role in Week 5 he was the RB10 for the rest of the season. Collins finished the year ninth in the league in yards per rushing attempt (4.6), well ahead of running back studs Ezekiel Elliott (4.1), Le'Veon Bell (4.0) and Leonard Fournette (3.9). Now, Collins will have a full offseason of reps as the No. 1 back and should only be more productive in 2018.

Michael Crabtree has found his fair share of controversy in his nine-year career. From Richard Sherman's infamous NFC Championship postgame rant to a strange, endless feud with Aqib Talib, Crabtree has experienced it all. The drama surrounding Crabtree has somewhat masked the fact that he's had a solid run in the NFL. He is without a doubt the Ravens No. 1 wideout heading into his first season with the club, but don't expect the same numbers he produced in Oakland (232 catches, 2,543 yards, 25 touchdowns in three years). Last season, Crabtree finished with the second-lowest receiving yards (618), yards per reception (10.7) and yards per game (44.1) of his career. The drop off from Derek Carr to Joe Flacco is also going to hurt Crabtree. Even though he is the WR1 in Baltimore, don't count on Crabtree to put up starting-caliber fantasy numbers in 2018.

Fantasy Depth Chart
QB Joe Flacco Lamar Jackson Robert Griffin III
RB Alex Collins Javorius Allen Kenneth Dixon
WR Michael Crabtree John Brown Willie Snead Chris Moore
TE Hayden Hurst Nick Boyle Maxx Williams
K Justin Tucker