The Situation Series is back after a brief hiatus! Today we are going to get into one of the more challenging teams in the NFL to dissect – the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens come into this season with Lamar Jackson fully in charge and plenty of new faces in both the backfield and in the receiving corps. Let’s dive in!
FULL SEASON OF LAMAR JACKSON LOOMS
As mentioned above, this will be Lamar Jackson’s first year as the Baltimore Raven’s full-time signal-caller. He usurped Joe Flacco in the second part of last season and helped vault the Ravens into the playoffs. The unique combination of Jackson and Gus Edwards had teams looking for answers on a weekly basis. Jackson provided fantasy players with a consistent floor given his rushing ability, but left a bit to be desired in the passing department. If Jackson can improve even a little bit in that area, he could be primed for a sophomore breakout. According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Jackson is currently coming off the board in the late 12th round which seems like the sweet spot to me. He certainly fits the mold of a late-round quarterback and also checks the upside box as well.
ONE TOO MANY BALL CARRIERS
One of the main beneficiaries of Lamar Jackson’s takeover wasn’t any of his receivers, rather it was rookie running back Gus Edwards. Edwards and Jackson existed as an awesome one-two punch for the Ravens, but it looks like this year spells change. The Baltimore Ravens added a both Mark Ingram in free agency and Justice Hill through the draft. With both of these additions, it is hard to tell what exactly the Ravens are going to do at running back and perhaps will opt for more of a committee approach. There has been a fair amount of love from “Draft Twitter” about Justice Hill which makes him a potentially intriguing dynasty stash, but outside of that, it is hard to pin down exactly what to do with these players in season long. As for now, it may be wise to wait for the dust to settle.
THE RECEIVING END
The Ravens’ receiving core also saw a big shakeup this offseason. The Baltimore Ravends drafted rookie receivers Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Myles Boykin, and let go of veterans John Brown and Michael Crabtree. It is easy to get excited about the rookies given Brown’s playmaking ability and Boykin’s athletic profile. With that said, it is hard to imagine either of them will be consistent contributors right out of the gate. So much depends on the development of Lamar Jackson as a passer. For instance, John Brown had become a usable fantasy asset with Joe Flacco at the helm. When Jackson took over, however, his production took a nosedive.
The one Ravens pass-catcher I am interested in, as of now, is second-year tight end Mark Andrews. He was a solid contributor in the aerial attack down the stretch last season and could build on his rapport with Jackson in the early going. In a world where Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle come off of the board super early, Andrews could be someone to target if you are unable to snag a member of that trio.