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Baltimore – home of Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale, to name a few – is one of the toughest teams in the NFL. Last season was one that fell short of the lofty expectations of the talented front office, and it was a tough one to endure for a team that achieves at a high level. However, 2016 promises to be a more exciting year, with some new additions and some returning faces – let’s take a look!
It always starts with the QB: Joe Flacco, the 100 million dollar man, who suffered a season-ending ACL/MCL injury when an offensive lineman accidentally fell on his knee in Week 11 against the Rams. These things happen, and sometimes there’s some friendly fire. All is well, as Flacco is back this season. He’s not always the most fantasy-friendly QB, but he can serve in a pinch.
His WR corps consist of Mike Wallace, the former Steeler/Viking/Dolphin (what a combo, right?), youngster Kamar Aiken, and sophomore receivre Breshad Perriman, who has struggled to stay on the field due to injuries. Steve Smith Sr. is returning this year after a fairly good season in 2015, but the issue is simply that none of these men are worthy of high draft picks. Aiken can hold some value in PPR leagues, and Perriman in dynasty leagues, but outside of Smith Sr., it is advisable to stay away from the Ravens WRs.
The TEs are a different story, however: Dennis Pitta was a fantastic option at the relatively barren position, before his injury. Now, he has to contend with the arrival of TE Benjamin Watson, who thrived in New Orleans under Drew Brees’ throws. The system is a bit different in Baltimore, and there are fewer passes to go around, but he should be a good addition.
Running backs are hard to predict, but RB Justin Forsett had a decent year in 2015, and is looking to repeat his success, which came through the air as much as on the ground. Sophomore RB Buck Allen took some of Forsett’s carries last year, and the addition of rookie RB Kenneth Dixon does not seem to bode well for Forsett, or for the fantasy viability of the Ravens. It is looking to shape up as a committee, which is never good for fantasy owners – keep an eye on this as the preseason continues, and hopefully one of them will distinguish themselves. Dixon and Allen are worth some adds in dynasty, though in the large majority of leagues, they won’t be worth your time.
Recap: QB Joe Flacco; WR Mike Wallace; WR Steve Smith Sr.; WR Kamar Aiken; WR Breshad Perriman; TE Dennis Pitta; TE Benjamin Watson; RB Justin Forsett; RB Buck Allen; RB Kenneth Dixon