QB Joe Flacco
(2012 QB Rank – #15, 18.7 FPts/G)
While Flacco may have added Super Bowl winning starting quarterback to his resume during the 2012 season, he has been a bit of a fantasy football tease over the past several seasons. Breakout seasons have been predicted for him but that has failed to materialize with Flacco failing to top 4,000 passing yards during his five-year career and managing a career-high 25 passing touchdowns back in 2010. With Anquan Boldin now in San Francisco and his spot being taken over by Jacoby Jones and an assortment of middling prospects, Flacco isn’t headed towards that elusive breakout season in 2013. While he had a wonderful playoff run under the tutelage of Jim Caldwell, who took over for Cam Cameron with three games left in the regular season, you would have to be wearing rose colored glasses to take him as your QB1. Given the lack of receiving weapons in Baltimore, Flacco is a mid-tier QB2 this season.
RB Ray Rice
(2012 RB Rank – #6, 13.9 FPts/G; #4 PPR, 17.7 FPts/G)
Despite having topped 2,000 total yards twice in four seasons with the Ravens and having never missed a game during that span, Rice’s fantasy value is taking a hit in 2013. That is because of the emergence of his backup, Bernard Pierce. Pierce had a healthy 115 touches as a rookie in 2012, including 77 in the Ravens last six games (counting the team’s four playoff appearances). While Rice may not be a candidate to be a top five fantasy back or to top 2,000 yards this season, he does has a very high floor. Last season, he totaled 1,143 rushing yards and 478 receiving yards while scoring a total of ten touchdowns and with question marks at wide receiver, he should approach that production once again in 2013. That would translate into mid-tier RB1 production, not to mention a very safe option given his lack of injury history.
RB Bernard Pierce
(2012 RB Rank – #50, 4.3 FPts/G; #58 PPR, 4.7 FPts/G)
The knock on Pierce coming out of Temple as a 3rd round pick in 2012 was that, despite having good size at 6’0” and 218 pounds, he too often avoided contact and that he couldn’t stay healthy. Becoming a Raven apparently changed all that. Pierce was a force as a rookie, gaining 532 yards and scoring once on 108 touches as he muscled a decent number of opportunities away from one of the league’s top running backs (Ray Rice). Pierce put a stranglehold on the backup running back position in Baltimore and off-season whispers were that he could carve out a larger role in 2013 provided he improves as a receiver and pass protector. Consider Pierce a mid-tier RB4, a must have handcuff to Rice and a potential flex option in 12-team leagues in 2012. We also like his dynasty potential.
RB Anthony Allen
(2012 RB Rank – #113, 2.2 FPts/G; #118 PPR, 2.6 FPts/G)
While the Ravens may be fond of Allen, their 2011 7th round pick, he lost the battle to Bernard Pierce to be the team’s backup running back in 2012 and let’s just say that Pierce has an iron grip on that job. One thing Pierce did prove is that the Ravens are willing to lighten Ray Rice’s workload provided there is a competent backup in place and that means that Allen has some value if either Rice or Pierce were to miss extended time. He is a 230-pound bowling ball who could be productive in short yardage situations if given an opportunity.
WR Torrey Smith
(2012 WR Rank – #23, 8.4 FPts/G; #28 PPR, 11.5 FPts/G)
It didn’t take Smith long to emerge as the 2011 2nd round pick out of Maryland hauled in 50 of his 95 targets for 841 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie. That put him on the map for a true breakout season in 2012 but that failed to materialize as he caught just 49 of his 110 targets for 855 yards and eight touchdowns. Blessed with blazing speed, the 6’0”, 205 pound Smith takes over in 2013 as the Ravens lead receiver with Anquan Boldin having left town. It remains to be seen whether that will cure Smith of the maddening inconsistency that has been a hallmark of his first two years in the league (16 games with five or fewer fantasy points). Given his size, there are serious concerns about his ability to be a consistent threat on intermediate routes but the upcoming season should provide answers given that the next most talented wide receiver on the roster is Jacoby Jones. That should translate into plenty of targets for Smith. Consider him a mid-tier WR2 with upside.
WR Jacoby Jones
(2012 WR Rank – #86, 3.0 FPts/G; #84 PPR, 4.8 FPts/G)
If Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome had played fantasy football for a few seasons, you can bet your bottom dollar that he wouldn’t have allowed Jones to enter the season as the Ravens starter for the departed Anquan Boldin. Jones has top end athletic ability and outstanding speed but he has never proven to be a consistent threat as a receiver during his six-year career. He had a career-year with Houston in 2010, catching 51 passes for 562 yards and three touchdowns. His athletic ability may hint at the potential for a breakout season but his 2010 production is more likely what fantasy owners can expect in 2013. Considering there is a chance that the Ravens may limit his reps on offense in order to keep him fresh as a returner, Jones is waiver wire material in most leagues and it won’t be a surprise if he lost his starting spot at some point in 2013.
WR Tommy Streeter
(2012 WR Rank – N/A)
Streeter, a 2012 6th round pick, is a physical beast at 6’5”, 219 pounds and capable of running a 4.40 40-yard dash. Unfortunately, he missed all of his rookie season with a sprained foot and if that seems a little odd, it is because we can safely conclude that the Ravens used that training camp injury as an opportunity to stash the raw Streeter on injured reserve. The University of Miami product is one of a cast of thousands fighting to become the Ravens lead backup receiver in 2013. Provided he wins that role, he is worth stashing on your dynasty roster given Jacoby Jones’ limitations as a starting receiver.
WR Deonte Thompson
(2012 WR Rank – N/A)
A 2012 undrafted free agent out of Florida, Thompson appeared in three games as a rookie, hauling in five of his six targets for 51 yards. The 6’0”, 200 pound speedster, who has been timed at under 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, will battle Tommy Streeter, Tandon Doss, David Reed and rookie 7th round pick Aaron Mellette for a spot on the Ravens depth chart at wide receiver in 2013. While offseason reports indicate that the Ravens are high on Thompson, he will need to have an impressive preseason to lock down the lead backup role behind starters Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones. If he does that, he is worth grabbing for your dynasty roster.
WR Tandon Doss
(2012 WR Rank – #132, 2.3 FPts/G; #137 PPR, 3.2 FPts/G)
Doss, the Ravens 2011 4th round pick, has done precious little as a receiver during his first two years in the league, failing to catch a pass as a rookie and hauling in just seven of his 17 targets for 123 yards and a score last season. While offseason reports indicate that Doss ran as the team’s third receiver, it won’t be a surprise if he is relegated to a special teams role in 2013 given the superior upside of his competition for a roster spot.
WR David Reed
(2012 WR Rank – #153, 6.9 FPts/G; #152 PPR, 5.8 FPts/G)
In three seasons, the Ravens 2010 5th round pick has hauled in five receptions for 66 yards – all of it in 2012. Why is this guy even worthy of a player outlook, you are asking? Well, it’s not like the Ravens have a proven backup amongst their wide receiver depth chart other than Jacoby Jones but Jones is penciled in to start. That opens the door a tiny crack for Reed to emerge.
TE Dennis Pitta
(2012 WR Rank – #7, 6.8 FPts/G; #8 PPR, 10.6 FPts/G)
It took the Ravens a while but in 2012 they finally figured out that Pitta should be their preferred option as a receiving tight end ahead of the higher drafted Ed Dickson. While Pitta is hardly the athletic marvel that some of the league’s top tight ends are, he had a solid season as a secondary receiving option, hauling in 61 of his 94 targets for 669 yards and seven touchdowns – all career highs. With Anquan Boldin in San Francisco and the Ravens starting a pair of speedsters at wide receiver in Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, look for Pitta to do the heavy lifting on short and intermediate routes and that should lessen the inconsistent usage he had last season. With his target count almost assuredly to rise, Pitta ranks at the upper tier of the second wave of fantasy tight ends with very good upside.
TE Ed Dickson
(2012 WR Rank – #49, 2.0 FPts/G; #48 PPR, 4.0 FPts/G)
If there is any hope for Dickson’s fantasy prospects in 2013, it is that the team will move to using two-tight end sets as their base formation. Otherwise, it is pretty clear that Dickson has been usurped by Dennis Pitta as the Ravens main receiving weapon at tight end. After a solid 2011 season with 54 receptions for 528 yards and five touchdowns replacing Todd Heap, Dickson crashed landed in 2012, seeing his production plummet to 21 receptions for 225 yards and no touchdowns. He is best left on the waiver wire in 2013 redraft leagues but could be worthy of a roster spot in larger dynasty leagues given his talent level.