The Ravens have a high-powered offense on paper. They settled the Lamar Jackson contract drama in the offseason. Baltimore brought in a first-round receiver and a former elite receiver in the twilight of his career. Let’s look at which Ravens you should own in fantasy football this season.
Quarterback – Lamar Jackson
Jackson is set to have a career year. Inarguably, he has the best weapons surrounding him in his career. With a revamped receiving core and a healthy running back room, less pressure may be on Jackson this year; however, I think that will be a good thing for Lamar in fantasy. He has shown flashes of being a very capable pro-style quarterback who happens to have elite speed. He may draw up less designed runs, but new offensive coordinator Todd Monkin will have Jackson spread the ball out to his playmakers in space.
The key to Jackson’s fantasy football success? Health. He has missed the fantasy playoffs two years in a row. If Jackson stays healthy, he will be an elite quarterback option. I project that he will finish as a top-six QB in 2023.
The QB Backups
Tyler Huntley may be the most valuable non-rookie backup QB in fantasy. The reasoning? Jackson’s health has been hit and miss over the last two years. When and if Jackson goes down, Huntley immediately becomes a startable fantasy option, especially in SF. If you own Jackson, make sure to acquire and hold Huntley. It may just save your season.
Running Back – J.K. Dobbins
Granted, it is concerning that Dobbins landed on the PUP list to begin training camp. The public hasn’t received much information regarding why, but it may be precautionary as the Ravens ease Dobbins back to action. When healthy, Dobbins is a dynamic runner, but Dobbins hasn’t had a clean bill of health as a pro. Could 2023 be his year?
More than a year removed from his ACL, I have faith in Dobbins (despite the PUP). I don’t, however, have faith in the Ravens allowing him to be a bell cow back. They may open him up with a new OC, but Dobbins never accrued over 50% snap count in 2022. I think Dobbins will end up in the low-end RB2 range, finishing between 19 and 24.
The RB Backups
Gus Edwards should be 100% two years removed from his ACL. Even if Dobbins doesn’t miss any time, I think Edwards could be in the 40% snap count area. Edwards is a viable bench piece to provide depth, and he could have serious 2023 value if the Dobbins’ health doesn’t hold up.
Next in line after Gus would be former league winner, Melvin Gordon, he may be a shade of his former self, but the Ravens have squeezed some solid games out of over-the-hill vets before. Gordon could get some run, especially if Dobbins or Edwards get hurt. He’s not a bad guy to have on your bench, especially at his current ADP.
WR1 – Zay Flowers
A closer look at an absurd route by Zay Flowers pic.twitter.com/bOpoxNVaV9— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) July 28, 2023
April showers bring Zay Flowers. He looks to explode onto the scene as a rookie. He’ll work primarily out of the slot, but Monkin will move Flowers all over the field. When in open space, Flowers is dynamic with the ball in his hands. I think he will finish his rookie campaign as a top-30 receiver.
WR2 – Rashod Bateman
Bateman landed on the PUP list to start training camp, which doesn’t bode well for the oft-injured receiver. When healthy, Bateman has showcased an ability to be a lethal deep-threat option. It may be difficult for him to hold onto the X-receiver role this season. While I think he can be an alpha-type receiver, with Odell Beckham and Flowers both capable of playing snaps in the X position and with Bateman struggling to stay on the field, it may be an uphill battle. I think Bateman will finish as a WR4, somewhere in the 37-45 range.
WR3 – Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham truly needs no introduction. Beckham is back after sitting out the entire 2022 season and recovering from his ACL injury. I would be surprised if he plays all 17 games in 2023. With an injury history long enough that Herman Melville could write it, Beckham is bound to have something crop up this year. Even if he stays healthy, he must prove to me that he still has it before I consider starting him. I think Beckham will finish as a low-end WR4/ high-end WR5. Somewhere in the 46-54 range.
The WR Backups
Devin Duvernay is the best-unmentioned receiver on the Ravens. Still, unless you are playing best ball and Duvernay’s sole catch for 80 yards and a touchdown in week seven will help you, I don’t think he will be fantasy relevant in 2023.
Tight End – Mark Andrews
Despite a disappointing 2022 campaign, Andrews still finished as the TE4 in PPR leagues. Andrews is easily one of the best tight ends in the league. I expect him to finish as the second-best tight end in 2023, but his floor is probably TE4 if he stays healthy. If anyone can dethrone Kelce, it may be Andrews, but I predict that’ll have to wait until 2024.
The Tight End Backups
Isaiah Likely is the best backup tight end in fantasy football. Despite his obvious talent, it will be difficult for Likely to be fantasy relevant without a Mark Andrews injury. If that occurred, Likely’s value and upside would immediately skyrocket. I have him ranked as a top-eight tight end (conservatively) for any game that Andrews misses.
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