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IDP Fantasy Forecast: 2021 Baltimore Ravens

Justin Herrera takes a deep look at the Ravens’ defense – who are the must starts for IDP fantasy?

This article is meant to elaborate on the Ravens IDPs for the upcoming 2021 fantasy football season. Last year the Ravens defense was one of the best in the league, ranking second in the league in points scored against them. The team had 22 take always last year, proving this is an ambitious defense that you guys should want on your squad.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Derek Wolfe

Derek Wolfe makes the list, not because of his numbers last season: 51 total tackles, one sack, and two forced fumbles. Wolfe was selected because in his eight previous seasons in Denver he had 33 sacks. That’s not an overwhelming number, it’s something to highlight when talking about this defensive lineman. Derek Wolfe is a high-energy defensive lineman. There are plenty of plays where we see him get beat off the block and still run down a running back. This means that we’ll at least be able to count on Wolfe for some good tackle numbers next season. In 2020, Wolfe became a run stuffer who snagged six tackles for loss and should continue to be a force against the run in 2021. Overall, Wolfe wouldn’t be my first pick for a defensive lineman, but I’d take him as a backup at most.

Calais Campbell

Ravens: Calais Campbell hopes to reach lofty sack milestone in 2021
Kristen Wong-Fansided

The Ravens brought in Calais Campbell last season to be their rock on the defensive line. In 2020, Campbell had 28 total tackles, four sacks, six forced fumbles, and five tackles for loss. Campbell has a motor that makes him incredibly dangerous every time he’s on the field. His six forced fumbles and five tackles for loss show that Campbell doesn’t need to get sacks to be valuable. Another stat line that Campbell is proficient in is passes defended, he had six last season and his long arms have tipped a few balls that later turned into interceptions.

The one thing that is concerning about Campbell is his age and health, last season Campbell battled a calf injury that kept him out of five games. Campbell will be 35 going into the 2021 season and while he’s still a high-energy veteran, one has to wonder if his body will continue to be an issue. 

I’m a fan of grabbing Campbell in IDP leagues, but I’d make him a backup priority over a starter. This is due to concerns about his age and health. Campbell will offer you stats, and he’ll get good points throughout the season. He may not be offering huge weeks, but he’ll consistently produce for your team. At DL70, he could be a steal at that value in both redraft and dynasty drafts.

LINEBACKERS

Patrick Queen

Patrick Queen unhappy he didn't win Defensive Rookie of the Year award
Matthew Stevens-USA Today

Patrick Queen is the next generational linebacker for the Ravens, someone they can count on for the next 10 years. Queen put together a decent campaign; 106 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, three sacks, and an interception. He posted a 72.1 pass rush score based on Pro Football Focus’s scoring. The high-energy linebacker is a good run defender on tape but the energy is sometimes to his detriment. Last year he missed 21 tackles and had a completion percentage of 75.9 against him. Those are some issues Queen needs to clean up, but last year was his rookie year and he had no OTAs, minicamp, which is meant to prepare rookies for the grind of NFL training camp and season. I suspect with a full offseason to improve we will see a much better overall Patrick Queen.

Queen is a linebacker that is around the ball constantly and has a lot to like about him as a fantasy player. Whether it’s forcing fumbles or taking one back to the house, Queen is always making plays. He’s got potential to be a serious run stuffer, with six tackles for loss last season. Overall, Queen is a good addition to any IDP roster, and he’s definitely the most active of the Ravens defenders and will be getting the most tackles this year. Queen has the potential to have WR3 like games from the LB position in fantasy football and should be sought after, so don’t hesitate, just grab him.

Jayson Oweh

Drafted 31st overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Jayson Oweh out of Penn State will try to be the edge rusher the Ravens desperately need. Oweh didn’t put up great numbers during his college tenure, posting 63 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and seven sacks. He was by no means impressive in his senior year, going sackless.

His pro day was the most impressive part of his resume. He logged a 4.42-second 40-yard dash and an 11.10-second 3-cone shuttle test. While these are impressive numbers. they mean nothing on the field without proper execution. There’s no doubt Oweh is an explosive athlete, but he still lacks the strength and hand fighting technique that you desire in a DE/Edge player. We’ve seen plenty of athletes fall out of the league, but we’ve also seen some shine on an elite level. Only time will tell with Oweh, but being a first-rounder means he’ll get plenty of opportunities to prove himself. I wouldn’t grab him this year, but definitely keep him on your watch list.

Pernell Mcphee

Pernell Mcphee put up 34 total tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble in 13 starts for the Ravens in 2020. Mcphee is going into his 11th season in the NFL and has never tallied more than 7.5 sacks. While I’m not dismissing Mcphee as a player, I’m saying he probably won’t be relevant in 2021. His game is predicated on a couple of moves. He’s good at setting the edge against the outside run and he can bull rush against a lesser tackle. Overall, barring the Ravens upping Mcphee’s snap share from 47.8%, I don’t see Mcphee being worth a pick in any IDP drafts.

SECONDARY

Deshon Elliott

Elliott is a guy who really pops off the tape as a legit “game-changer”. Ask Derrick Henry, when he ran into Elliott and got knocked out of their week 11 matchup. By the end of the season, Elliott had put together a solid campaign with 80 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and four pass deflections. Elliott is another player on this Ravens team who likes being around the ball and popping it loose. His Pro Football Focus scores: rush defense (69.3), coverage (66.2), pass rush (55.5) and overall (66.6). Not bad numbers for the third-year safety out of Texas. Elliott is a punishing tackler who can put any player down, and force the fumble on the way down. He’s someone who doesn’t give up on a play and invites the challenge of open field one on one tackles.

Overall, when it comes to IDPs, I like to take players that I would take in real football. Elliot is a fearless beast on the field, which is why I’m encouraging you to go grab this guy in all formats. If you’re thinking twice about my take, watch him destroy Derrick Henry and then see how you feel.

Chuck Clark

The Ravens’ safeties remind us of the glory days and their Ray Lewis and Ed Reed run defenses. Chuck Clark is one of the few guys you want playing safety for you. Last year, Clark had 96 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, and a pick. He was all over the field, and with a 97.4% snap share it was made apparent that the Ravens needed him on the field. From watching Clark’s tape I think he’s going to get a career-high in interceptions this year. He’s a vulture on the field, always around the ball which is why he had three fumble recoveries last season. He also had four defended passes last season and a couple of missed interception opportunities that could be caught in 2021.

Overall Clark is DB26 and will be a steal for whoever waits to grab him in fantasy drafts. He’s a good player who is looking to step up and become a big-time safety this upcoming season. Guys with this type of potential scream, breakout season, so go grab Chuck Clark. 

Marlon Humphrey

Marlon Humphrey On Extension: 'Biggest Thing For Me Was Just Staying A  Raven' - PressBoxOnline.com
Bo Smolka-Press Box

Marlon Humphrey was a monster last year, forcing eight fumbles in 2020. Humphrey has a couple of good moves; the tackle and rip and the grab and punch. Both were incredibly effective and helped him have a standout season. The rest of his stats were 82 total tackles (70 solos), one INT, eleven passes defended, and four tackles for loss. Humphrey was great in 2020, and the Ravens rewarded him with a 5 year, 97.5 million dollar contract. I can see why too, Humphrey is the closest thing to a lockdown corner for this team. One thing to consider is Humphrey is only 24 years old and is continuing to get better every season. 

Humphrey proved last year that he is a premier corner in the NFL and an up-and-coming fantasy player. Marlon Humphrey proved he’s going to be a problem for whoever is on the other side of the ball. With a pass coverage rating of 77.6 on PFF, Humphrey is a tough guy to shake and a great tackler. Humphrey is a guy you want to take in all formats for IDP leagues. He’s a playmaker who can have games where he looks like a WR3 instead of a DB. Those kinds of games by themselves are worth the pick alone.

Conclusion

Last season the Ravens DST was ranked fourth, putting up 141 fantasy points in 2020. The Ravens have a very opportunistic defense with a secondary that had three players finish in the top 50 for IDP DBs. This team is loaded with players who are game-changers. Being one of the top defenses in the NFL means that you should go out and grab some of those players to put on your roster.

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