Top 5 Baltimore Ravens Fantasy Players

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Top 5 Baltimore Ravens Fantasy Players

raven
Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of a Super Bowl Championship and will attempt the next to impossible task of trying to do it again in 2013. A lot of the keys members of that team are gone, leaving lots of new faces. There’s no doubt without perennial leaders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed that a new era is beginning in Baltimore. What does it all mean as far as fantasy football goes?

For years upon years, the Ravens were known mainly for defense. The transition into an offensive team began last year for the Ravens and they look to keep that going, moving forward. It may be a little difficult with the targets now on their back and minus two key targets from last year, Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta.

On the plus side, the Ravens are bringing back the great offensive line that ran roughshod in the playoffs, minus Matt Birk who retired. The Ravens also have an incredible running game with Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, and now big bad Vonta Leach to continue his role of destroying linebackers. It still remains to be seen who can step up in the intermediate passing game, but one thing's for sure: the Ravens have a ton of speed at the receiver position. Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, and Deonte Thompson can all blow the top off of any secondary in the league.

These five Ravens players are sure to have a great impact in the real and fantasy world of the NFL. Enjoy the show.

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5. Ed Dickson

ed
Richard Mackson-USA Today Sports

Even though Ed Dickson has a slight tear in his hamstring, he’s expected to be ready for Week 1. Had it not been for the injury, I would have him higher on this list. Dickson’s injury history should be a concern, so proceed with caution when drafting him. If Dickson can stay healthy for the year, he be solid in a very weak tight end class this season.

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4. Ravens Defense/Special Teams

dst
Mitch Stringer-USA Today Sports

The Ravens defense dropped off pretty bad last year, but I’m expecting an uprising for the group this year. With Elvis Dumervil and a healthy Terrell Suggs, the sack numbers will be up. The additions of Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Brandon Williams and a healthy Haloti Ngata will improve the horrid run defense from last year. Let us not forget that no. 1 CB Lardarius Webb will be back.

On the special teams front, Jacoby Jones will still be returning punts and kicks, he was good for four return touchdowns last year (one in the Super Bowl). Deonte Thompson, who saw some action at kick returner last year, could once again see some action there as well this year. Believe it or not, he's faster than Jones.

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3. Torrey Smith

smith
Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

Torrey Smith is really starting to come into his own and will now be the no. 1 receiver. Smith is insanely fast and has been improving each year in his route running. If someone like Ed Dickson or Tandon Doss can step up in the intermediate passing game, that should open up the deep part of the field more for Smith to work his magic. With most deep threat receivers, you got to expect a few duds from time to time. Smith should be a solid no. 2 fantasy receiver this season.

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2. Joe Flacco

flacco
Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

Joe Flacco has never eclipsed 22 touchdown passes in the regular season, which is troubling. Pitta and Boldin won’t be around as Flacco’s security blankets, which is also troubling.

What’s not troubling though is that Flacco is coming off of a historic postseason in which he threw for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions, not to mention winning the Super Bowl MVP. Flacco looks to be in total command in these early stages of training camp. Just like Torrey Smith, Flacco will have a few duds this season, but I expect the gems to outweigh the trash. Flacco will have great value as low-end no.1 fantasy QB

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1. Ray Rice

rice
Stew Milne-USA Today Sports

Ray Rice is still the Ravens' top fantasy football player. Always reliable for 1200-1300 yards rushing. Add around 50 catches for another 400-500 yards, and you got yourself some fantasy football gold, especially in PPR leagues.

Don’t worry about Bernard Pierce cutting into Rice’s carries. Rice will still get his and then some. Pierce getting more carries will actually be a good thing as it will keep Rice fresh and healthy, which will increase his chances for the big home run play. There’s also been talks of having Rice and Pierce on the field together more, which would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. It would be pure lunacy if Rice slips past the fifth pick in any fantasy draft this year.

1 of 6

Top 5 Baltimore Ravens Fantasy Players

raven
Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of a Super Bowl Championship and will attempt the next to impossible task of trying to do it again in 2013. A lot of the keys members of that team are gone, leaving lots of new faces. There’s no doubt without perennial leaders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed that a new era is beginning in Baltimore. What does it all mean as far as fantasy football goes?

For years upon years, the Ravens were known mainly for defense. The transition into an offensive team began last year for the Ravens and they look to keep that going, moving forward. It may be a little difficult with the targets now on their back and minus two key targets from last year, Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta.

On the plus side, the Ravens are bringing back the great offensive line that ran roughshod in the playoffs, minus Matt Birk who retired. The Ravens also have an incredible running game with Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, and now big bad Vonta Leach to continue his role of destroying linebackers. It still remains to be seen who can step up in the intermediate passing game, but one thing's for sure: the Ravens have a ton of speed at the receiver position. Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, and Deonte Thompson can all blow the top off of any secondary in the league.

These five Ravens players are sure to have a great impact in the real and fantasy world of the NFL. Enjoy the show.

2 of 6

5. Ed Dickson

ed
Richard Mackson-USA Today Sports

Even though Ed Dickson has a slight tear in his hamstring, he’s expected to be ready for Week 1. Had it not been for the injury, I would have him higher on this list. Dickson’s injury history should be a concern, so proceed with caution when drafting him. If Dickson can stay healthy for the year, he be solid in a very weak tight end class this season.

3 of 6

4. Ravens Defense/Special Teams

dst
Mitch Stringer-USA Today Sports

The Ravens defense dropped off pretty bad last year, but I’m expecting an uprising for the group this year. With Elvis Dumervil and a healthy Terrell Suggs, the sack numbers will be up. The additions of Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Brandon Williams and a healthy Haloti Ngata will improve the horrid run defense from last year. Let us not forget that no. 1 CB Lardarius Webb will be back.

On the special teams front, Jacoby Jones will still be returning punts and kicks, he was good for four return touchdowns last year (one in the Super Bowl). Deonte Thompson, who saw some action at kick returner last year, could once again see some action there as well this year. Believe it or not, he's faster than Jones.

4 of 6

3. Torrey Smith

smith
Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

Torrey Smith is really starting to come into his own and will now be the no. 1 receiver. Smith is insanely fast and has been improving each year in his route running. If someone like Ed Dickson or Tandon Doss can step up in the intermediate passing game, that should open up the deep part of the field more for Smith to work his magic. With most deep threat receivers, you got to expect a few duds from time to time. Smith should be a solid no. 2 fantasy receiver this season.

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2. Joe Flacco

flacco
Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

Joe Flacco has never eclipsed 22 touchdown passes in the regular season, which is troubling. Pitta and Boldin won’t be around as Flacco’s security blankets, which is also troubling.

What’s not troubling though is that Flacco is coming off of a historic postseason in which he threw for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions, not to mention winning the Super Bowl MVP. Flacco looks to be in total command in these early stages of training camp. Just like Torrey Smith, Flacco will have a few duds this season, but I expect the gems to outweigh the trash. Flacco will have great value as low-end no.1 fantasy QB

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1. Ray Rice

rice
Stew Milne-USA Today Sports

Ray Rice is still the Ravens' top fantasy football player. Always reliable for 1200-1300 yards rushing. Add around 50 catches for another 400-500 yards, and you got yourself some fantasy football gold, especially in PPR leagues.

Don’t worry about Bernard Pierce cutting into Rice’s carries. Rice will still get his and then some. Pierce getting more carries will actually be a good thing as it will keep Rice fresh and healthy, which will increase his chances for the big home run play. There’s also been talks of having Rice and Pierce on the field together more, which would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. It would be pure lunacy if Rice slips past the fifth pick in any fantasy draft this year.


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