The Baltimore Ravens defense will certainly look different in the 2013 regular season than in previous years with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed gone, which I’m sure has some players in fantasy football pausing in terms of selecting the Ravens’ defense. If anyone passes on the Ravens’ defense when it is time to select a defense, they are making a mistake.
I have seen leagues who have the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers in the top 10 ahead of the Ravens’ defense, which is a joke. What exactly have the Patriots and Packers defensive units done in recent memory to ranked so high? That doesn’t make any sense to me.
When you look at the Ravens’ defense, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil and the additions along the defensive line with Chris Canty, Marcus Spears and rookie nose tackle Brandon Williams have made very good impressions so far in camp and in preseason games.
The defense is starting to collapse the pocket like we have been accustomed to seeing over the years with this unit. Pairing Terrell Suggs with Dumervil off the edge provides the best set of pass-rushers the Ravens have had since Suggs paired up with Peter Boulware in 2003. The depth at outside linebacker is outstanding. Backups such as Courtney Upshaw, John Simon and Adrian Hamilton all have starting qualities.
This is a top-five caliber defense in fantasy football mainly due to their speed and physicality. In the secondary, you have an evolving duo with free safety Michael Huff and strong safety Matt Elam as both players can play either safety positions, something the Ravens were not able to do with Bernard Pollard to compliment Reed’s speed.
This defense probably won’t excite people like they have done in the past, but with the way this defense is looking, not much will get past them.
It certainly helps that this defense is facing the AFC East and the NFC North where outside of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, every other quarterback in those two divisions have question marks surrounding them. They are either inexperienced, or turnover-prone like Jay Cutler, Mark Sanchez, Christian Ponder and Matthew Stafford.
If you still see this defense around in the later rounds of the draft, don’t hesitate to pick them up.