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Baltimore Ravens 2021 Fantasy Football Preview

The Ravens have made an effort to improve their passing attack in 2021. Here's a breakdown of the roster for this fantasy season.

It has been a long time since the Super Bowl, and remembering exactly how things left off last year can be a challenge. So, I’ll be writing up a fantasy preview for each NFL team to give us a quick refresher on what happened last year, and what changes took place in the offseason. All fantasy stats will be in ESPN scoring format unless otherwise noted.

If I missed any change or left out any big notes, throw them down in the comments for me!

What Did They Do Last Year?

The Ravens went 11-5, avenged their in-season overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans by beating them in the playoffs, and then lost to the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round, 17-3.

The coaching staff, at least at the top, remains intact although several position coaches received promotions. Most notably, Assistant Head Coach/Pass Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach David Culley is now the head coach of the Houston Texans.

Quarterback
OVR
Rank
PlayerGCOMPATTYDSTDINTATTYDSTDFFPFFP/G
9Lamar Jackson152423762,7572691591,0057330.822.1
60Trace McSorley2310901051709.34.7
66Tyler Huntley2351500102302.91.5
67Robert Griffin III48144202126902.60.6

Lamar Jackson had a down year only in terms of what we’ve come to expect of Jackson after his first couple of seasons. Jackson’s passing production took a nose-dive in his second full season as the starter, and it seems that is something the team is trying to address with their offseason moves. More on this topic in the Wide Receiver segment.

Jackson is currently our QB4 with an ADP of 5.02, sandwiched between Kyler Murray and Dak Prescott. This is a huge discount compared to 2020, and this is one of the best high-end values at quarterback this year. I expect his ADP will drop as folks talk themselves in to Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers which would make the already discounted Jackson a must-draft.

Wide Receivers
PPR
Rank
STD RankPlayerGTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
3531Marquise Brown16995876981257.818311.44
8479Willie Snead134833432361.24.794.27.25
10094Miles Boykin133319266450.63.969.65.35
118125Devin Duvernay142620201027.11.947.13.36
155146Dez Bryant411647216.74.222.75.68
208205James Proche3311401.40.52.40.8

Baltimore signed Sammy Watkins after missing out on the more coveted free-agents who hit the market in 2020. While Watkins is no longer the fantasy darling we fell in love with oh-so many years ago, he is a talented wide receiver who will help a Ravens receiver corps bereft of depth. 

The Ravens drafted Rashod Bateman with the 27th pick in the 2021 draft. Bateman is one of Matt Waldman’s favorite receivers in this class. Waldman does some of the most in-depth rookie scouting each year for his Rookie Scouting Portfolio, and he does brief tape breakdowns on his YouTube channel (check out his quick video on Bateman).

Bateman has good size at 6-foot-1 and about 200 pounds. His skill set is broad, and he should wind up in the traditional X wide receiver role that the Ravens have lacked since… Steve Smith? Anquon Bolden?

Adding more traditional (read, bigger) receivers may take some pressure off of Marquise Brown. Brown is more of a field-stretcher than a traditional X, and giving him a few running mates may help him live up to his high draft pedigree.

Marquise Brown has the highest ADP of the bunch, going 9.08. Bateman is next at 13.08. Watkins brings up the rear at 14.09. All three present excellent values in a passing offense I expect to take a step forward in 2021. While I generally try to steer clear of rookie wide receivers, if Bateman’s ADP remains steady, I’ll be taking him in the 11th in every draft this year.

We don’t have any Ravens receivers ranked inside our top 48 this year.

Note: Devin Duvernay rushed 4 times for 70 yards.

Running Backs
PPR RankSTD RankPlayerGATTYDSTDTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
2618J.K. Dobbins15134805924181200146.59.8164.510.97
3728Gus Edwards1614472361491290119.27.5128.28.01
7571Mark Ingram107229928650046.94.752.95.29
124123Justice Hill6126005520081.3132.17
115124Patrick Ricard81-5012945181172.13

The Ravens rushing attack is one of the best in the league, due in no small part to Lamar Jackson. But the running back talent in Baltimore is an embarrassment of riches a-la the Cleveland Browns backfield, too. 

Mark Ingram has moved on the Texans after being phased out partly due to injury, partly due to J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards proving to be superior backs. 

Dobbins did more than enough as a rookie in a crowded backfield to show he’ll be a solid fantasy producer for years to come. 

The Ravens signed Gus Edwards to a 2-year, $10 million extension this offseason. The extension will keep Edwards in Baltimore through 2023. That $5 million bucks a year average makes the Gus Bus about the 16th highest-paid back in the league.

With what we’ve seen on the field, and what we’ve seen from the front office, it is ludicrous that Dobbins is going at the end of the second round and Edwards is going in the ninth. Dobbins is an absolute pass until about the fourth round for me, and Edwards is absolute buy from the fifth onwards.

Our staff rankings has Dobbins as our RB20 in .5PPR this year, though I have him down at RB27. I have Gus Edwards as my RB20.

Tight End
PPR
Rank
STD RankPlayerGTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
64Mark Andrews1489587017112.18170.112.15
5958Nick Boyle91714113223.32.637.34.14
107106Luke Willson2311201.20.62.21.1
126126Eric Tomlinson110000000

Mark Andrews is a stud who makes his hay in the part of the field Lamar Jackson likes to throw to the most. Andrews could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of an improved passing offense, and he’s lasting until the fifth round in early drafts. 

Buy Mark Andrews in the fourth round. Andrews is currently our TE6 for 2021.

Additional Notes

The Ravens have a middle-of-the-road schedule according to Warren Sharp’s strength of schedule projection. In the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-17) they face the Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, and the LA Rams. The Rams defense is talented, but with the architect of their stellar 2020 D now coaching for the Chargers, outside of Aaron Donald wrecking your game plan, it is hard to predict how good they’ll be. I’ll call this a plus schedule for the playoffs. 

The Ravens hired Rob Ryan as Inside Linebackers Coach. I miss having the Ryans in the coaching spotlight in the NFL, and hope to see Rob and that glorious mane move back to a position of prominence. 

What Does It All Mean?!?! (AKA – Bold predictions)

I don’t see how the Ravens coaching staff can’t look to emulate what the Bills did for Josh Allen last year. Baltimore already appears to be moving along that path with the moves they made in the run-up to 2021. 

The table may be set for Jackson to take a giant leap forward this year, and I am absolutely going to bet on it in my drafts.

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Thanks to FFToday.com for hosting such great stats info!

Thanks to TheHuddle.com for their great Coaching Change Tracker