The Baltimore Ravens are in the midst of a transition offensively now that Torrey Smith plays elsewhere and the injured Dennis Pitta doesn't play. Then again, the rock solid Joe Flacco still lives in Charm City, as do some other interesting options for fantasy football this season.
JOE FLACCO – Flacco quietly had the best season of his career in 2014. He racked up 3,986 passing yards and 27 touchdowns while throwing just 12 interceptions. Flacco and the Ravens benefitted substantially from the improved rushing attack led by Justin Forsett and a blast-from-the-past season from newly acquired veteran receiver, Steve Smith Sr. Throughout his career, Flacco has been a fairly consistent quarterback compiling about 21 touchdowns each season. With the loss of Torrey Smith, there’s no reason to think Flacco will have a breakout year in 2015. Look for Flacco to throw for more than 3,500 yards and about 20 touchdowns. Flacco isn’t a guy you target, he’s the quarterback that falls to you if you value position players more. “The Machine” projects Flacco as a sixth round pick and the 12th ranked quarterback, right behind Philip Rivers.
JUSTIN FORSETT – Forsett enjoyed an unexpected breakout year in 2014. It was the first time since 2010 that Forsett carried the ball more than 100 times and he made the most of it. With 235 carries, Forsett rushed for 1,266 yards and found the end zone eight times. Although he may not rush for 1,200 yards again, expect Forsett to continue to be successful on the ground and for you fantasy team. No need to worry about backups because there are no real threats behind him and he may even record a receiving touchdown. Look for him to come close to 1,000 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. “The Machine” projects Forsett as a fourth round selection.
STEVE SMITH SR. – With Torrey Smith in San Francisco, Smith Sr. will be the No. 1 option in Baltimore. Even though Smith Sr. achieved 1,065 yards receiving in 2014, he failed to eclipse 100 yards receiving in the final 10 games. It’s hard to predict what Smith Sr. will accomplish. The 36-year-old receiver has shown he still has some left but when will the drop off occur? If you’re interested in Smith Sr., make sure he acts as your No. 2 fantasy receiver. Look for him in round seven. He has a good chance to make a splash in fantasy news this season, as it is his last year before retiring.
BRESHAD PERRIMAN – Rookie receiver, Breshad Perriman, will look to make a major impact in his first season. Perriman was drafted 26th overall by the Ravens and is expected to be the No. 2 option behind Steve Smith Sr. In his last year at UCF, Perriman caught 50 passes for 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns. He gives Flacco a nice option, standing six-foot-two-inches and possessing 4.2 forty speed. “The Machine” projects Perriman to be selected in the 10th round, which could be a major steal.
MAXX WILLIAMS – Williams was taken by the Ravens in the second round of this years’ draft. He stands at six-feet-four-inches and was able to score eight times in 2014 for the Golden Gophers. Williams hopes to give Flacco a much needed target. Flacco hasn’t had much success with any tight end other than Dennis Pitta who is recovering from another hip injury. Take the “wait-and-see” approach with Williams. If he impresses you enough in the early going, give him a chance. Although I’m sure you’ll be able to find a better option, even in deeper leagues.
DENNIS PITTA – In sporting news, Pitta is recovering from another hip injury and will begin the season on the PUP list. Pitta hasn’t been able to play in more than four games since 2012 where he gained nearly 700 yards and seven touchdowns. If Pitta can make it back onto the field in 2015, he presents an interesting option if you’re weak at tight end. Flacco and he have undeniable chemistry but who knows how Pitta will be after to major hip injuries. In most leagues Pitta won’t be on anyone’s radar, but he could be a sleeper in the deepest of leagues.