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2020 Player Outlooks: Baltimore Ravens



By Colby Cavaliere | 8/7/20 |

Lamar Jackson

QB Lamar Jackson
2019 QB Rank - No.1, 30.9 FPts/G

Last year in this spot I wrongly (VERY WRONGLY) assumed that Jackson would struggle to be an efficient full-time quarterback. For years NFL teams have taken ultra-athletic quarterbacks and tried to shoehorn them into more ďtypicalĒ roles as drop-back passers. Well the Ravens bucked tradition and instead of trying to change the player to fit the offense, they went ahead and built the entire thing around a generational talent. The result? A statistical season for the ages and perhaps a blueprint on how to build a team around a player who breaks the mold.

Twenty-five players attempted more passes than Jackson, but he still led the league with 36 touchdown passes, tack on another 7 on the ground, (to only 6 interceptions) and Jackson had one of the most efficient statistical seasons of all time. While throwing like a QB1, he also, not surprisingly, ran like a RB1, putting up a 176-1206 line (yes, thatís 6.9 yards per carry!). Think about that for a second. Jackson played so well that he could have been a top tier option at TWO different positions. Iíd love to see the numbers on the percentage of fantasy championships won by Jackson owners!

What can you expect for your Jackson investment in 2020? History says that repeating the ground numbers is going to be incredibly difficult. 2019 was a historical season for the former Heisman winner, and with teams better prepared for what the Ravenís want to do, his development as a passer, and the desire to keep him healthy, you have to believe some of his rush attempts will be trimmed. Oh donít get me wrong, Jackson will still likely double the rushing total of the next quarterback below him, but a simple regression in his overall efficiency has to be expected. The one giant early season advantage the Ravens have is continuity. With the insanity and uncertainty of this offseason, Baltimore will be far ahead in their preparation. I wonít be guilty of doubting Jackson again, so even with some regression in stats, his insanely high weekly floor makes him the No.1 quarterback on my board.

RB Mark Ingram
2019 RB Rank Ė No.8, 14.4 FPts/G

So while I whiffed on Jackson in this column last season in an epic way, I did call out Ingram as a great value pick; and that he was! Bouncing back to have one of the best seasons of his nine-year career, Ingram set a career high in total touchdowns (15) while rushing for over 1,000 yards for the third time. Part of an unstoppable backfield, Ingram provided the stabilizing veteran presence on an offense surrounded by young dynamic talent. Unfortunately for Ingramís 2020 outlook, that talent got even more dynamic with the drafting of J.K Dobbins in the 2nd round of the draft.

Ingramís final 2019 numbers look great, but the 5 receiving touchdowns prop up an otherwise lackluster receiving game. This can be partly blamed by design as the offense was way down the list in pass attempts, but Ingram still did sputter at times last season. Two early season games against KC in Week 1 and Miami in Week 3 provided 50% of his total rushing touchdowns (5) and the lack of receptions really hurt in weeks he didnít score. There are only so many carries to go around and the presence of a rushing quarterback like Jackson and drafting of Dobbins are going to further eat into Ingramís touches. While an easy RB1 in standard leagues last season, I think Ingram has to be viewed more of a RB2 in 2020. I donít see Dobbins taking over as the majority starter this season, but Ingram is going to need to hold off the explosive rookie as long as possible. Even if another 1,000 season might be off the table, Ingram still offers double-digit touchdown potential and will be a solid complementary piece for your fantasy team.

RB J.K. Dobbins
2019 RB Rank Ė N/A

As a Michigan alum Iíve seen enough of J.K Dobbins. As a matter of fact, if you live in Ann Arbor just look out the window and you might see the Wolverine defense still running around trying to stop him! I do take heart in the fact that Michigan wasnít the only school that couldnít lay a hand on the former Buckeye, as Dobbins laid waste to the entire NCAA during his junior season. The 301-2003-21 line would have been good enough to win plenty of Heisman Trophies in past years, and it would have been in 2019 if not for that Burrow fella.

Despite joining an embarrassment of riches in the Baltimore backfield, he does give the offense a home run hitter to pair with Jackson. With 4.4 speed and chart topping athleticism, Dobbins is going to instantly push Ingram for significant carries in this offense and it will remain to be seen just how long the vet can hold on. I can easily envision a world where Dobbins becomes the main back by the middle of the year and leads the way to a few fantasy titles. At times last season Ingram lacked the juice to squeeze through the holes in the defense left by the attention on Jackson. Dobbins will not be guilty of this. His speed, vision, and balance allow him to slip through creases and get down the field in a hurry. Iíd be surprised if you donít see a 50+ yard touchdown by Dobbins on a read-option by Week 5. Keep in mind, with low pass attempt numbers, and Ingram and Justice Hill being capable 3rd down backs, Dobbins has a serious lid on his receiving numbers, but heís a player worth considering as you move into the 2nd half of your draft. He can be an RB3 even in a time-share, and a RB1 if Ingram were to go down.

Gus Edwards
2019 RB Rank - No. 42, 5.5 FPts/G

Despite flashing a bit in the seasonís final two games, Justice Hill was largely left out of the rushing bonanza that Baltimore put on last season. Edwards meanwhile took advantage of some blow-out victories to secure a quality follow-up to his solid rookie season. Fantasy prospects for both of these guys were positive heading into 2020, that was until Dobbins fell into the Ravensí lap in the 2nd round of the draft. With that selection went any realistic hopes of Hill or Edwards being a fantasy factor this season, or beyond. Between Jackson, Dobbins and Ingram, there will only be measly scraps left for these guys. Itís going to take a long term injury or illness to pry them off the waiver wire.

WR Marquise Brown
2019 WR Rank - No. 46, 7.2 FPts/G

A dynamic debut in both the regular season and playoffs bookended a rollercoaster season for the rookie from Oklahoma. An offseason foot injury that lingered on into the year, Brown was never quite able to duplicate his breath taking 4-147-2 NFL debut in Week 1. A strong 8-82 line in Week 2 was followed-up with boom and bust weeks until a 7-126 line in the playoff loss to the Titans.

To say his rookie season was up and down was an understatement. During the most important part of the fantasy season (Weeks 13-16) Brown had three games where he COMBINED for 5 yards. While some inconsistency was expected from a route-limited rookie receiver coming off a foot injury, that was a painful pill to swallow.

A healthy off-season as the teamís clear WR1 should go a long way to improving Brownís second year numbers, as he becomes an integral part of the evolution of this passing offense. A large part of the reason the Titans were able to throttle the Ravens in the playoffs was the lack of Jacksonís ability to connect with his receivers consistently. WIth Mark Andrews bottled up, the passing game sputtered. An extension of his route tree, combined with his game-breaking speed and quickness, Brown is set up for a second-year surge. The rare WR3 with week winning potential, Brown is a player I want to own as many shares of as possible in standard leagues. With a slight uptick in passing attempts and continued health, Brown has a chance to catch 70 passes. This coaching staff has shown that they are willing to devise schemes to best match their players, and I see Brown having the type of talent and opportunity that could greatly outpace his current draft slot.

Miles Boykin
2019 WR Rank - No. 97, 3.2 FPts/G

Short of Brown getting hurt, or the Ravens suddenly transforming into the Run and Shoot, no other receiver on this team is currently worth a sniff for fantasy purposes. Boykin would be my first choice, as heís likely to start opposite Brown on the outside and with elite size and athleticism, he offers much more upside than the veteran Willie Snead. The reality is that Baltimore will remain a run-first offense and itís a numbers game for Boykin. Andrews and Brown will siphon off the majority of the targets, and while Boykin might make a few big plays to help the Ravens win games, heís not going to get enough opportunities to help you win yours.

TE Mark Andrews
2019 TE Rank Ė No.2, 9.7 FPts/G

I clearly did not give the Baltimore coaching staff enough credit when evaluating this offense last year. While people were laughing at Jacksonís struggles throwing the ball, and the team spending draft picks on the entire Oklahoma Sooner offense, the front office was quietly building a juggernaut. They identified the scheme they wanted to run, and went out and found players that fit it perfectly. Andrews was one of those guys. Strictly a ďmoveĒ tight end for the Sooners, Andrews was the Ravenís 3rd round pick in a 2018 draft that saw them pick another tight end, Hayden Hurst, in the 1st round.

While Andrews had a solid rookie year, the presence of Hurst made it unlikely 2019ís monster season could be possible. But it happened anyway! Andrewsís 98 targets easily led the team, as did his 65 receptions, 852 yards, and 10 touchdowns. His skillset proved to be perfect for the offense. A big body who glides in and out of his routes, Andrews took advantage of the attention paid to Jacksonís misdirection plays to gallop wide open down the field on many occasions. He was incredibly consistent on a low-volume pass offense, and his 10 touchdowns doubled almost all other players at the position in the top-5.

Unfortunately the Titans found the blueprint for stopping this offense, and that just happened to be stopping Andrews. Itís logical to think that the health of Brown, and need to develop the young receivers will eat into Andrewsí target share. But despite a slight regression in his numbers, Hurst was traded away in the offseason and Andrews is still the top option in this passing game, and an easy top-5 fantasy tight end.






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