Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How Will the Ravens Operate on Offense

Last season, the Baltimore Ravens passed the ball 560 times.  205 of those targets went to Anquan Boldin (traded to 49ers) and Dennis Pitta (injured).  Joe Flacco only threw 22 TDs and 11 of those went to Boldin and Pitta.  This season, Torrey Smith and Ray Rice are going to have to demand they become more involved in the offense.  Jacoby Jones is what he is, a deep threat that will get a few looks a game and Bernard Pierce is Ray's backup, not his equal!  And let's not forget, Vonta Leach is a free agent and no longer leading the way for the Raven backfield!Vonta Leach signed a 2 year deal to return to the Ravens. This is great news for Ray Rice fantasy owners!

If Baltimore wants to win, they will have to score more points.  There defense is going to look BRAND NEW without Ray Lewis (retired) Ed Reed (Houston Texans) Bernard Pollard (Tennessee Titans) Dannell Ellerbe (Miami Dolphins) and Paul Kruger (9 of teams 37 sacks) now a member of the Cleveland Browns.  They were in the bottom half of the league in defense last season with all them!

The Ravens did not draft a skilled offensive player until the 7th round of the NFL Draft when they selected Elon Wide Receiver Aaron Mellette.  They did little to help Joe Flacco this offseason and were forced to add Visanthe Shiancoe to the roster after Pitta was lost for the season.  It wouldn't surprise me if Shaincoe ended up wtih more catches this season than Dickson.  I had high hopes for Dickson coming out of Oregon but he has yet to reach 1000 receiving yards, total, in his 3 year career!  He did have a nice 2010 campaign with 54 catches and 5 TDs, but he averaged just 9.8 yards per catch.  It was just 3 seasons ago that Shiancoe caught 11 TDs for the Minnesota Vikings, after catching 7 the season prior.

Joe Flacco is going to have to rely on Tandon Doss as the Ravens 3rd receiver, a 3rd year wide out with just 7 receptions to his name.  Playing behind Anquan Boldin his entire career can only be beneficial to the Indiana alum.  While Smith and Rice should see a huge bump in targets, Tandon Doss has the potential to be a breakout star thsi season. 

Paying Joe Flacco what the Ravens did is looking like it is coming back to haunt them.  They had to trade Boldin and did very little as far as adding pieces during free agency to help Baltimore repeat as Super Bowl Champions.  Not that the Ravens were ever big on handing fantasy owners plenty of options, but the loss of Pitta and the depature of Boldin has left us with just Rice, Smith and depending on your league Pierce as players with any value.  Flacco is only worth owning in a two QB league.  I am not even sure you can draft their defense with any confidence.  Happy drafting!

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