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Ravens players ready to explode this fantasy season

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Here's a look at which Ravens players that may be ready for a big leap in fantasy production this season.

Bernard Pierce could wind up providing great value as a backup on your fantasy team.
Bernard Pierce could wind up providing great value as a backup on your fantasy team.

Everyone knows Ray Rice is a first-round pick. Torrey Smith is now a mid-round receiver since he'll be Joe Flacco's primary target at wide receiver.

The Ravens defense could wind up being a top 5 unit fantasy-wise based on its ability to stop the run and therefore force offenses into being one dimensional.

But there are some other Ravens players that you should keep on your radar as your draft nears:

RB Bernard Pierce: Pierce is a bulldozing running back that should be in line for more carries this season. He had 108 rushes for 532 yards and one touchdown in 2012, with the touchdown totals being an area where he figures to see an increase. Pierce could wind up taking touchdowns away in goal line situations, especially later in games. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is fond of Pierce's one cut and go style, making him a valuable backup on your fantasy football roster.

Estimated draft position (15 rounds): Fifth-Seventh.

QB Joe Flacco: Every year, Flacco drives the fantasy folks mad. Last year he threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns against New England and then for 356 yards and one touchdown a few days later against Cleveland. He followed those two performances with four consecutive games under 250 yards. This year could be different. With the Ravens signaling that the identity will be more quarterback-driven, Flacco could be in line to attack out of his preferred no-huddle. If so, the running game could wind up being a perfect balance to open up a group of young receivers. He could provide great value as a backup quarterback late in the drat.

Estimated draft position (15 rounds): 10th-13th.

TE Ed Dickson: He'll be widely overlooked since he hasn't been able to play in any preseason games this season. But he's on pace to start the season-opener against Denver and will be the No. 1 tight end whenever he returns. With Dennis Pitta out for the year with a dislocated and fractured hip, Dickson will assume the role of being the tight end split off the line and as a receiver. In 2011, Dickson had 54 receptions for 528 yards and five touchdowns. Injuries and Pitta's emergence caused his numbers to dip in 2012. He's even a guy you could probably snag on the waiver wire if you wind up hating one of your picks after the draft is over.

Estimated draft position (15 rounds): 13th or later.

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