Remember the days when the Ravens were one of the worst teams in terms of fantasy football production? I was always the one to pity-draft Joe Flacco and hold hope that he’d be better than his usually-mediocre self. However, the 2012 Super Bowl MVP failed to average more than 16.4 fantasy points per game, which was his career high in 2014.
Arguably one of the best fantasy players in Ravens history was Ray Rice. For a number of consecutive years, Rice was a Top-10 fantasy running back as well as a surefire first-round pick in fantasy drafts. However, injuries and his infamous domestic violence incident abruptly ended his career. Anquan Boldin, though a decent fantasy player, truly showed his dominance in the playoffs and big games rather than on a weekly basis during the regular season.
Long story short, the Ozzie-era failed to produce consistent fantasy production. Both on a weekly as well as annual basis, Ravens players were unreliable in a dynasty setting.
However, in a matter of two years, the Ravens have transitioned to become one of the top NFL teams with players that consistently produce in a fantasy setting. Not only do they put up serious points, but demonstrating such talent at such a youthful age allows for dynasty owners to see consistent production from the same players year to year.
For those who aren’t familiar, the difference between regular fantasy football and dynasty-style fantasy football is that in a dynasty setting, the owner retains the same players for the following year. For example, if a dynasty owner drafted Lamar Jackson heading into his rookie season, that owner could stash Jackson for the year, retain him for the following season, and reap the benefits of drafting a developmental project who became the top player in all of fantasy football. A player’s age, injury history, and future career outlook are the primary factors that determine a player’s value in a dynasty league.
With an extremely talented and youthful offense as well as an injection of talent through this year’s draft, the arrow is pointing up for Ravens players in dynasty leagues. Here are my power rankings for Ravens players in a dynasty-style league.
No. 10: RB Justice Hill
Justice Hill, who played a scat-back type role in his rookie season, showed inexperience yet flashed his ability as a runner with breakaway speed. As of now, Hill will enter the running back room as possibly the 4th option for touches. It will be interesting to see if his role expands within the offense or if he bears the brunt of garbage-time carries. Though I really admire his play-style, he is behind three very talented running backs in Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram, and the newly drafted J.K. Dobbins — J.K. Dobbinsall of whom fit the ground and pound style of the Ravens’ offense. Barring an uptick in playing time or a trade to another team, Hill’s fantasy value remains low at the moment.
No. 9: WR James Proche
James Proche, who was one of the most productive wide receivers in all of college football for the past two years, will have an opportunity to showcase his sure hands and knack for reeling in tough balls during his rookie season. The sixth-round draft pick out of SMU could potentially compete for an all-but-decided No. 2 receiver spot.
Assuming that Devin Duvernay spends most of his time in the slot along with Willie Snead IV, the No. 2 receiver job could be battled between Proche and Miles Boykin. It could be a bit difficult for a rookie like Proche to immediately step into a prominent role of within the offense and expect to consistently produce, but I do like his potential as a draft and stash type of player who would emerge after his rookie season.
No. 8: WR Miles Boykin
Although I like Proche’s potential more so than Boykin’s, a year of experience may just be what gives Boykin the best shot at being the No. 2 receiver. Boykin failed to consistently produce as a rookie but flashed big-play potential at times. Boykin will have the very first crack at the starting receiver job alongside Marquise Brown. At the same time, a number of young and hungry playmakers are vying for the same job. I foresee the Ravens using a receiver-by-committee approach as they did last year.
Just as Boykin and Seth Roberts split time along the outside, the same could be done with Boykin and Proche. I believe Boykin will receive more snaps early on, but it is unknown how we will produce as his sample size during last season wasn't extensive or extremely impressive. Boykin is definitely wild card this year.
No. 7: RB Gus Edwards
Gus Edwards may be one of the most underrated running backs in the NFL. He consistently flew under the radar in 2019 and yet managed to rush for 711 yards in addition to the superb rushing stats of Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram. Unfortunately, the big bruiser finds himself in a bit of an odd position heading into next season. With J.K. Dobbins as the young upstart and future of the running back position for the Ravens, in addition to the return of Ingram, Edwards may have a hard time finding carries for himself. That being said, it may be smart for dynasty owners to keep Edwards despite being in a crowded backfield at the moment.
The former undrafted free agent is entering his contract year where he will be a restricted free agent next offseason. Assuming that Dobbins and Ingram thrive together, the Ravens may decide to move on from Edwards. If he receives a sizable contract offer sheet, the Ravens may be reluctant to match as they will need all money possible to extend or re-sign their stars. Don't be surprised if Edwards is signed to be a starting running back after the 2020-21 season.
Though his fantasy value is relatively low right now, the 25-year old has a very bright future ahead of him.
No. 6: WR Devin Duvernay
I love Devin Duvernay’s potential in the Ravens’ offense. Although his route-running, precision, and ability to get open all need work, Duvernay’s speed paired with his running back-type build will make him dangerous in the open field. With Willie Snead as the incumbent slot receiver heading into next year, it’s unclear what Duvernay’s role will look like. That being said, I envision Greg Roman trying to get the ball in Duvernay’s hands whether it be through jet sweeps, screen passes, short drag routes, etc.
With little time to receive advice and critique from coaches as well as the absence of practice reps, I expect that Duvernay’s involvement in the offense will allow him to cater to his strengths. Duvernay may not have the highest of ceilings for his rookie season, but he will play an integral role within the offense as he gains more experience and begins to understand the nuances of the receiver position. For a dynasty league, Duvernay would be a wonderful draft-and-stash type of player.
No. 5: RB Mark Ingram
Here’s where dynasty league value differs from regular fantasy league value. My main question with Mark Ingram is this: How many good years does he have left in him? Ingram will undoubtedly start out as the top running back heading into the regular season, but in a crowded backfield, there will be less carries to go around for him.
From a team standpoint, this makes sense. Ingram faltered toward the end of last season and his presence was clearly missed. The Ravens sought to prevent that from happening again, which prompted the drafting of Dobbins. Consequently, no one running back will be the bell-cow. Unfortunately for Ingram, with four mouths to feed in the backfield, he could see his fantasy production dip, especially if Dobbins eventually emerges as the top running back on the team. I foresee Ingram being the top dog for the first half of the season but as Dobbins sees his opportunities increase, I could very well see him eat into Ingram’s carries — especially if the dog days of the regular season take a toll on Ingram.
Although Ingram is coming off of a career year, the talent behind him on the depth chart speaks to how the Ravens view the future of the running back position. While there is no doubt that Ingram produces this year, there is no guarantee that he plays out his contract with the Ravens, and fantasy owners should be wary of that.
No. 4: WR Marquise Brown
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is primed for breakout season. The now-healthy, playmaking speedster will enter the 2020 season with added bulk, more precise route running, and superb hands. Him and Jackson will look to continue to build off of their establish rapport and trust, which came to fruition against the Tennessee Titans in last season’s divisional round playoff loss.
The budding star will have every opportunity to establish himself as one of the best young receivers in the NFL. Good health and consistent play will be needed from Brown for him to do that, however.
What doesn't put Brown any higher than No. 4 on the power rankings is his game-to-game production. Depending on the flow of the game, Brown may not see many opportunities through the air. That, unfortunately, is a byproduct of a run-first offense. If chunk plays are coming from running the rock, Brown may not receive too many looks. Regardless of game flow, Brown has star potential at his position and will prove why come next season. Fantasy owners should definitely keep and look to start Brown, especially on days where he will have favorable matchups.
No. 3: TE Mark Andrews
The Ravens haven't had a legitimate franchise tight end since the days of Todd Heap. Then, Mark Andrews came along. As Jackson’s security blanket, Andrews is an absolute fantasy machine as he demonstrated a knack for getting catches, yards, and touchdowns. With the departure of Hayden Hurst, Andrews sits squarely atop the tight end depth chart and should expect to see an even larger role from last year’s.
Andrews will continue to be Jackson’s favorite target and his fantasy production will reflect their connection. Andrews is a top-five fantasy tight end and will remain as such for the foreseeable future. It’s also good to hear that Andrews will commit to playing this season despite the risks involved with COVID-19 and his diabetes.
No. 2: RB J.K. Dobbins
J.K. Dobbins is the future at running back for the Ravens. His running style caters exactly to the Ravens’ offense, and I predict that he will find major success as he gets more NFL experience under his belt. Although Dobbins may sit behind Ingram to start his rookie season, I expect him to capitalize on limited opportunities early on. As a result, Dobbins may receive a bigger workload towards the latter part of the season.
For Dobbins, it’s only a matter of time before he pops off and becomes a stud. Dobbins and Jackson will complement one another very well just as Jackson and Ingram were tremendous complements to each other last season. What puts Dobbins above Andrews on this list is his upside and potential.
As a glove-like fit in the Ravens’ offense, Dobbins could find himself as a top-five fantasy running back on an annual basis. Although it may not happen right away for Dobbins, fantasy owners should wait patiently because it’s only a matter of time before Dobbins grows to become an absolute force in the NFL.
No. 1: QB Lamar Jackson
Isn't it obvious?
Not only was Lamar Jackson the top fantasy quarterback last season, but he was also the highest-scoring player in all of fantasy football. Besides Patrick Mahomes, Jackson is the most valuable fantasy football player in that nobody can put up the volume of points that he can on a weekly basis.
If you’re a dynasty owner with Jackson at the helm, it’s safe to say that you will at least compete for a championship if a decent supporting cast is put around him. Despite being voted as league MVP, Jackson will continue to improve as a passer, which will only increase his value in a dynasty setting. In essence, if you have Jackson on your team, hold onto him forever.
Who should be higher on the power rankings?
This poll is closed
A. Marquise Brown
B. Mark Andrews
C. J.K. Dobbins
D. Miles Boykin
E. Gus Edwards
F. Devin Duvernay