Note: all points are calculated with PPR scoring
Team Reception Breakdown
Joe Flacco: 203.4 total, 12.7 ppg (360/550 passing, 3410 yards, 20 TD, 13 INT; 50 yards rushing, 2 TD, 2 fumbles lost)
The Ravens are largely the same team as last year. Yes, I’m aware that the receivers have had almost complete turnover, but functionally they are the same; decent with moderate depth, but calling anyone a headline talent is quite a stretch. More importantly, the 2018 Ravens are starting to look like the 2000 Ravens. The defense is coming together and looking absolutely formidable, and while there’s no Jamal Lewis, Alex Collins and Buck Allen looked pretty effective last year. With the classic ground and pound Ravens back in business, it’s unlikely Flacco and the passing game take center stage. Since Flacco doesn’t run well either, he’s not going to be prominent for fantasy purposes. He’s best left on waivers.
Alex Collins: 210.7 total, 13.2 ppg (250 carries, 1050 yards, 8 TD, 3 fumbles lost; 35 Rec, 287 yards, 0 TD)
Buck Allen: 151.0 total, 9.4 ppg (125 carries, 500 yards, 2 TD, 1 fumble lost; 50 Rec, 290 yards, 2 TD)
Collins had a real breakthrough season last year, but he still did not get involved that much on passing downs. Buck Allen split those with Danny Woodhead last year. With Woodhead gone, Allen should eat up the majority of the passing down work. The two backs will cut into each other’s work load a bit, but both appear to be pretty effective at what they do. It also helps that the Ravens appear ready to set back the clock to relive their 2000 season. Despite the split backfield, both backs should have relevance in fantasy. Collins should be a borderline RB2/3 while Allen should be a borderline RB3/4. The wild card will be Kenneth Dixon. He came in highly touted, but his career thus far has been derailed by injuries. He’s not exactly off to a great start this year either, but if he can string together a few healthy contests he might start working his way into the rotation.
Michael Crabtree: 182.3 total, 11.4 ppg (70 Rec, 763 yards, 6 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
John Brown: 146.5 total, 9.2 ppg (50 Rec, 725 yards, 4 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Willie Snead: 69.7 total, 4.4 ppg (30 Rec, 357 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble lost)
You’ll notice that not a single name listed here was on the Baltimore roster last year. That’s probably by design after such a disappointing season for the wide receiver corps. While there are definitely upgrades, you’d be hard pressed to call this a star studded cast. Crabtree fits the mold as the WR1 and should see the most targets and touchdowns. He should be a decent WR3 in fantasy. John Brown’s role is to stretch the field. While normally a low-volume role, Brown has drawn rave reviews in camp and may see more targets than your typical deep threat. The trick is that you never know when he’ll be limited by his sickle cell trait. He could make it into the WR4 ranks, but he is a risk. Snead will be the third receiver on a rather low volume offense. He will not hold fantasy value unless Brown or Crabtree is injured.
Hayden Hurst: 121.4 total, 7.6 ppg (55 Rec, 484 yards, 3 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Hurst is just the latest in a long line of highly touted tight ends the Ravens have drafted over the last few years. Can he succeed where the others have failed? Early signs from camp would indicate that he will. He will undoubtedly be limited as a rookie tight end, but he should be a strong safety blanket for Flacco after the departure of Ben Watson. He’s a decent late round flyer as a high-upside second tight end, if you’re into that sort of thing.