WITH "THE FANTASY TYPHOON"
THE BALTIMORE RAVENS REAL LIFE AND FANTASY
The Super Bowl defending champion Baltimore Ravens are officially in flux. A lot of offseason hype and roster moves have been taking place in Baltimore. It is hard to win back to back championships in the NFL. Ozzie Newsom is a genius and you still have to trust that they will be a competitive team in 2013. In 2012 they let Cam Cameron walk in the middle of the season and replaced him with Jim Caldwell. Jim had never called plays before and the team got stronger and won the SHIP. Ozzie makes brilliant decisions so Ravens fans you have to trust the organization right about now. A lot of key personnel changes will make this Ravens team a whole new group going into 2013.
The Ravens operate one the more simplified offenses in the NFL, The Traditional Pro Style or Base Pro Offense. The majority of the 32 NFL teams run this same scheme. Its how football was meant to be played until a couple years ago. A lot of teams are now switching to a more pass happy scheme and are dropping the Traditional Pro. The Traditional Pro is designed to get the running back the ball and throw to the WR1 on passing downs with viable TE help. It’s not designed to have a lot of fantasy friendly personnel. This scheme is where we will find our 2 starting RB’s for fantasy purposes. These teams usually try and stack their defenses with superior talent so that the offense can play that “who makes the first mistake loses” type of match up. These are low stat producing offenses for the quarterback. The QB can be a top talent but they still won’t crack the top 10 for fantasy. It’s not the QB’s fault it’s by design. The focus in camp and preseason and even the playbook is designed to run the ball to keep this offense on schedule. Haven’t you heard “Hay diddle diddle Ray Rice up the middle”
The RB is the position that you want to target here for fantasy purposes. Ray Rice is the vocal point and the team is designed around him. Although Flacco has earned the big bucks this scheme could easily change in training camp or next year, but for now; I have to go with what they show me (I will automatically update if I sense any future training camp scheme changes). The RB’s in this scheme average 1,200+/7+ easily. This is considered top tier 1 production in fantasy settings. This is what you want. Actually you want 2 of these Traditional Pro Style running backs in your fantasy lineups on Sunday (I will reveal more when we get to the tier section of this draft booklet). These RB’s usually make better for standard settings because they don’t catch many passes out of the backfield. The concern that I have been hearing on twitter with Rice is the Bernard Pierce factor. While I love Bernard Pierce and I actually think he is more talented than Rice this is still Rice’s backfield. There are more carries to go around in this scheme than others so Pierce’s effect won’t be noticed like twitter is claiming. Rice is who you want to target in 2013 redraft formats. Bernard Pierce will be an overvalued handcuff in 2013 drafts unless Rice is injured. Make every attempt to select Rice while your league mates will worry too much about Pierce’s touches and let him fall to the second round. This is good news to you. DYNASTY – Bernard Pierce will overtake Rice in the future but you will have to be patient with this process. I easily see the Ravens letting Rice walk and rolling with Pierce when Rice’s contract nears end but that is another 3-5 years from now. As you can see during this offseason the Ravens will let you go in a heartbeat. The transition from this team being Rice’s to Flacco’s is happening right in front of your face. This means the offense will shift from a running team to a passing team in the upcoming years. Owning Flacco as a backup QB is not a bad idea in DYNASTY formats. The shift is coming and you’ve been warned.
The QB in this scheme is not who we want to target for our 2013 redraft championship rosters. His duties mainly entail in handing the ball off to the RB and managing the game. Think Josh Freeman, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel (KC) because these are also Traditional Pro-Style Offense QB’s. With that being said I will not waste a lot of space on Joe Flacco because I covered him enough above. The average QB season ending stats is 3,700+/22+ this is not top tier QB numbers. Let your league mates draft Flacco or use him for back up duties.
The WR 1 in this scheme is who you want to target for your 2013 drafts. Passes are rarely thrown in this scheme but when they are the WR1 is the target. The WR 1 has to be able to run the complete route tree. He has to be able to beat the consistent double coverage that the defenses will be giving him. This worries me about Torrey Smith. The complete route tree and beating the double team consistently is NOT showing up on film. Now that Anquan Boldin is gone Torrey HAS to step up his route running and double team skills. Trust me he will be given EVERY OPPORTUNITY to prove his worth but can he do it. This situation is the one to watch this year in Baltimore especially if they sign a route running rookie. The WR 1 in this scheme is a 1,000+/6+ position (which is WR2 value for you on Sunday) but Torrey has yet to be a 1,000 yard receiver. He’s getting the TD’s but leaving a lot of receiving yards left on the field. DYNASTY – I am concerned for Torrey Smith going forward. He could come through but it’s been 2 years already. Well, in most cases the 3rd year for receivers is the breakout year. It could very easily be that for Torrey just keep your eyes open. Watch this rookie draft closely. I will give the word through my weekly “Wake of the week” emails to give you the heads up if and when it’s time to bail out. As for now carry on.
The WR2 on this team is Jacoby Jones. He’s not on our draft radar. This will be a real training camp battle this year. This is something to watch folks. Usually roster spots are given more than earned in the NFL. This one will be earned though. You have Jacoby Jones, Tommy Streeter, and Tandon Doss all applying for WR 2 duty (and maybe even WR1 duty). Before I can give you my synopsis I have to first review more tape on these receivers. I can tell you this much, I don’t like Jacoby Jones chances. The WR2 spot is fantasy worthy in this scheme but only as a WR3 on your roster. Like I said earlier this situation is different that all of the other WR2’s in the Traditional Pro-Style Offense. There are just too many receiver question marks for me at this point and time for the Ravens. I am almost certain that Ozzie will draft a top notch receiver in this draft. I just have to say “WHO KNOWS” at this point. I try not to speculate because speculation loses you games on Sunday but I will certainly find out.
The TE in this scheme is viable in fantasy. Especially as far as the Ravens are concerned. The shortcomings of Torrey blended with the question marks of Jacoby Jones and Tommy Streeter coming into camp leave this offense wide open for Dennis Pita in 2013. He could post 850+/8+ this season which is high tier 2 fantasy value. This makes Pita fantasy championship roster worthy. Pita should be a late round gem this season. DYNASTY- While the team is transitioning from Anquan a lot of targets are going to come to Pita this year. He’s talented enough to beat his man and get separation and he already has the trust from Flacco. The only thing in dynasty is once they get their 2 WR situation worked out Pita will fall back to tier 3 production. Buy low now and I will let you know when to sell high. “THE ART OF DOMINANCE” CLICK HERE.
ROOKIE DRAFT WATCH AND TRAINING CAMP BATTLES
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As you can see the RB position is the only one that has no question marks behind it. No training camp controversy whatsoever. If you hear that Bernard Pierce is blah, and doing blah don’t react. It’s Rice’s team, for now. One thing is clear is the WR’s for the future of the Ravens are in flux. The loss of Anquan Boldin was HUGE. This could go numerous ways. Tommy Streeter could be the man (DYNASTY), Torrey could man up, or a rookie could come into camp and snatch the #1 duties (DYNASTY ROOK DRAFTS) and make Smith a deep threat only. I know one thing, I do not expect Jacoby Jones to get it done. Remember that Torrey will be given the next 2 years to man up and this is not a training camp battle no matter what type of training camp chatter you hear. The true training camp battle in Baltimore will be for the #2 duties and the slot.
FANTASY DRAFT WATCH 2013
QB Joe Flacco – 3,700+/22+ - Tier 3-4 production. Not on our target list.
RB Ray Rice – 1,200+/7+ – This is your guy mainly in standard. You may catch him in round 2 as the Bernard Pierce news gets louder.
WR Torrey Smith - 1,000+/6+ - Target for 2013 only and my tier ranking will tell you when and where to draft him.
TE Dennis Pita– 850+/8+ Top tier 2 TE production in 2013. The future is still up in the air Dynasty owners.
PK Justin Tucker - Excellent kicker and can be had in the last round.