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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Team Talk: Baltimore Ravens

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

Continuing on with the Team Preview series, it's time to head over to the hard hitting AFC North and take a look at the Baltimore Ravens. The last time we saw the Ravens, they gave the Patriots all they could handle in the AFC divisional matchup but for fantasy purposes, there was not much to get excited about in Baltimore. The biggest fantasy contributor last season was Justin Forsett and there doesn't seem to be much else in the way of fantasy value heading into 2015. Let's take a look at the Ravens fantasy football outlook for 2015.

Joe Flacco- Quarterback- Once again, Joe Flacco underwhelmed fantasy owners with a dismal 20.4 fantasy points per game. He passed for under 4,000 yards and threw for 27 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. To make matters worse, Flacco gave his fantasy owners only five games all season with 20 or more fantasy points. Heading into 2015, Flacco will continue to be a backup quarterback or will even go undrafted in shallower leagues.

Justin Forsett- Running Back- The only star on the Ravens roster last season, Forsett averaged 12.6 fantasy points per game while rushing for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns. Forsett even gave his fantasy owners receptions with 44 catches on 59 targets for an additional 263 yards. Fantasy owners can expect Forsett to be drafted this season after sitting on most waiver wires last season.

Lorenzo Taliaferro- Running Back- With three double digit fantasy points games in ten appearances, Lorenzo Taliaferro made some fantasy owners take notice. He averaged 6.5 fantasy points per game and rushed for under 300 yards with four touchdowns but could be showcased more in the coming season. Taliaferro should be a name fantasy owners remember whether it's late in drafts or as a waive wire add during the season.

Steve Smith Sr. - Wide Receiver- After being declared all but dead by most fantasy owners after departing Carolina, Steve Smith Sr showed fantasy owners that he had a little more left in his tank and began the season on fire. Smith Sr posted double digit fantasy points in four of his first six games in 2014 but managed to only post double digit fantasy points in two games after that. Smith Sr did finish the season averaging just under nine fantasy points per game and saw 134 targets while hauling in 79 of them for over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. Another year older, Smith Sr can still provide some fantasy value heading into this season.

Breshad Perriman- Wide Receiver- Figuring in as the replacement to Torrey Smith, the rookie out of Central Florida can easily make a name for himself with fantasy owners as he doesn't figure to see much competition with the current depth of the receiving corp in Baltimore. Perriman's college numbers made him a first round pick in this years draft as he finished his college career with 115 catches for 2,243 yards and 16 touchdowns. Perriman could be a flyer late in fantasy drafts this year if owners want to take a chance on a pass catcher late.

Dennis Pitta- Tight End- Another season cut short for Pitta as he only saw three games in 2014. While Dennis Pitta was playing, he saw 7 targets per game for 16 receptions and 125 yards. Most fantasy owners figured the production would be there but once again, Pitta could not stay healthy. Hopefully a season removed from the injury plagued 2014 will help bring Pitta back to fantasy relevance in a position that doesn't have much to choose from these days.  If he can't make it back healthy to the field look for 2nd round pick Maxx Williams to pick up fantasy value purely on opportunity, if nothing else.

D/ST- While clearly not the scary defense they once were, the Ravens still provide some value when it comes to fantasy football. Owners could use the Ravens D/ST as a bye week fill in seeing how they were a top 20 defense in 2014. The passing defense left a lot to be desired allowing over 4,300 yards and 21 touchdowns but the run defense was as tough as ever allowing only three rushing scores all season. Again, the Ravens defense is not the defense of old, but can still be helpful to fantasy owners looking to help them when their defense is on a bye or if they waited too long to grab a defense in their drafts.