With the contract behind him, Lamar Jackson has the Ravens back in the AFC hunt. This time, he has the firepower around him. Let's draft them all on Underdog Fantasy with promo code 'UNDERBLOG' to match your first deposit up to $100. We have the biggest fantasy football tournament of all time ($15M) right now.
This team is ready to rebound. They were 23rd in injury luck, headlined by Lamar Jackson missing time. If that improves, we really should expect their 30th-ranked red zone TD rate to explode. And with a new balanced play caller in town with improved weapons, the Ravens' bottom-3 numbers in passing big plays should also expand.
Please note that these personnel stats will look dramatically different with new players and a new play caller...
1- or 2-WR Sets (1st in snaps, 87% of snaps)
WR: Rashod Bateman --> Nelson Agholor
WR: Odell Beckham --> Zay Flowers (R)
SLOT TE: Mark Andrews --> Travis Vokolek
INLINE TE: Isaiah Likely --> Charlie Kolar
3-WR Sets (32nd in snaps, 12% of snaps)
WR: Rashod Bateman --> Nelson Agholor
WR: Odell Beckham --> Tylan Wallace
SLOT: Zay Flowers (R) --> Devin Duvernay
TE: Mark Andrews --> Isaiah Likely
RB Usage (31st in expected half PPR)
GOAL LINE: J.K. Dobbins --> Gus Edwards
PASSING DOWN: J.K. Dobbins --> Gus Edwards
Offensive Line (Solid everywhere)
LT: Ronnie Stanley (returning solid veteran)
LG: Ben Cleveland (3rd year player)
C: Tyler Linderbaum (2022 Round 1)
RG: Kevin Zeitler (returning solid veteran)
RT: Morgan Moses (returning solid veteran)
Lamar Jackson is only averaging 20.7 fantasy points per start since 2021, but his 2023 setup is better than ever. New OC Todd Monken (remember the crazy Jameis Winston years?) will let Lamar have more freedom and play with more speed, likely leading to career highs in pass attempts and yards. More importantly, all three receiver spots are upgraded, and the OL returns most of their snaps. Lamar's rushing could be down a few yards based on play-calling, but the touchdown upside remains. He's one of four (4) QBs to average 23.2 fantasy points per game since his MVP season in 2019.
Mark Andrews was the TE3 and 64th overall player in fantasy points over replacement per game last year. The volume was there, but he scored just five (5) TDs compared to an averaged 8.7 scores in the previous three seasons. The difference was Lamar's health, where he averaged 12.4 half PPR points per game in nine (9) games with him to just 7.0 without him (5 games). Andrews facing the most target competition of his career by far. He also gets a more pass-focused offense and should be healthier after playing through multiple injuries throughout last November. He has the best odds of closing the Kelce gap.... He'll be complemented by 2nd-year athletic TE Isaiah Likely, who saw a game-high 13 targets in his lone start without Andrews. Likely will lose snaps to a better WR depth chart, but he has contingent value for the galaxy-braining best ball community.
There's uncertainty with the WR pecking order. Odell Beckham's (5'11/198) $15M is as meaningful of an investment for this year as the 1st round selection of Zay Flowers (5'10/172). Then there's Rashod Bateman. Lamar called Bateman his "WR1", and of the three, I'm most bullish on him. He has the size (6'2/210) to play in 1- and 2-WR sets, and he has a career 1.5 yards per route run. Bateman needs to get more physical, but he has big play ability. Beckham is hard to trust as a 31-year-old with two torn ACLs, though his 1.6 yards per route run in his final season matches Bateman's. In fact, I think Bateman and Beckham have a lot of overlap in their skillset. Flowers may be the odd man out, at least early on. His size is a risk. He could be typecasted as a gadget type of slot as a rookie, while Bateman and Beckham win on the perimeter. The Ravens were dead last in 3-WR sets last year, partly because of their old offensive coordinator but also because they have really good TEs and use a FB. Jones will need to straight up outplay Beckham or Bateman to be a fantasy asset.
In his five (5) games after his Week 6 ACL setback, J.K. Dobbins averaged 6.6 yards on his 70 carries. He didn't have his long speed yet either and should be in better shape another year removed from a very serious injury. That same injury remains a worry in general, but he opens as the starter in a high-upside offense. His issue is a lack of receiving work (1.2 catches per game) and a split at the goal line. The Ravens were 31st in expected fantasy points to their RBs last year for this reason. Dobbins is a volatile low-end RB2... He only had 87 carries last year coming off a torn ACL, but Gus Bus Edwards had another 5.0 YPC season. His $4.6M contract more than keeps him in the rotation and definitely leaves him with clear contingent upside behind a player with both injury and coaching disagreement histories. I like him as a sleeper.
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TE2 Mark Andrews (31.1 overall) --> Buying
QB4 Lamar Andrews (33.8) --> Buying
RB18 J.K. Dobbins (55.9) --> Mixing in
WR44 Rashod Bateman (87.1) --> Buying
WR45 Zay Flowers (88.8) --> Soft fade
WR53 Odell Beckham (111.6) --> Soft fade
RB59 Gus Edwards (188.7) --> Buying
TE28 Isaiah Likely (206.8) --> Mixing in