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What I Learned – 2020 Baltimore Ravens Fantasy Team Preview: Lamar Jackson Regression Predictions Overblown
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This is a preview article from our Team Outlook series. If you are already a FullTime Fantasy subscriber, click here to read the expanded outlook.Unlock premium access to the full outlook by subscribing to FullTime Fantasy where we will help you dominate with our Draft Kit, customized rankings, expert consensus rankings, Preseason Pro, Advanced ADP, Premium forums to ask our experts unlimited questions 24/7 & more. Check us out! Click here to subscribe now by Saturday, August 1st using promo code TD30 for 30% off your first two months!Coaching StaffJohn Harbaugh returns for his 12th season as head coach for the Baltimore Ravens. He has a 118-74 record with eight playoff berths and one Super Bowl title. The Ravens improved in each of the previous four years while setting a career-high in wins (14) in 2019. Harbaugh has one losing season in his career (5-11 in 2015). Last year Baltimore moved to second yards gained and first in points scored (531). They scored 142 more points than in 2018 (389). Before Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback, the Ravens went 20 seasons without a top ten offense.Greg Roman returns for his second year as the offensive coordinator after spending the last two seasons as the offensive assistant and assistant head coach for the Ravens. He led the offense of San Francisco and Buffalo over six seasons from 2011 to 2016. His strength is running the ball based on two top finishes in rushing yards for the Bills in 2015 and 2016 while ranking highly in his last three seasons with the 49ers (4, 3, and 4). Baltimore led the NFL in rushing in 2019. Ramon has never finished higher than 23rd in passing yards while delivering about league average passing TDs in most years before 2019 (36 passing TDs).Over the last two years, Baltimore ranked first and fourth in yards allowed by their defense. They allowed 282 points (3rd) in 2019 and 287 points (2nd) in 2018.The Ravens brought back Don Martindale for a third year after spending the previous five seasons in Baltimore as the linebackers coach. Martindale has 15 years of NFL coaching experience highlighted by his 2010 season when he had his first shot at being a defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. The Ravens ranked in the top 12 in defensive yards allowed over the last seven seasons.QuarterbacksLamar Jackson (RANK – ADP)Jackson gave fantasy owners an electric ride in 2019. Heading into last year, a 1,000+ yards rushing and over 3,000 yards passing were reasonable expectations for Jackson. His edge/breakthrough came in his 36 passing TDs, especially when considering his low pass attempts (26.7 per game) and overall weakness in production at wide receiver (115/1,419/17). There is no QB in history with more value as a runner (176/1,206/7 in 2019), and his success as a passer should continue to grow. Baltimore wants to run the ball, and defenses should have a better plan to slow him down with a full offseason to watch his tape. Winning player with a unique skill set for the QB position, but his reliance on the run puts him at more risk than most QBs. I expect regression in passing TDs based on overall passing chances and his questionable options at the wide receiver position. It would also be difficult for Jackson to repeat his value in the run game. In his initial projections, I have Jackson projected to gain 4,187 combined yards with 34 touchdowns.Running BacksMark Ingram (RANK – ADP)In a way, Ingram overachieved his opportunity (15.2 touches per game) in fantasy points (244.50 FPPG in PPR leagues – 9th) thanks to a high volume of touchdowns (15). His catch rate (89.7) commands more chances, but age (30) isn’t on his side. Last year the Ravens’ RBs rushed for 2,029 yards on 399 carries with 14 TDs and reasonable value in the passing game (84/723/1). Ingram scored ten of his TDs on the road. This year he’ll be in a four-way split for touches with J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill. Possible value early in the year while losing touches in the most significant moments of the year. Fade for me.His early projections come to 1,062 combined yards with eight TDs and 24 catches.J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards & Justice HillTo read the full outlook, subscribe now by Saturday, August 1st using promo code TD30 for 30% off your first two months!Wide ReceiversMarquise Brown (RANK – ADP)Brown may not have lived up to his first-round billing in his rookie season, but his skill set is what the Ravens lacked in their passing game. He played through an ankle injury most of the year, which limited his practice reps while missing two games. Brown caught the Dolphins off guard in Week 1, leading to an impact game (4/147/2). Over his final ten games, including the playoffs, he had four targets or fewer in eight contests. His season ended on a high note (7/126). The Ravens are a running team, and they will play from the lead in many games. Browns should only get better, but his opportunity can’t push much higher than a WR3. His next stop should be over 60 catches with a run at 1,000 yards and some growth in TDs. Miles Boykin & Devin DuvernayTo read the full outlook, subscribe now by Saturday, August 1st using promo code TD30 for 30% off your first two months!Tight EndsMark Andrews (RANK – ADP)After two electric games (8/108/1 and 8/112/1) to start the year, Andrews had 48 catches for 632 yards and eight TDs over his final 13 contests. Part of his lack of follow-through was game score (Ravens playing from the lead) paired with a three-way rotation at TE for the Ravens (Nick Boyle – 786, Hayden Hurst – 468, and Andrews – 467 snaps). Boyle was the clear run blocker while Andrews shined as Baltimore’s top pass catcher. Hurst came into the league in the first round in 2015, but a trade to the Falcons should remove one option from the TE rotation in 2020. Andrews offers big-play and scoring ability from the TE position, and his opportunity should rise a minimum of 20 percent this year. His ADP (53) is more than fair if he does indeed blossom into an 80/1000/7 guy. Last year Andrews battled three injuries (shoulder – October, knee – early December, and ankle – late December). My initial projections for him came to 74 catches for 936 yards and eight TDs.Baltimore has the ninth-best schedule for their pass defense. They’ll have the most considerable edge in four matchups (WAS, IND, and PIT X 2) based on last year’s stats. Still, Pittsburgh should be much better passing the ball with Ben Roethlisberger back behind center, and the Colts should get some bump in passing yards with Philip Rivers starting at quarterback. Their two most challenging games defending the pass look to be against Dallas and the Chiefs.DefenseBaltimore dropped one notch to 5th in the NFL defending the run (1,494 yards) while allowing 12 TDs and 4.4 yards per rush. Ball carriers had eight runs over 20 yards with four rushes gaining over 40 yards. The Ravens finished 6th in passing yards allowed (3,315) with 15 TDs and 13 Ints. Quarterbacks gained only 6.6 yards per pass attempt while being sacked 37 times.In the premium outlook, on defense you’ll find write-ups for DT Brandon Williams, DE Derek Wolfe, DE Calais Campbell, LB Matt Judon, LB Jaylon Ferguson, CB Marlon Humphrey, CB Marcus Peters, CB Jimmy Smith, S Earl Thomas & S Chuck Clark.To read the full outlook, subscribe now by Saturday, August 1st using promo code TD30 for 30% off your first two months!Team DefenseThe Ravens want to stop the run to make offenses one-dimensional. By playing from the lead in most games in 2019, Baltimore controlled the clock with a terrific run game and forced opponents to pass to beat them. Their pass rush is trailing, but the addition of DE Calais Campbell does add an impact player to the defensive line. The Ravens should play well in coverage, and their linebacking core is improving. A top tier defense in the fantasy market with their upside tied to their ability to create more turnovers and show growth in sacks.Free Agency, Draft, Offensive Line, Offensive Schedule & Defensive ScheduleUnlock premium access to the full outlook by subscribing to FullTime Fantasy where we will help you dominate with our Draft Kit, customized rankings, expert consensus rankings, Preseason Pro, Advanced ADP, Premium forums to ask our experts unlimited questions 24/7 & more. Check us out!MORE FROM SI FANTASY