Fantasy Fuel: The NFL has become a workplace on the hot seat for coaching positions across the league. Less than ten current head coaches have held their job in the NFL for over 5 seasons. And although the Ravens franchise has been around for less years than the age of the youngest NFL rookie - Oakland Raiders Amari Cooper - the Ravens have endured success on the field. Thankfully for Baltimore, John Harbaugh returns for another season as Head Coach of the Ravens - a job he's tenured since early 2008. He holds the 7th longest tenure among NFL head coaches, a position he does not plan to give up easily. Consistency makes a difference, but change comes with time.
Following the 2014 season, Baltimore traded away 5x Pro Bowl DT Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions for a late round draft pick. The worth of the move will be determined by Ngata's defensive play next season, but aging players have to move along for younger talent to arise. Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees will continue to run the defense. The Raven's D finished 2014 near the top of the league in points per game scored against them (6th), yards per game (8th), and rushing yards per game (4th). However, they averaged close to 250 passing yards per game last season, which ranked 23rd in the league. The secondary was clearly a weakness and may continue to be in 2015. Expect the Ravens to finish along the top 10 in fantasy defensive scoring.
Marc Trestman was hired to run the offensive unit in January this year. Largely considered a quarterback guru, Trestman does wonders for pass catchers. Look for Justin Forsett to have another solid year out of the backfield. The Raven's top WR Torrey Smith amassed 30 career touchdowns while never missing a game for the purple and gold, but as free agency goes, players move on. That was the case for Torrey Smith, along with his sub 4.4 speed, who is know venturing to the west coast to join the San Francisco 49ers. Too bad OC Trestman won't have T Smith to game plan with, but what he does have is aging WR Steve Smith who returns for another season as the veteran presence bringing sure hands to the field. Additionally, Joe Flacco has yet to miss a game for the team, but has found himself new weapons following the NFL draft. In round one of the NFL draft, Baltimore selected size / speed freak Breshad Perriman from University of Central Florida. At 6'2 with sub 4.3 legs, Perriman should secure the job running opposite Steve Smith. Pass catching TE Maxx Williams was drafted in round two and coming into training camp will stare down an open depth chart at his position. This could be great news for fantasy owners with preference in streaming tight ends. TE Maxx Williams should provide fantasy production during his first NFL season.
Lastly is the much overlooked position of Kicker where Justin Tucker continues to put up top 10 season performances. He holds a career FG% of 89% and has never missed a PAT. Of mention is his career long of 61 yards in 2013. He has the leg to make a major impact in leagues with bonus scoring. Overall, this team is not loaded with big-name superstar talent. However, they are stacked with potential for fantasy sleepers and streamable options.
Head coach: John Harbaugh
General manager: Ozzie Newsome
Offensive coordinator: Marc Trestman
Defensive coordinator: Dean Pees
QB: (1) Joe Flacco; (2) Matt Schaub
RB: (1) Justin Forsett; (2) Lorenzo Taliaferro; (3) Javorius Allen
WR: (1) Steve Smith; (2) Breshad Perriman; (3) Marion Brown
TE: (1) Maxx Williams; (2) Dennis Pitta
K: (1) Justin Tucker
2014 Win : Loss Record
2014 Offensive Season Scoring
Points per game: 25.6 (8th)
Yards per game: 364.9 (12th)
Passing yards per game: 238.7 (13th)
Rushing yards per game: 126.2 (8th)
Points per game: 18.9 (6th)
Yards per game: 336.9 (8th)
Passing yards per game: 248.7 (23rd)
Rushing yards per game: 88.2 (4th)
2015 NFL Draft Picks
Rd 1: WR Breshad Perriman
Rd 2: TE Maxx Williams
Rd 3: DT Varl Davis
Rd 4: DE Za'Darius Smith
Rd 4: RB Javorius Allen
Rd 4: CB Tray Walker
Rd 5: TE Nick Boyle
Rd 5: OG Robert Myers
Rd 6: WR Darren Waller