The Ravens are different from any other team in the league in that philosophically and structurally the team’s offense starts with the quarterback as a runner and not a ball distributor. By doing this it stresses a defense in ways they are not accustomed to being attacked, which then ultimately creates opportunities for those easy seam throws and one on one matchups on the outside that typically would never be there. These easy throws are there because no team is going to play with two deep safeties against this offense. The Ravens are far and above the most run heavy team in the league, running on nearly 60% of their plays in 2019. They led the league in runs on first and second down by a mile. By doing this the Ravens created a super concentrated passing attack that would see balls distributed to first Mark Andrews (TE) and then Hollywood Brown (WR). OC Greg Roman has said this off season that the Ravens plan to expand on what they did last year, as now with the schedule coming out teams facing Baltimore will no doubt already be game planning for the Ravens offensive tendencies. With the off-season program being done remotely for the most part will no doubt be problematic for Roman’s plan to expand however ultimately, we will get new wrinkles added to this Baltimore attack, that ranked first in total scoring last season.
Lamar Jackson (QB) – primarily in 2019 Jackson found success off play and run action. Roman did a great job in scheming these through different personnel looks, but the three tight end sets were the most productive in terms of these plays. Many of the designed runs for Jackson last year were made to look like zone reads to the defense, but they truly were not which is both fascinating and brilliant. Jackson by NFL standards saw some of the easiest throws to make, as highlighted above, but he was very efficient on those throws. Jackson does his damage on the ground as the run makes up most of his big plays. Jackson set the leagues rushing yards record last season on his way to the QB1 title, but regression is no doubt coming in 2020. This should not shock nor worry us fantasy owners though, because we know no quarterback who had a 9% touchdown rate will be able to sustain. Even with a regression in production of say 20% Jackson would have still finished 2019 as QB1.
*Fantasy Spin: Lamar is an elite option at the position. He should be one of the first quarterbacks off the board in all formats in 2020. We have Jackson ranked as our QB2 in both redraft and dynasty rankings just behind Patrick Mahomes. Jackson takes a seat behind Mahomes, especially in dynasty formats, because we have a slight concern in if this type of offense is sustainable for years to come. Jackson has shown that when the easy throws are not there, he struggles as was evident in the playoff game against the Titans last post season.
Marquise “Hollywood“ Brown (WR) – when looking at Hollywood’s rookie year we see a lot of promising signs to a bright NFL future. Brown entered the league rehabbing a Lisfranc injury which cost him crucial and valuable offseason experience that a rookie entering the league needs. Then throughout the regular season he was listed as questionable in 9 of 16 games, highlighting that he was far from 100% for 2019. Despite the injury setbacks Brown still ranked 11th in fantasy points per routes ran. Brown also ranked first in passer rating when targeted out of 75 qualifying wide receivers. Brown offers so much untapped potential entering his sophomore season, as he only played 58% of the Ravens offensive snaps last regular season when he was active. The Raven then chose to unleash Brown during the post season where he played on 85% of the team’s offensive snaps. Brown self admittedly played those snaps less then 80% and with multiple screws in his foot where he was still able to total 126 yards off 11 targets.
*Fantasy Spin: Hollywood is looking and feeling like he is due for a monster season in 2020. Brown is being looked at as a double-digit draft pick (WR33), and we feel this is a mistake. Target Brown in all types of leagues especially in best ball as he offers the best value/upside combo out of any other receiver in 2020. Brown could be on several championship teams in this coming fantasy season, so target him.
Willie Snead/Devin Duvernay/Miles Boykin (WR) – Snead will be the man to man the slot in 2020 s he enters his final year in Baltimore. Snead is coming off a 31/339/5 receiving line as he was down the pecking order in the Ravens concentrated passing attack. Rookie Devin Duvernay enters the Ravens team as the future at the slot position. Duvernay had a monstrous season last year for Texas after the team realized he is better out of the slot. Had the team not moved him inside Duvernay would have likely ended up a late day three pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Boykin is another receiver the team likes to use on the outside to utilize his speed. Last season in 12 games Boykin was able to find the end zone three times.
*Fantasy Spin: In dynasty leagues Duvernay is an absolute must target for us as Coach Harbaugh loves the kid. The head coach was excited when he was able to land him as he reminds him of Steve Smith Sr who he coached at the end of his career. Duvernay has that toughness the Ravens like as well as speed to match. Duvernay is the future at the position. As far as for 2020 redraft we can fade him as Snead finds himself ahead of Duvernay on the depth chart. Even with that Snead is not a very sexy pick unless in very deep leagues or a best ball flier.
Mark Ingram/J.K. Dobbins (RB) – Many were surprised when the Ravens took Dobbins when they did in this year’s draft, since Ingram is coming of his most productive season as a pro. In addition to Ingram the Ravens have had good production from Gus Edwards when needed as well as having Justice Hill who was penciled in as their pass catching specialist of the future. The thing you must keep in mind is that Baltimore is different from other NFL teams in terms of drafting as they always take the best player on their board despite need. This started when Ozzie Newsome was GM and it appears it will continue. Now Dobbins will figure to backup Ingram in 2020 before taking over in 2021, as Dobbins no doubt is being viewed as the future. This will be a two man backfield in 2020 where Edwards and Hill will be non-factors unless injury strikes Ingram or Dobbins.
*Fantasy Spin: In redraft leagues Ingram is the target as we have him as a mid RB2. Dobbins comes in at RB38 in our rankings making him a RB4 at best. However, in dynasty leagues Dobbins is a must target as we see big things coming for Dobbins as the man in that Ravens backfield starting as early as 2021. Dobbins is our RB14 in dynasty making him a borderline RB1.
Mark Andrews (TE) – The offensive scheme that we have discussed above has created a stud at the tight end position in Mark Andrews. Andrews last season quickly grew into Jackson’s favorite target. Andrews was hampered by injury appearing on the injury report most weeks with numerous injuries. Despite the injury designations Andrews was able to play through most of the injuries onto a very solid season for the Ravens. Andrewes is a fast-big bodies tight end who is superb at running routes, and now with Hayden Hurst in Atlanta could lead to even more production.
*Fantasy Spin: Andrews is being viewed as TE4 in many rankings, but we have him sitting at TE3 in our rankings. We have him ranked this high because his upside and consistency our above average. We feel him being drafted between rounds 6 and 8 is a crime and if you can grab him then good for you as that value is unbelievable. Now that Hayden Hurst is in Atlanta, he and Boyle are the only tight ends in town on a team that loves to throw to the position. Even with the success last season there is still a lot of untapped potential here with Andrews.
Defense – this unit was solid last season especially on the back end as it boasted a top five cornerback group. The defense then went out and added Calais Campbell to the front of that line to bring more heat to opposing offenses. The only area the unit was vulnerable last season was in the middle, as it was obvious the team was missing C.J. Mosely. That concern was addressed this offseason in the drafting of Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison who both figure to pay immediate dividends.
*Fantasy Spin: We view this unit as a top three unit entering 2020. Last season they allowed the third fewest points and are rarely put in a bad position as Jackson does not turn the ball over. The key off season additions as well as the team’s philosophy of controlling the game with the run all add up to this defense being near the elite tier. We have the defense ranked as our third best fantasy unit.
Strength of Schedule
The Ravens wide receiver corps will face the 14th toughest schedule this season. Their playoff schedule does get better as they are projected with the 12th easiest during weeks 14-16. Mark Ingram and company will be looking at the 11th easiest schedule during the fantasy regular season. The backs will have the projected 2nd easiest schedule during the fantasy playoffs. Lamar Jackson will face the 4th easiest schedule during the fantasy regular season, and the 5th easiest during weeks 14-16. Mark Andrews will face the 2nd easiest fantasy regular season schedule, and the 6th easiest playoff schedule from weeks 14-16.