by Andrew Teuscher
Lamar Jackson: In 2021, Lamar Jackson had the worst, most disappointing season he has had since becoming a starter. He threw just 16 tds compared to 13 ints. He only played in 12 games and his team did not make the playoffs. Despite Jackson and the Ravens disappointing he was still the QB7 in ppg and QB15 overall. Because of Lamar’s elite rushing upside, he is guaranteed to be top 10 in ppg. In 2021 the Ravens were devastated with injuries in their runningback room and their defense which led to the Ravens being just 8-9. Typically we don’t mention RBs and Defenses for fantasy QB success, but they are extremely important for Lamar Jackson. The Ravens need their defense to be good so that they can keep running the ball in positive game scripts. They also need their great RBs to move the ball on offense. Lamar Jackson is an alright passer but he, the Ravens, and your fantasy team are at their best when the Ravens are running the football. 2022 should be a nice bounceback for the former MVP. Devin Duvernay taking the top off defenses with good speed and the emergence of Rashod Bateman should cover the production that Marquise Brown left Behind. Fire up Lamar as a top 5 fantasy QB this season.
JK Dobbins: JK Dobbins is looking like he’s on pace to be recovered and bounce back in 2022. It is slightly concerning that at this point we have not seen any hype videos of Dobbins running on a treadmill or any participation in OTAs thus far. The Ravens also signed Mike Davis which isn’t imposing but it means that either Edwards, Dobbins, or both backs will probably be eased into their workloads. Until we hear otherwise, though, all we have heard is that Dobbins should be back to start the season. Based on 2020, when Dobbins is playing football he is absolutely dominant. The Ravens’ lead back has game-changing speed and the BMI to have a full workload. He lead the league in YPC in his rookie season, rushed for 2,000 yards in his final college season, and does have the skill to catch passes out of the backfield. As long as Lamar Jackson is his QB, there will not be many receptions by RBs, but if anyone is getting those receptions it should be Dobbins. The Ravens are ready for a huge bounceback and their defense should help the team to constantly play with a lead. The team will likely be top 3 in rushing attempts because they have been every year with Lamar as the starter and they just traded away their top WR. Dobbins might get off to a slow start while recovering from his ACL tear and is hindered by the Ravens not involving their RBs in the passing game. Despite this, if Dobbins is healthy to start the year he is going to be at least a mid RB2 with the potential to finish as a back-end RB1.
Gus Edwards: Gus Edwards was briefly a very coveted option at the RB position after Dobbins tore his ACL. In a terrible stroke of luck, Edwards very shortly after tore his ACL too. Both backs should be good to go at the beginning of this season and Edwards will again be an elite handcuff option. The Ravens did pull Mike Davis from the old folks' home and signed him recently. This indicates that Edwards and/or Dobbins could be eased into the beginning of the year. Still, any competent RB running in the Raven's offense will be efficient. Gus the bus will likely be due for another 35% snap share which will make him one of the most relevant back-ups every week. Edwards is a top-end handcuff for 2022. He will get his share of touches weekly because the Ravens run the ball like it's going out of style, but he is just a bench stash or someone to prioritize off the waiver wire if Dobbins gets reinjured.
Rashod Bateman: Now introducing the Ravens WR1 that few people know much about. Rashod Bateman will be the top wide receiver on the depth after Baltimore shipped off Marquise Brown this offseason. Bateman’s rookie season in 2021 was pretty lackluster. It was hindered by a groin injury that required surgery and took Bateman out of his first training camp and the first five weeks of the season. Fantasy managers who look to draft Bateman will purely be banking on the talent we saw in college that made him a first-round pick. The Ravens WR1 was dominant in college. In his best season, he was in the 81st percentile in dominator rating and 98th in target share. By being willing to trade Brown the Ravens have told us they trust Bateman enough to be the WR1 and they will likely run the ball a lot. This is still the Ravens so running will be the first thing on their mind. This hinders Bateman’s upside but he still has the potential to be a WR2 in 2022 if he breaks out. Look at him as a WR3 with upside this next season because Mark Andrews is the true top receiving option.
Devin Duvernay: Devin Duvernay is a sneaky breakout candidate in a Raven's wide receiver room that has zero established options in it. We know Mark Andrews will feast, but Duvernay’s main competition is a second-year Rashod Bateman who has done nothing of note so far. Duvernay is likely the third receiving option in an offense that doesn’t like passing much. Still, with the departure of Hollywood Brown, the deep threat role should be taken by the speedy Duvernay. This will at least lead to Duvernay playing consistent snaps. If for some reason Bateman is no good or if he’s injured, Duvernay could be the next guy in line. He’s a deep league sleeper but still a name to pay attention to off of waivers because he’s still young and flashed in college.
Mark Andrews: Mark Andrews is coming into 2022 trying to push out Travis Kelce as the top fantasy TE. Andrews was the TE1 last year and was incredible. He was basically the WR1 for the Ravens as he recorded a staggering 107 reception, 1361 yds, and 9 tds. 2022 could be even more promising for Andrews. The team threw the ball more last year than they will in 2022, but in this coming year, Andrews should have Lamar Jackson throwing him the ball more (missed games to injury), and Marquise Brown was traded. This will vacate 145 targets. Andrews could recoup some of his ridiculous volume and be more efficient if Lamar can stay on the field. The Ravens TE only has real competition coming from Rashod Bateman entering his sophomore season. He is poised to repeat his astounding 2021 season. Andrews will be a top 5 TE assuming he’s healthy and has as good a chance as anyone to be the TE1 overall in fantasy.
Andrew Teuscher is a fantasy-football enthusiast and certified fantasy try hard.