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NFL preseason report: Baltimore Ravens

See who’s trending up and who’s trending down throughout the Ravens’ training camp and preseason. 

NFL: Baltimore Ravens-Minicamp Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

This page will be regularly updated with news and analysis regarding the Ravens’ skill position players throughout training camp and the preseason. ⬆︎ ⬇︎ Indicate which way a player’s fantasy value is trending and (R) denotes rookies

Warren Sharp has the Ravens tied for the 11th softest schedule in 2018.

Quarterback

Joe Flacco ⬇︎-- Flacco’s a bad quarterback with a monstrous cap number. It’s only a matter of time.

Lamar Jackson (R) ⬆︎-- Three days into training camp and Jackson is reportedly “ahead of the curve”. With such a soft schedule, it’d be a great year for the Ravens to make the transition to their future QB. Flacco’s albatross of a contract might keep the Louisville product off the field for a while though. Promoting Jackson would instantly boost the running game, as dual-threat QBs are known to do, but wide receiver fantasy production would almost certainly drop. According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Jackson is currently going undrafted. It’s probably best that things stay that way for now but I couldn’t blame you if you drafted him with your final pick, assuming you’re able to pair him with another startable QB.

Running Back

Alex Collins ⬆︎-- Kyle P Barber, over at Baltimore Beatdown, confirmed the offseason assumption that Collins is locked into the Ravens’ bellcow role. In 2017 he looked like a legit offensive centerpiece after taking over the starting role in Week 8. A full season of Collins at the helm (with a full offseason to for him to absorb the playbook) will produce RB2 numbers at worst -- I fully expect him to smash his 4th round ADP. He’s got a tough slate of run defense early on, but the quality of opponent in those contests is lacking overall and his value should be buoyed by volume and dynamic usage in the passing game. Couple this with the return of All-Pro right guard Marshal Yanda and left guard Alex Lewis and we’ve got a dynamite situation on our hands.

Kenneth Dixon ⬇/⬆︎-- Dixon’s status is a bit up in the air. He’s reportedly in good health, coming off his meniscus tear and he’s got all the potential in the world. I fell for him during the 2016 Combine but injuries and suspensions have held him back from getting a real shot at fulfilling his potential. His optimal outlook is winning the change of pace job and filling in for Collins should the latter miss time.

Javorius “Buck” Allen ⬇-- Buck’s a fine back who can contribute meaningfully to an NFL team but he doesn’t offer a dynamic presence. It stands to reason that Baltimore’s front office hopes he settles in for No. 3 running back duties.

Gus Edwards ⬇︎-- Edwards is a UDFA possessing solid athleticism but lacking in college receiving production. It’s unlikely he earns a roster spot without improving his pass catching ability.

Wide Receiver

Michael Crabtree ⬆︎-- Crabtree is set to be a target hog and could do some series damage in the red zone. He proved to be an effective weapon for Derek Carr near the end zone, excelling on comeback routes. He and Flacco have reportedly connected for multiple touchdowns in camp.

Willie Snead ⬆︎-- I’m tentatively optimistic on Willie Snead as a week-to-week FLEX option. As mentioned previously, the Ravens have an easy schedule this year and the first 8 games feature teams with solid run defenses, per Warren Sharp’s2018 Football Preview. This could funnel fantasy production towards the receiving corps.

John Brown ⬆︎-- John Brown also has week-to-week FLEX appeal with potential season-long production. His 4.34 second 40-yard dash, 4.12 short shuttle, and 6.91 3-cone allow him to both generate separation at the line of scrimmage and burn defenders downfield. Both Flacco and Jackson are cannon-armed quarterbacks that will be able to utilize the speedster.

*Update 8/2/18: Smokey’s been smoking defenders all week! (Sorry.)

*Update 8/22/18: Last night, Peter King joined the Rotoworld boys on their live broadcast of Rotoworld’s 2018 Mock Draft. Josh Norris asked him, out the 20 training camps King had visited so far, to name one football player that fantasy drafters should be paying attention to. His answer: John Brown. Smokey is still going in the 13th round of standard drafts and he has a legitimate chance to finish 2018 as a WR2. Do. Not. Leave. Drafts. Without. Him.

Breshad Perriman ⬇︎-- Perriman’s days in Baltimore appear numbered after the free agent overhaul in the wide receiver room. I’m sure the Ravens will continue to give Perriman every opportunity to succeed but I wouldn’t bank on him making it out of training camp.

Tight End

Hayden Hurst (R) ⬇︎-- Baltimore grabbed Lamar Jackson a few tight end security blankets in the draft to help ease his impending transition to being an NFL starter. Unfortunately, tight ends take a long time to develop and Hurst has reportedly missed substantial time in camp due to a soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injures in July often result in season-long issues. Avoid Hurst in the draft this year.

*Update 8/2/18: Hurst apparently read my piece and decided to diligently rehab his injury. He’s been taking regular snaps in practice and has declared himself 100%.

Nick Boyle ⬆︎-- The veteran tight end has seen an increase in practice reps with Hurst out. His stock is up but he’s shown a limited ability to contribute in the passing game. Monitor the situation but don’t hold your breath.

Maxx Williams ⬆︎-- Similar to Boyle, Williams’ stock is technically up but the former first round bust has shown no reason for us to trust him. Proceed with caution.

Mark Andrews (R) ⬇︎-- Sadly, the other rookie tight end is dealing with a soft tissue issue as well. Outlook: Not good.