by “The Don” Piccolo
The Baltimore Ravens routinely have one of the best defenses in the league. Combined with a league-leading rushing attack, Baltimore’s defense allows them to play old-school football and dominate opponents on both sides of the ball. But how do their individual defensive players fare in Fantasy Football?
Calais Campbell has averaged 817 snaps in five consecutive seasons. He’ll be on the field, and he’ll put up numbers.
This is his 5 year average stat line.
Total Tackles 61.8 (46.4 solo)
QB Hits 23.4 (30.5 Pressures)
Pass Deflections: 5
Forced Fumble: 1.5
Fumble Recovery: 1
I’m excited to see what Calais Campbell can do with the Ravens defense, but he is going to produce regardless due to his extremely high floor. In a Redraft league he makes for a great value and is a solid snag. While his value is obviously lower in any Dynasty league due to his age (33), there’s an important place for players like Campbell on your roster. He may not help you win in 2023, but he’s the type of player that others undervalue and thus presents a unique opportunity to snag a value.
As for the rest of the Defensive Line, Derek Wolfe was brought in to stop the run and you shouldn’t expect more than that. He is a great player for the team, not for fantasy relevancy. Calais Campbell is the name to familiarize yourself with from this group.
Big changes in the front seven everywhere. The Ravens revamped their defense and drafted Rookie LB’s Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison. Queen is, of course, locked in for the Inside LB position and is worth rostering in any IDP format. As for Harrison, he definitely has the talent to start, and he was known as a THUMPER at Ohio State so I’m excited to see what these guys do with so much veteran leadership around them. Both are worthy of roster spots and could prove to be solid values in what is usually a great defense.
Just don’t forget about Baltimore’s 2019 breakout, and I’m not talking about Lamar Jackson. Matt Judon finished 2019 with the following stats:
Total Tackles 54 ( 43 solo),
QB Hits 33 ( 31 Pressures),
Pass Deflections 0,
Forced Fumbles: 4
That’s 232 points on the year. He makes for a great IDP Flex, just don’t make him your starting LB. While this group has a lot to prove this season, they will have every opportunity to do so and are worthy of queues during your draft.
Well, this whole secondary has IDP starting worthy players, and you can’t say that for every team in the league; they have the talent in front of them. Now, this doesn’t mean they need to be taken early by any means. Out of everyone, however, Chuck Clark is the DB to own. Playing Strong Safety, he has one of the best Free Safeties to play the game covering the back end which allows him to play aggressively. As for the corners, Marlon Humphery and Marcus Peters are both ballhawks, I would gladly start either as a CB in a CB start league, but as I’ve said before I build my DB’s with safeties, not with corners. Of course, both would be great for bye week fill ins/ injury insurance.
The Ravens won 14 games in 2019 while having a tough time stopping the run. They fixed that problem by adding Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe to the front seven and then drafting young LB’s. As they always do, the Ravens have built yet another defense through the draft while adding key veterans through Free Agency.
Personally, I’m very excited to see what this team does in terms of IDP relevancy. In terms of NFL quality, this defense has the potential to lead the Ravens past other contenders in the AFC. The Chiefs do not have a defense of this caliber and won’t thanks to the record-breaking Mahomes contract.
Top to bottom, the Ravens have a lot of players with potential for IDP greatness. Calais Campbell is a great veteran value and still has one last hurrah in him. While Queen won’t be a league winner, his above average coverage skills combined with advanced tackling should provide him with a solid floor and is a worthy LB2. Even Baltimore’s secondary has something to offer. If you’re on the clock and lacking IDP players, don’t be afraid to check out the Ravens.