Fantasy

Fantasy Football: 2022 Ravens Top 5 Players

Using Analytics to Determine a Potential Lamar Jackson Extension

The Ravens were absolutely one of the most injured teams in the NFL last season. It wasn’t just the quantity of players injured, but also the quality.

The Ravens lost both of their starting running backs prior to the 2021 season, J.K. Dobbins & Gus Edwards. Their All-Pro left tackle, Ronnie Stanley, missed 16 games. The Ravens were also without a large majority of their starting secondary (Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters & DeShon Elliott). Not to mention Lamar Jackson missed 5 games to end the season, where they went 0-5. There were plenty of other injuries as well.

I think it’s safe to say that the Ravens’ season and game flow were greatly affected by these injuries. Their defense could not hold it together, giving up the most passing yards in the NFL last season (for reference, they gave up the 6th-fewest passing yards during the 2020 season). The Ravens were down in games because of the poor defensive play and needed to pass a lot to keep up. This led to the Ravens getting away from what they do best: running the football.

  • They had 205 more pass attempts in 2021, when compared to their 2020 season.
  • They had 171 more pass attempts in 2021, when compared to their 2019 season.
  • They had 38 less rush attempts in 2021, when compared to their 2020 season.
  • They had 79 less rush attempts in 2021, when compared to their 2020 season. (Given, there was an additional game during the 2021 season.)

The Ravens are now heathy and have improved in many areas. They are considered to have one of the best secondaries in the league heading into the 2022 season. The Ravens’ offseason moves also suggest that they want to get back to running the football. They traded Marquise “Hollywood” Brown for a first-round pick and selected center Tyler Linderbaum with that pick. The Ravens did not use a single draft pick on a wide receiver this year. They did however, draft two tight ends. Therefore, I do project the Ravens to have 136 less pass attempts and 43 more rushing attempts in 2022, compared to 2021.

(Projections assume that the players will play all 17 games, unless other information is available)

Quarterback:

Player Pass Att Pass Cmp Pass Yds Pass TDs Int Rush Att Rush Yds Rush TDs
Lamar Jackson 475 312 3446 24 13 167 1016 7

Lamar Jackson (Josh’s Fantasy Football QB5)

Jackson was on pace for over 580 pass attempts before getting injured last season. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, to see that my projections currently have Lamar with the most pass attempts in his career. I do believe the Ravens will run the ball much frequently, however, Lamar Jackson is still the center piece to this offense and the Ravens trust him to win games. Jackson has a lot to prove this season and he still has not signed a long-term contract with the team. If he plays 17 games, Jackson should be able to hit these numbers, as most stats align with what he has done previously in his career.

Running Back:

Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush TDs Targets Receptions Receiving Yds Receiving TDs
J.K. Dobbins 214 1092 9 38 26 196 1
Gus Edwards 137 671 5 10 7 48 0

J.K. Dobbins (Josh’s Fantasy Football RB21)

I expect a breakout season for J.K. Dobbins in 2022. There are currently fears that Dobbins will not be ready for the start of the season. However, Dobbins does not seem concerned as he said on twitter, “I might not even go on the PUP because that’s how good my rehab is going and I’m damn sure I’m going to be ready for week 1.”

So, if Dobbins does end up playing 17 games, he is primed for a breakout in this Ravens’ offense. 2020 was Dobbins’ rookie season and he was utilized more and more as that season went along. Dobbins had the most yards per carry in 2020 out of all NFL running backs with at least 30 carries. I expect him to receive a larger workload but also be slightly less efficient.

Gus Edwards (Josh’s Fantasy Football RB50)

Tried and true, Gus Edwards just continues to be one of the most effective backup running backs in the league. He is the thunder to J.K. Dobbins’ lighting. Edwards will still have plenty of opportunities in this offense, but without an injury to Dobbins, he will have little fantasy value week to week. These projections line up with what we have seen from Edwards in past seasons, including 2019 when he was the backup to Mark Ingram. I expect a very similar season but with more goal-line opportunities.

Wide Receiver:

Player Targets Receptions Receiving Yds Receiving TDs
Rashod Bateman 126 79 954 6

Rashod Bateman (Josh’s Fantasy Football WR25)

I also expect a breakout season for the first-round pick by the Ravens in 2021. Bateman will not necessarily replace Marquise Brown, but he will be the WR1 for this team and the No. 2 pass catcher behind Mark Andrews. Bateman is actually a lot faster than people realize; he ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at his pro-day. Lamar Jackson loves throwing the deep ball, which is certainly a recipe for fantasy success. I also believe Bateman can be utilized in more ways than Brown. Bateman is taller, has very good hands and is a great route runner. He did not produce eye-popping stats last season, but Bateman was on the field a lot and played very well towards the end of the year.

Tight End:

Player Targets Receptions Receiving Yds Receiving TDs
Mark Andrews 139 90 1128 9

Mark Andrews (Josh’s Fantasy Football TE2)

Mark Andrews was the top scoring fantasy tight end in 2021, but as I have mentioned, I do believe the Ravens will pass significantly less this upcoming season.  I project Andrews to have a less productive season, compared to 2021, but not a bad season by any means. This would still be the second-best season of his career. Mark Andrews was great with Jackson; however, Andrews’ production went up when Lamar Jackson was injured. I would still prefer to have Travis Kelce, but Mark Andrews is a close second at the tight end position.