Baltimore is a favorite to win the AFC, but out of all the contenders, they are getting the least amount of media attention. Their biggest news this off-season was Ray Rice signing a new contract.
They do have a few injury issues that will hurt them this season. Terrell Suggs is due to miss most of the season because of an Achilles injury. Can they pressure the quarterback enough for their defense to be effective?
It’s a ‘put up or shut up’ year for Joe Flacco. Is this the year he surpasses 4,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns?
Key Additions: WR Jacoby Jones, OG Bobbie Williams, QB Curtis Painter, DE Courtney Upshaw, WR Tommy Streeter, S Sean Considine, CB Corey Graham, DT Ryan McBean, OG Tony Wragge, OG Kelechi Osemele and RB Bernard Pierce.
Key Losses: WR Derrick Mason, CB Dominique Foxworth, S Tom Zbikowski, DT Cory Redding, DT Brandon McKinney, S Haruki Nakamura, LB Jarret Johnson, OG Ben Grubbs and LB Jameel McClain.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC West and NFC East
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Tommy Streeter – After after the NFL Draft, I had Jacoby Jones listed as the Ravens’ fantasy sleeper as Jacoby Jones. Well, the Ravens have been vocal about their fear of Jones’ hands and his past fumbling issues. Streeter’s mentor is Ray Lewis and writers have taken notice of his abilities. He’s 6’5 and ran a 4.40 40-time, so he has the skills to be a deep threat. They currently have Torrey Smith in that role, but Streeter is a nice hand-cuff in a deep league.
Team Analysis: You look at who the Ravens added and who they’ve lost, they seem to have improved their team by making it younger. Smith, Streeter, and Jones will fill-in for the retired Mason, even though Flacco still needs a dependable possession receiver. Boldin will play that role, but will often be the target of double coverage. Ray Rice is due to have another amazing fantasy and real-life season. They will have to rely on Pernell McPhee and rookie Upshaw to replace Suggs for most of the season. That could be a problem, but their defense is good enough that Haloti Ngata and Lewis will help with the pass rush. I am really, really looking for Week 3, when they play the New England Patriots at home…that will be an amazing game!
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 10 (Prediction: OVER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 12-4