Ravens Fantasy News

Monday, June 29, 2015, 8:22am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Pittsburgh TE Heath Miller is a No. 3 or 4 option for the offense but nothing more.

He might’ve been a 1,000-yard receiver as a 25-year-old in Haley’s offense. Miller’s scoring rate is concerning. After 27 touchdowns in his first five years, Miller has 16 in his last five, for an average of 3.2 per year. He surpassed three scores in one of those five seasons.

The Steelers placed a waiver claim for tight end Tim Wright, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. When coupled with reported interest in second-round tight end Maxx Williams during the draft, the Wright claim indicates the franchise is at least exploring tight end alternatives.

Fantasy Impact:

The story went on to say Miller isn’t an elite tight end but he’s still very solid. He can put up 600 yards in this offense at age 32. And the truth is the Steelers still need him. He’s a safety valve for QB Ben Roethlisberger. In fact, we predict Miller for 588 yards and just under 3 TDs for 2015. However he's ranked 20th on our list and likely won't get a lot of draft attention in typical leagues. With Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell and Martavis Bryant, that's a strong core of talent to monopolize the red zone touches.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015, 10:53am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Don't pencil rookie Breshad Perriman into the Baltimore Ravens' starting lineup just yet.

Former special teamer Kamar Aiken and third-year wideout Marlon Brown each spent time opposite Steve Smith with the first-team offense during offseason practices.

Coach John Harbaugh is pushing Brown for a breakout season.

"I have high hopes for him," Harbaugh said recently, via the Ravens' official website. "I really want to see him break out. ... It's time for him to step up and become what he's capable of doing. He's very determined to do that."

Fantasy Impact:

Harbaugh continues to talk up Brown this offseason. When training camp opens, Brown will be battling Aiken and Perriman for a starting job. The story went on to say Brown didn't make enough plays in 2014. After recording seven touchdowns as an undrafted rookie in 2013, he was kept out of the end zone entirely last season. In fact, the 6-foot-5 redzone threat wasn't targeted once inside the 20-yard line.

49ers Beat: WR Torrey Smith 'far more than a one-trick pony'

Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 9:46pm

49ers.com - [Full Article]

49ers.com writer Joe Fann calls Torrey Smith the team's best free agent addition:

The 49ers needed a compliment to Anquan Boldin, and they found the perfect man for the job. Smith is far more than a one-trick pony. Yes, he excels at stretching the field and getting behind defensive backs, but he’s already shown the ability to catch balls in traffic on short and intermediate routes as well. On two specific minicamp plays, Smith caught the ball on a stopping route, then spun away from his defender and accelerated away from everyone in pursuit. I’m not sure I saw him drop a ball this offseason.

Fantasy Impact:

Smith got off to a slow start in 2014, posting just six catches for 85 yards in the first three games. Over the final 13 games of the season, he averaged 3.3 receptions for 52 yards and 0.85 touchdowns, which equates to #20 WR-type numbers in PPR formats. As it stands, he finished as the #29 WR in PPR and #19 in standard formats (thanks to the high touchdown rate), which is the fourth time he has finished in the top 23 (in standard formats) in his four-year career. He joins a 49ers receiving corps that has lost Michael Crabtree and has a still-effective Anquan Boldin as a possession receiver. Smith will serve as a deep threat for QB Colin Kaepernick, though this move has to be considered a downgrade from an offensive/quarterback standpoint since the 49ers are typically run-heavy and Joe Flacco is pretty adept at putting touch on the deep ball. Throwing with touch has not been one of Kaepernick's strengths, though he has been working on his passing technique his offseason.

Broncos Beat: 'Window closed' for Montee Ball to win RB1 job

Sunday, June 21, 2015, 12:47pm

Denver Post - [Full Article]

Montee Ball had a disappointing 2014 season in which he was supposed to run away with the starting job. While Ball’s downfall can be linked to his appendectomy before the season, this season he finds himself behind Denver’s breakout star from 2014 C.J. Anderson.

While Ball remains optimistic that he’ll find a way to regain his position as Denver’s featured back, Troy Renck says his time has come and gone.

“If C.J. Anderson stays healthy, his commitment is at a new level,” Renck said. “I don’t see Ball getting the chance to prove that anymore. I think the window closed on him last year. It’s a bellcow offense, the back doesn’t rotate in and out.”

Fantasy Impact:

Anderson began to see starter-type touches in Week 10 with 17 touches for 163 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Over the final eight weeks, he averaged 24.0 touches for 132 yards and 1.3 TD, and was the #1 RB in that span. If the Broncos commit to Anderson (and why wouldn’t they?), he should thrive under new HC Gary Kubiak, who just coaxed a career year out of journeyman Justin Forsett.

Browns intend to go with the 'hot hand' at running back

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 8:04pm

Cleveland Browns - [Full Article]

Fantasy football fanatics and anxious Browns fans are wondering: Will it be Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson or Terrance West carrying the torch Sept. 13 against the New York Jets? The Browns view all three as legitimate threats with the rock in their hand, but there is no clear favorite in guessing who will lead Cleveland in carries in December.

“I like to go with the guy that has the hot hand. If a guy’s got the hot hand, ride it out,” DeFilippo said. “You’re going to have some gameplan-specific plays for certain guys like a Duke Johnson where you want to get him out on a pass route or running a certain outside zone or whatever. I’m a big believer in the best five offensive linemen up front. I’m a big believer in a guy’s got a hot hand you keep riding him. That’s kind of just a philosophy that I have.”

Fantasy Impact:

Once the Browns were done with Ben Tate (Week 11), Crowell out-touched Terrance West 90 to 68 over the final seven games, but West had the last laugh, turning 20 touches into 106 yards and a TD against the Ravens in Week 17. (A seemingly healthy Crowell touched the ball five times for 22 yards.) The team drafted Duke Johnson and last season HC Mike Pettine was handing out touches based on practice performance, so Crowell's current 6th round ADP seems steep given his uncertain workload and Cleveland's projected offensive struggles.

Flacco: Ravens WR Jeremy Butler was 'incredible' in minicamp

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 7:52pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Butler worked the sidelines and the middle of the field for leverage. He created separation from defensive backs and showed sound hands.

It was an impressive performance Thursday from the former undrafted free agent from Tennessee-Martin, who spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury last year.

"Jeremy Butler, he might have had 1,500 yards in a three-day minicamp," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "He was incredible. He caught the ball extremely well. Little things here and there to work on, but the biggest thing is catching the ball.

"He's just a big, strong body and catches the ball really well. It's exactly what he showed last year in training camp, I thought, and he's just coming out here and doing more of that."

Fantasy Impact:

The Ravens need playmakers to step up at the receiver position. The 6'2" Butler could quickly work his way into playing time if he continues to have a good offseason.

Ravens WR Breshad Perriman dropping passes in practice

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 10:54pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

One of the primary criticisms of Ravens rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman heading into the NFL draft was his tendency to lose concentration and drop passes.

The speedy first-round pick arguably had his roughest practice Tuesday since joining the Ravens, as he dropped four passes, including one deep sideline pass after he had sprinted past cornerback Jimmy Smith and was wide open.

“Just really paying attention, getting too tired and really not focusing,” Perriman said when asked for an explanation about the drops. “I don’t really make excuses for it. They should have been caught, but that’s something that won’t happen too often.”

Fantasy Impact:

Perriman has the physical tools (6’2, 4.24 40-yard dash), to replace Torrey Smith in the Ravens’ lineup from the start, but he has to learn Marc Trestman’s offense and prove that he can catch the ball consistently.

Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) not yet medically cleared

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 9:14pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ravens veteran tight end Dennis Pitta is still dealing with obstacles in his latest comeback attempt from a major injury, remaining sidelined during a mandatory minicamp.

Pitta hasn't been medically cleared by doctors and his career is in doubt as he tries to return from his second fractured and dislocated right hip within the past two years.

Fantasy Impact:

We're not counting on Pitta's return but it's a situation to monitor. His potential return would impact the amount of playing time rookie Maxx Williams will get in 2015.

49ers Beat: 'Budding chemistry' developing between Colin Kaepernick and Torrey Smith

Monday, June 15, 2015, 2:26pm

49ers.com - [Full Article]

49ers WR Torrey Smith has indeed added a new dimension to San Francisco's pass game. With Smith in the fold, the 49ers were able to attack all levels of the defense. Smith's home-run ability was most evident when he hooked up with Colin Kaepernick on a 40-yard jump ball down the left side line at the expense of second-year cornerback Dontae Johnson. Kaepernick and Smith routinely connected in the minicamp, but on the final day, the deep throw showcased the budding chemistry between the two. Johnson had great coverage on the play, but Kaepernick was able to put the ball up with enough loft for the fifth-year veteran receiver to go up and get the ball. Smith caught slants and intermediate routes for most of the camp, but it's hard not to overlook his ability to stretch the defense and compete for the football at its highest point. Smith's speed and leaping ability was on display throughout the camp. The 49ers will surely tap into those talents come training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

Smith got off to a slow start in 2014, posting just six catches for 85 yards in the first three games. Over the final 13 games of the season, he averaged 3.3 receptions for 52 yards and 0.85 touchdowns, which equates to #20 WR-type numbers in PPR formats. As it stands, he finished as the #29 WR in PPR and #19 in standard formats (thanks to the high touchdown rate), which is the fourth time he has finished in the top 23 (in standard formats) in his four-year career. He joins a 49ers receiving corps that has lost Michael Crabtree and has a still-effective Anquan Boldin as a possession receiver. Smith will serve as a deep threat for Kaepernick, though this move has to be considered a downgrade from an offensive/quarterback standpoint since the 49ers are typically run-heavy and Joe Flacco is pretty adept at putting touch on the deep ball. Throwing with touch has not been one of Kaepernick's strengths, though he has been working on his passing technique this offseason.

Browns Beat: Combination of Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell 'screams potential'

Friday, June 12, 2015, 2:51pm

Cleveland Browns - [Full Article]

Browns RBs Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell lined up in the backfield together.

With quarterback Josh McCown standing tall in the shotgun formation, Johnson and Crowell flanked both of his sides. McCown sent Crowell in motion to the far right as a receiver, causing confusion among Cleveland’s linebackers. McCown hiked the ball, faked a pass toward Crowell and, instead, dumped it off on a screen play to Johnson, who bolted into the end zone for a touchdown.

The play design was complex, but the combination of Crowell and Johnson on the field together was more intriguing. Crowell’s powerful stride and bruising style combined with Johnson’s shiftiness and burst is a mixture that screams potential.

Fantasy Impact:

Once the Browns were done with Ben Tate (Week 11), Crowell out-touched Terrance West 90 to 68 over the final seven games, but West had the last laugh, turning 20 touches into 106 yards and a TD against the Ravens in Week 17. (A seemingly healthy Crowell touched the ball five times for 22 yards.) The team drafted Duke Johnson and last season HC Mike Pettine was handing out touches based on practice performance, so Crowell's current 6th round ADP seems steep given his uncertain workload and Cleveland's projected offensive struggles. In PPR formats, we'd rather pull the trigger on Johnson since it looks like the team is trying to find ways to get him on the field as much as possible.

Ravens TE Maxx Williams adjusting to 'a whole different scheme'

Thursday, June 11, 2015, 5:27pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

The Ravens’ offense is vastly different from what Maxx Williams was accustomed to in college.

“It’s just a whole different scheme,” Williams said. “In Minnesota, we were going to run power all day and just run play action. That’s all we did unless we had a drop-back. For me, it’s really just kind of learning a brand-new playbook, so it is starting off fresh where I don’t really have any old habits."

Fantasy Impact:

Rookie tight ends are notoriously disappointing, but if Dennis Pitta is out, Williams will have a tremendous opportunity to produce in Marc Trestman's offense. Crockett Gilmore is also in the mix.

Peyton: 'The sky is the limit' for Broncos RB C.J. Anderson

Thursday, June 11, 2015, 12:10pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Broncos QB Peyton Manning praised RB C.J. Anderson:

"C.J. of course, if you talk to him you think he's about a 12-year veteran starter and he's only started six games. I'm getting a ton of reps with him, and the sky is the limit for him, I will say that."

Fantasy Impact:

Anderson began to see starter-type touches in Week 10 with 17 touches for 163 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Over the final eight weeks, he averaged 24.0 touches for 132 yards and 1.3 TD, and was the #1 RB in that span. If the Broncos commit to Anderson (and why wouldn’t they?), he should thrive under new HC Gary Kubiak, who just coaxed a career year out of journeyman Justin Forsett.

Trestman: Breshad Perriman has a 'good understanding' and is 'a smart guy'

Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 1:22pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ravens rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman is as advertised so far. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound speedster from Central Florida is big, fast and explosive.

The first-round NFL draft pick displayed his deep speed in team drills Monday and caught a long touchdown pass while surrounded by defenders. He elevated over defensive backs to make the catch.

“What we saw on tape is what we are getting," offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said of Perriman, who's signed to a four-year, $8.705 million contract. "We really liked what we saw on tape, obviously. And what we’re getting is a guy who is continually improving. He has a good understanding of the game. He’s not just a fast guy, he’s a smart guy.

"He is going to learn how to use patience and use other aspects of playing the position, his size, his hand speed, to get off the line of scrimmage. So, that’s really awesome to see that he’s a quick learner, and he’s catching the ball and making plays just like we saw him do on tape.”

Fantasy Impact:

This means that Perriman is doing a good job of picking up Trestman's offense. Physically, he's doing well, so he seems likely to start sooner rather than later. He has a lot of upside in Trestman's pass-happy offense given the state of the team's receiving corps.

Ravens Beat: WR Kamar Aiken 'stole the show' during second OTA practice

Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 12:50pm

Baltimore Ravens - [Full Article]

Ravens WR Kamar Aiken quite simply just gets the job done, and he does it in a variety of ways.

He stole the show last week during the Ravens’ second OTA practice open to the media. Aiken hauled in a deep bomb, stretched for a fingertips grab over the middle, tiptoed the sideline and out leapt a defender for a score.

Aiken was a jack-of-all-trades last season too in a breakout campaign. He caught 24 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season. He scored a 19-yard touchdown against the New England Patriots in the divisional playoffs.

With Torrey Smith in San Francisco and Jacoby Jones in San Diego, Aiken now has a chance to become a starting wide receiver. There’s a lot of competition for the spot, but Aiken is competing on the first team and looks to have just as much a chance as any other.

Fantasy Impact:

Aiken was 12th in the league in fantasy points (PPR) per target last season. Breshad Perriman figures to win the starting job opposite Steve L Smith, but Aiken could serve as the team's WR3 or even start if Perriman struggles out of the gate.

Ravens WR Breshad Perriman is making a good first impression

Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 1:12am

Baltimore Ravens - [Full Article]

First impressions matter. And so far, wide receiver Breshad Perriman is leaving a good one.

Just ask CSNBaltimore.com’s Clifton Brown, who named three things that immediately stood out to him while getting an up-close look at the Ravens’ first-rounder: 1) Perriman’s size, 2) his potential as a possession receiver and 3) his strong hands.

“I think in addition to being a deep threat, which is his primary strength, he’ll be a guy who the Ravens hope can be a possession receiver as well, make some tough catches over the middle,” he said.

Then, there’s the biggest knock on Perriman since he was drafted: the drops.

The only thing is he hasn’t shown that to be a problem since he’s been with the Ravens. There were reports he dropped a ball in rookie camp three weeks ago, but there haven’t been any since.

Fantasy Impact:

The Ravens needed a receiver to replace Torrey Smith and Perriman fits the bill. He has great speed, so he’ll complement Steve L. Smith’s intermediate game. Throw in a pass-happy OC Marc Trestman and a solid quarterback in Joe Flacco and it all adds up to potentially heavy snaps and targets for Perriman, presuming he can pick things up quickly as a rookie.

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