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2018 Training Camp Battle – Baltimore Ravens Backfield

2018 Training Camp Battle – Baltimore Ravens Backfield
CPGM Front Office

Deciphering the Baltimore Ravens Backfield

By: Ryan Cearfoss @fntsyfbconnect

Baltimore Ravens Running Backs

Every season leading into training camp the fantasy community finds themselves trying to pick out a team’s starter and others with value at the position. Making sense of it can sometimes be difficult and that’s what we’re here for. Last season the Baltimore Ravens got back to their old ways taking their rushing attempt total from 367 to 460. This added emphasis on the run game opens up a lot of opportunity in a somewhat crowded backfield in Baltimore. Even with a crowded Ravens backfield there is enough clarity in it to define clear fantasy values at multiple points in your draft.

Lead Back: Alex Collins

In 2017 Alex Collins burst onto the scene in Baltimore after finally getting the full time starting job in Week 11 and didn’t look back. From that point to the rest of the season Collins was 10th in points per game for running backs averaging 16.65 PPG. Collins brings a violent running style which fits perfectly with a defensive team like the Baltimore Ravens. While John Harbaugh has not committed to anybody in interviews Collins comes into camp on the top of the depth chart and it’s hard to ignore what he produced last season. If Collins continues to play and produce like he did a season ago he has the ability to be a top end RB2 in fantasy and a great value at his current ADP.

Projections for Alex Collins
  • Attempts – 233
  • Rushing Yards – 1001
  • Rushing TDs – 7
  • Receptions – 36
  • Receiving Yards – 270
  • Receiving TDs – 1
  • PPR PTS – 206.19

Third Down Back: Javorius “Buck “Allen

Finishing just outside of RB2 territory last year Buck Allen proved he could produce even with Alex Collins in the mix; finishing as RB25 in PPR formats. Last season Allen caught 46 balls proving he was reliable in the passing game. Dump offs and check-downs have become an extension of the running game in Baltimore’s offense. Although I expect a dip in his rushing production, at his current ADP outside of the Top 200 it shouldn’t matter. His ability as a receiver should provide a flex option in weeks with byes or injuries.

Projections for Javorius Allen
  • Attempts – 118
  • Rushing Yards – 436
  • Rushing TDs – 2
  • Receptions – 29
  • Receiving Yards – 168
  • Receiving TDs – 1
  • PPR PTS – 103.48

Sleeper: Kenneth Dixon

Kenneth Dixon is the reason there are any questions regarding Alex Collins’ fantasy value. Coming off a 2017 season with a torn MCL and a four game suspension Dixon has a long way back to the top. From we’ve seen on the field out of Dixon it definitely feels like it could be a possibility. The former 4th round pick showed promise in his limited opportunities. He has the ability to be an every down back producing in both the running and passing game. In 2016 when he did get on the field he averaged 4.3 yards per carry as a rusher in a bad offense and had 30 receptions in limited playing time. Dixon will most likely  start the season third in the running back pecking order but if the opportunity to get on the field presents itself it could lead to a break-out given Dixon’s skill-set. Dixon holds value in fantasy as a late round flier or a stash on deeper rosters.

Projections for Kenneth Dixon
  • Attempts – 112
  • Rushing Yards – 459
  • Rushing TDs – 1
  • Receptions – 12
  • Receiving Yards – 74
  • Receiving Yards TDs – 0
  • PPR PTS – 69.36

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