Worth a Flyer: Joe Flacco Edition
After reading an ESPN article about how The Ravens are the Biggest Nightmare in Fantasy Football, I found myself quietly wondering if this perception surrounding the Baltimore offense is warranted or if Joe Flacco may be flying under the radar just in time for a triumphant bounce back season.
In 2016 Flacco finished as the 18th best fantasy QB according to ESPN standard scoring; hardly a world beater, averaging 13.6 points per week. With no significant editions outside of PPR darling Danny Woodhead, and the loss of Steve Smith to retirment, it’s easy to see why fantasy pundits would knock the gunslinger down a few spots.
To that I say, hold your horses!
To start the season, Flacco was dismal. Throwing for 1837 yards (262 average) with 5 TD and 6 INT, it looked like the season would be a write off.
Queue the bye week.
When he returned Flacco was a different QB. Over the final 9 games, Flacco threw for 2480 yards (275 per game average) and a much better 15 TD / 9 INT split. It’s important to note that these numbers came inspite of the competition (the Ravens played the Bengals twice, and the Pats, Cowboys, and Steelers once each).
Looking forward, this team is going to miss the presence of Steve Smith, but by all accounts Brashard Perriman is looking ready to take that next step and should suppliment the Mike Wallace/Dennis Pitta duo just fine. With Woodhead in the fold, and a more defined role for Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon, I expect a more efficient offense for the Ravens and a better TD% for Flacco than the awful 2.9 he posted last year (inspite of the yards totals).
It’s up for debate whether you believe in Strength of Schedule data, but it’s worth noting that the Ravens are listed with the 7th most favorable fantasy schedule for QB’s. When you start doing the math, it’s easy to see how Flacco (QB25 with an ADP of 176) could be a fantastic return on investment in 2017.