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Fantasy Football Today

Ravens Fantasy Outlooks: A serving of Rice, hold the Flacco

By Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer

Continuing my series of little blurbs from the preseason outlooks I write, here's a look at four Ravens players you'll read more about come the summer:

Joe Flacco: While he remains a quality quarterback for the Ravens, he's been overshadowed statistically by plenty of other passers. Over the last two seasons he has just 11 games with 20-plus Fantasy points; by comparison Peyton Manning and Drew Brees each had more than that in 2013 alone.

Ray Rice: The Ravens spent the spring tweaking their O-line and brought in ex-Texans coach Gary Kubiak to serve as offensive maestro. Kubiak is known for pushing running back stats to sky highs – and just as notorious for pulling them from a game without warning. So if Rice gets off to an icy start there won't be much hesitation to reduce his workload, something the Ravens couldn't afford to do last year. Rice shapes up as one of this year's big gamble picks.

Torrey Smith: [T]here are some concerns about his lack of consistency. Despite his potential, Smith was a liability over the past two seasons with 10 games over 10 Fantasy points out of 32. Of more concern is his catch rate -- he caught just 45.8 percent of his targets over his last two seasons. Last year he caught the lowest percentage of targets of anyone with 100 or more passes thrown their way. And he scored four touchdowns despite 16 red-zone targets.

Dennis Pitta: He caught 20 passes for 169 yards in the four games he did play in, proving that at a five-catch-per-game rate, he's still a prime target for quarterback Joe Flacco. He'll be a regular option for new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak to lean on – Kubiak is known for involving tight ends heavily in his offense. Pitta's solid 2012 (seven regular-season touchdowns, 669 yards on 61 catches) is proof that he's got the potential to be as good or better than those numbers indicate.

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