Ravens Receiving Corps: Who is Healthy Enough to Help You?
by Rob Pallazola
Aug 13, 2013 1:19 PM EDT
Every team in the NFL goes through changes over the course of the off season. In the case of the Baltimore Ravens, they traded away their leading wide receiver Anquan Boldin to their Super Bowl XLVII opponent San Francisco 49ers for a sixth round draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. This came as a surprise to almost everyone after witnessing how Boldin played during the postseason, catching 22 passes on 36 targets for 380 yards and four TDs. Then came July 27, the day when the team's 2012 No. 3 leading receiver, TE Dennis Pitta, dislocated his hip in a training camp practice. Now, Pitta could possibly miss the entire season. These two incidents have left many questions about the Ravens receiving corps going into the 2013 season; it also left WR Torrey Smith as the lone active receiver of the teams Top Three receivers of a year ago. The Ravens added TE Visanthe Shiancoe on July 28, who is coming off a year in which he didn't have a single reception with the New England Patriots. Then more bad news came in on Aug. 4, when TE Ed Dickson suffered a tear in his hamstring. Originally, it appeared that he could miss a week, but it is starting to look like it could be a bit more, and Pitta may not start the season opener against the Denver Broncos. On Aug. 11, the Ravens announced they have signed a pair of veterans to supplement the depleted corps, one of which was TE Dallas Clark, the other WR Brandon Stokley. Both players have been productive over the years and were once teammates in Indianapolis, but both are many years removed from their best seasons and may only offer minimal relief for QB Joe Flacco. Here is a look at what this group of current receivers did over the 2012 season. Name Position Receptions Targets Yards TDs Torrey Smith WR 49 110 855 8 Dennis Pitta TE 61 93 669 7 Dallas Clark * TE 47 76 435 4 Brandon Stokley * WR 45 58 544 5 Jacoby Jones WR 30 54 406 1 Ed Dickson TE 21 33 225 0 Tandon Doss WR 7 18 123 1 Denotes player is injured *Player not with organization for 2012 season. Torrey Smith: The clear favorite of the group and likely the favorite of Flacco as well, Smith has taking over the role of the WR1 and he now needs to prove he is. He could see significant increases in his targets this season without Boldin in the mix. His 44.6 percent reception rate needs to increase though. He will be a solid WR2 in most fantasy formats, and has been going in the middle of the fifth round of 12-team leagues. Brandon Stokley: Even at 37 years old, Stokley can still make plays in the middle of the field and has proven to have the hands to make the tough catches in traffic over his 14 year NFL career. His stat line of last season is very repeatable, and it makes him a little more interesting in points per reception formats as a WR3/4 in he sees enough playing time. Jacoby Jones: Since coming into the league in 2007, Jones has had to prove himself and has done so mainly in the return game. This could be his last shot to prove he has the ability to be a playmaker as a starting wide receiver. Jones could is a decent WR4 option with low-end WR3 potential if he can turn it on this season. Dallas Clark: The days of the Peyton Manning to Dallas Clark connection are long since past, but Clark is still a serviceable tight end in the NFL. He won't replicate Pitta's numbers of last season, but it's probably a good bet he could reproduce his own output. He could see a bigger role early in the season depending on exactly how long it takes for Dickson to be game ready. Clark would be a nice late-round flier for an early bye week filler, but if Dickson comes back quickly his role will be reduced. Tandon Doss: He will be competing against Stokley for playing time, but he could also be looking to move into Jacoby Jones role as well. He is a step ahead of Stokley as he has been in camp from the onset, but the veteran should be able to catch up quick. As a result, Doss needs to showcase himself at every opportunity, especially with Jones not locked in as the No. 2 starter alongside Smith. It will be an uphill battle, but it may be worth keeping an eye on Doss for the remainder of preseason. Time will tell how much the Anquan Boldin trade will effect the Ravens and if Torrey Smith is ready to be the No. 1 wide receiver on a Super Bowl caliber team, but for now he could help you win your league championship and that's what fantasy football is all about.