The youth movement is on in Baltimore’s backfield.
We saw it as soon as the first preseason game — West looked better than ever and Dixon made multiple impressive plays. By the third preseason game Dixon was mixing in with the first-team offense and West was taking short-yardage opportunities. Javorius Allen had clinched the passing downs role by then.
It’s not going to be the most desirable backfield to choose from in Fantasy, but it will be the most cost-effective. West, Dixon and Allen all will either cost a pick in the middle-to-late rounds or be found on the waiver wire. As of this writing, all three are available in 75 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
Of course, this is all contingent on the Ravens actually keeping Forsett off the roster. There’s always the chance he comes back at a lower salary, though that could have been negotiated before the team got to the 53-man limit.
For now, here’s the plan in the event Forsett is not re-signed.
|ATT: 25||YDS: 101||TD: 2||TAR: 3||REC: 3||REC YDS: 25||REC TD: 0|
West is the one who can help you the most right now. He’s the best fit for Baltimore on early downs and at the goal line, plus if he takes off in the early season he’ll have a shot to really blossom into a good Fantasy option. For those of you who rely on Zero RB or just wait on running backs in general, West is a guy who can start as soon as Week 1 against the Bills in deeper leagues. Round 10 is in play for him regardless of format.
|ATT: 22||YDS: 107||TD: 0||TAR: 3||REC: 2||REC YDS: 21||REC TD: 0|
Dixon is the one who might help the most long-term.
No Ravens running back was more impressive this preseason. He was well on his way to earning first-team reps and a possible starting spot when he got hurt in the third preseason game (on a carry near the goal-line). He won’t be active to start the year but the Ravens wouldn’t risk losing Forsett if they’re worried about Dixon missing a ton of time. He’s back to getting a look in Round 10 or later. Get him and stash him.
You could double up on these Ravens running backs in Rounds 10 and 11 pretty easily.
|ATT: 21||YDS: 43||TD: 0||TAR: 11||REC: 11||REC YDS: 65||REC TD: 1|
Allen is the one who gets a boost in PPR formats. He finished last year as the Ravens’ every-down back because everyone else got hurt, but until that happens again he should start this year working exclusively on third downs, long second downs and the two-minute offense. Eight touches and five receptions per week could happen. He’s a late-round pick in PPR formats.
|ATT: 7||YDS: 11||TD: 0||TAR: 2||REC: 2||REC YDS: 14||REC TD: 0|
What if Forsett comes back? It muddles the whole picture but it doesn’t necessarily change the outlook for any of the Ravens, especially Dixon. He’s the one regarded as the future in this backfield. Forsett could come back and complement or replace any role in the run game – he’s a good enough runner but better as a pass catcher. He didn’t look great this summer, which is probably why he’s not a Raven right now.
No one expect the Ravens to contend for the AFC North, but John Harbaugh’s track record suggests otherwise. The offensive line is better than most in the league, Joe Flacco is a respected threat in the passing game, the receiving corps is getting healthy and the defense typically finds a way to stay competitive. You can’t write off the Ravens, which means you can’t write off their run game.