Daily Dr. Roto — July 1, 2018
Fantasy Football Overrated: Ravens WR Michael Crabtree
I loved watching Michael Crabtree when he was at Texas Tech. In fact, I was convinced that he was going to be a future star in the NFL and a possible perennial Pro Bowl player. However, in his eight years in the league, we have seen him eclipse 1000 yards receiving only twice, and he has never scored double-digit TDs.
I was hopeful that Jon Gruden’s arrival in Oakland would help Crabtree’s numbers, but in fact, the opposite happened. As soon as the Packers put Jordy Nelson on the cutting block, Oakland pounced on him and signed him to a two-year deal, leaving Crabtree to find himself a new home.
Baltimore lost Mike Wallace to the Eagles in free agency and were desperately looking for a new WR1. When Crabtree came available, they jumped in and gave him a three-year deal worth $21 million. Now, Crabtree joins John Brown, Willie Snead, and Breshad Perriman as the receiving corps for Joe Flacco. Moreover, the Ravens also love to use two tight end sets and added two exceptional young rookies in this year’s draft in Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.
There has been a lot of buzz from Ravens camp about how good Crabtree has looked thus far. And while I don’t disagree with those news reports, I still wonder whether they have much meaning. Flacco and the Ravens averaged 5.7 yards per passing attempt last season, and Flacco is in the final year of his contract. The Ravens are already looking to the future by adding Louisville QB Lamar Jackson to the fold as Flacco’s heir apparent. With Flacco fading and Jackson still learning the offense, I can’t see how Crabtree is going to improve on his most recent numbers.
Additionally, head coach John Harbaugh loves to run the football. RB Alex Collins finally showed the promise last season that experts predicted when he came out of Arkansas and was a solid runner in their offense. Also, the Ravens also are hoping that Kenneth Dixon returns to form from his past injuries. With the Ravens hoping to establish the run and protect Flacco’s fading career, how will there be enough targets for Crabtree?
In Fantasy Football, it is essential to compare production with the round that a player is selected. I am not suggesting that Crabtree is a bad football player. He isn’t. In fact, he is the best receiver the Ravens have. I am suggesting, though, that he will see fewer targets in this offense and his value won’t be worth the round that you will have to take him (5.8 in the most recent OC).
Projections for Michael Crabtree: 70 catches for 870 yards and 7 TDs
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