Is Joe Flacco a QB1?

Aug 24, 2010

Image courtesy of Icon SMI


As fantasy drafts are starting to take off across the globe, there are still many questions to be answered. One of them is whether or not Joe Flacco is a legitimate starting fantasy QB. The addition of Anquan Boldin has to at least put him in the conversation, but is it enough.


It appears that Flacco is right on the fringe. Mock Draft Central has him pegged as the 13th QB (91st overall) going off draft boards. I have him one slot higher, and into starting fantasy QB territory at #12 (click to see my 2010 QB rankings). Boldin’s presence has a lot to do with it.


Flacco took major strides in his second season, increasing his numbers across the board. His completion percentage rose from 60.0 to 63.1. His yardage increased from 2971 to 3613. His TDs rose from 14 to 21 while his INTs remained at 12. His passer rating rose from 80.3 to 88.9. The only place where his numbers decreased was in the rushing department as he went from 180 yards and 2 TDs to 56 yards without a score.


He was fairly productive with an aging Derrick Mason as his primary option in the passing game. Ray Rice did his part with 78 catches for 702 yards and Todd Heap turned back the clock with a 53 catch season, but those aren’t numbers to write home about. Aside from Mason, Flacco got very little production from his WRs. Mark Clayton had 34 catches for 480 yards. Kelley Washington also had 34 catches for 431 yards. The rest aren’t worth mentioning, which is like 2008 when Mason (80-1037-5) and Clayton (41-695-3) were the only WRs to top 200 yards.


Enter Anquan Boldin who, when healthy, is one of the top WRs in the game. He has topped 1000 yards each of the past two seasons and five of his seven years in the NFL. His lone issue is durability, having missed nine games in the past three seasons, but the list of tougher WRs in the NFL today would be a short one. He gives the Ravens a physical receiver that can get those valuable yards after contact. He had 355 last year on 84 catches. Raven WRs combined for just 457 YAC last year, with Mason staking claim to 260 of those yards.


Not only did they bring Boldin in, they also added Donte’ Stallworth to be their deep threat. Stallworth also has an injury history, as well as his DUI that killed a man. I know there is debate whether or not he should be able to even play anymore, but that ruling is above our heads so we just have to move on. Boldin and Mason give Flacco two reliable targets that can move the chains. Stallworth gives them the speed element to stretch defenses. They quietly could form one of the best receiving trios in the league.


With three quality WRs, and possibly a fourth if Clayton can contribute, a solid TE, and the best pass-catching RB in the game, it’s easy to imagine Flacco to develop into a top 8-10 QB. The problem is he plays on a team that is very committed to the run. They finished in the top five in rushing yards in 2008 and 2009.


The Ravens let Flacco air it out, as he attempted 406 passes in their first 12 games (33.8 attempts per game). That number dropped to 23.3 attempts in the final four games. Not exactly what you want from your QB as you’re making a fantasy playoffs run. He also didn’t top 235 yards in his last five games.


So if you are going to trust Joe Flacco as your number one fantasy QB, you’re going to need a little faith, though having two upgrades at the WR position and Ray Rice at his disposal helps.


What are your thoughts on Joe Flacco as a QB1?

Also check out:

2010 Top 50 Fantasy RB Rankings
- 2010 Top 60 Fantasy WR Rankings
2010 Top 25 Fantasy TE Rankings
2010 Top 25 Fantasy IDP Rankings
2010 Top 25 Fantasy Team Defense Rankings
2010 Top 15 Fantasy K Rankings

. .

6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. K9
    August 25th, 2010 at 6:21 am #

    Flaco and Schaub took me deep into the playoffs last year so I have no problem using him as a #1.

  2. LestersLegends
    August 25th, 2010 at 6:26 am #

    I agree, especially because having him as your QB1 means you stocked up elsewhere.

  3. Charles
    August 25th, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    I agree with K9. I actually won one of my leagues with Flacco as my QB1 last year. I think he’ll do fine this year with a new WR corps.

  4. LestersLegends
    August 25th, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Boldin should really help. Not sure what Stallworth will bring.

  5. magicdizzle
    August 28th, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Stallworth will probably bring another DUI.

  6. LestersLegends
    August 28th, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    I sure hope he learned his lesson.

Leave a Comment

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties