BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-7)
New faces: S Earl Thomas, RB Mark Ingram, WR Seth Roberts, WR Michael Floyd, CB Justin Bethel, WR Marquise Brown, WR Miles Boykin, RB Justice Hill, offensive coordinator Greg Roman, GM Eric DeCosta.
Key losses: LB Terrell Suggs, LB C.J. Mosley, LB Za’Darius Smith, WR John Brown, WR Michael Crabtree, S Eric Weddle, TE Maxx Williams, GM Ozzie Newsome.
Strengths: NFL’s top-ranked defense remains force, despite loss of Mosley and pass rushers Suggs and Smith. Patrick Onwuasor appears to be adequate replacement for Mosley at MLB and defensive coordinator Don Martindale will find way to keep pressure on opposing quarterback. Best unit is secondary, led by Thomas and featuring CBs Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr and Jimmy Smith.
Weaknesses: Offensive line is thin and lacks star power beyond RG Marshal Yanda and LT Ronnie Stanley. Second-year tackle Orlando Brown Jr. played well last season, but left guard position is shaky, and center Matt Skura has started only one season. It’s paramount for Ravens to protect QB Lamar Jackson, whether he runs or throws.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Jackson. Fleet-footed QB can ring up fantasy points on ground and through air. He ran for 695 yards and five TDs as rookie and threw for 1,201 yards and six scores. Jackson is focal point of offense and its biggest threat to score when Baltimore reaches red zone.
Vegas Says: Win Super Bowl 36-1. Over/under wins 8 1/2.
Expectations: Ravens have decent chance of successfully defending AFC North title and reaching playoffs. For that to happen, Jackson must be better passer than last year and Ingram needs to ground out yardage in Roman’s run-oriented attack. Fortunately, if possession stalls there’s K Justin Tucker to ring up points from 50-55 yards. Defense may not be No. 1 again, but Martindale will probably keep it at high level.