Our “A Look Inside” series wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t write about my favorite NFL player, Mark Andrews. *insert heart-eyes emoji* Not only is he easy on the eyes (amirite?), but he’s also one of the game’s most captivating and productive players.
Mark Andrews 2023 Fantasy Football Outlook
A New Look Offense
This year, Todd Monken is taking over for Greg Roman as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator. Monken comes to the team from Georgia, where he was the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator/QB Coach, helping lead them to back-to-back championships. What we know about Monken’s offense is that it’s fast, spread out, and it’s challenging for defenders. We’re going to see three guys left, two guys right. We will see an empty backfield with five receivers ready to roll.
Monken’s offense has been described as uptempo, fast-paced, and unpredictable. It won’t be as run-heavy as it has been in the past with Greg Roman. Don’t get me wrong, with Lamar Jackson at the helm, they’ll run the ball. It just won’t be their go-to play. We also won’t see them running the play clock down to zero, as they had done so often under Roman. The Ravens have the strongest receiving corps they’ve had in years, and they will take advantage of that with Todd Monken calling the plays.
So how does this all relate to Mark Andrews? Let me tell you! Monken is known for using tight ends in mismatched situations against the defense. The TEs who have played under Monken have ended up being the team’s leading receivers year after year, one of them, Sophomore Brock Bowers, even earned the John Mackey Award!
The Best Receiver on the Team
You might be thinking that Andrews has often led the team in receiving yards under Greg Roman. True, but Roman was a huge fan of the running game. Andrews was often left as a desperation play when the run (or intended pass) wasn’t available. The man can catch just about anything thrown at him as if his hands are made of velcro, so yeah, yardage was achieved regardless of the play.
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. Shall we? Mark Andrews has led the Ravens in receiving yards in three of his five NFL seasons. The times he did not were his rookie year and in 2020, when he was second to Marquise Brown by only 68 receiving yards.
- In 2019, Mark Andrews led the Ravens in receiving yards, accumulating 852 yards, with Marquise Brown in second with 584 receiving yards.
- In 2020, he was 2nd in receiving yards to Marquise Brown, with Brown having (just) 769 yards to Andrews 701 yards.
- In 2021, Mark Andrews’ peak season, he led the team in receiving yards (1,361) by more than 300. Marquise Brown had 1,008 receiving yards.
- In 2022, last year, even though many fantasy enthusiasts felt like this was his true “regression” year, Andrews still managed to lead the Ravens in receiving yards again, with 847 yards. The next-best receiver only earned about half of Andrews’ receiving yards, with 458 yards.
I’m bringing this up to remind you that Mark Andrews isn’t just a tight end. He’s a stellar receiver. If this is how he’s performed season after season, even in periods of complete disarray, imagine how he could flourish under this new leadership. Monken frequently crafts strategic plays around TEs and multiple receivers in an effort to confuse the defense, so there’s really no doubt that we’ll see another strong season from Andrews.
So Many Weapons
But that’s not all… I’d like to bring into evidence the exceptionally strong WR room that the Ravens have this year. It’s going to be really difficult for any defense to prioritize their coverage against Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman, rookie 1st round pick Zay Flowers, and even Nelson Agholor. Toss in my favorite tight end, Mark Andrews, and star running back, J.K. Dobbins, and you’ve got your hands full. Won’t this split his yardage? I don’t think so. I could see OBJ being used almost as a decoy in order to get the ball to Andrews. It’s going to be an exciting season, regardless.
Depending on your league’s scoring rules, I’d advise you to plan on drafting Mark Andrews early. That being said, even in TE Premium leagues, we’ve seen him fall into the second round. Read the room, know who’s a fan, and pay attention to who’s being drafted in the slots before and after you. It’s going to be hit or miss on whether or not you’ll land this elite Tight End as a value or if you’ll have to pay up.
Good luck out there, friends!
A Look Inside the Baltimore Ravens
Editor’s Note: We don’t want to leave you hanging on the rest of the team. While Kelly focused on Mark Andrews in fantasy football, here is a quick look at the other fantasy-relevant Ravens by Josh Hudson.
Fresh off his new five-year contract, Lamar Jackson is primed for a breakout season. Yes, breakout. We’ve seen him voted as a unanimous MVP of the league, and there’s a chance we could see a better Lamar Jackson in 2023. He has the best weapons of his career and an offensive coordinator that wants to throw the ball. Add in the rushing upside Jackson offers. He could return to overall QB1 status in 2023.
It was a rough start to 2022 for Dobbins, but after the knee scope midseason, he returned to his old self to close out the season. Dobbins has always been a high-yards-per-carry runner, especially since he shares a backfield with Jackson. I’m not entirely buying the premise that Jackson will suddenly start targeting his RBs because Monken wants to throw more. The fact of the matter is mobile QBs like Jackson will trust themselves more than dumping it off to their RBs. However, I don’t think 40-45 targets are out of the question for Dobbins, which puts him safely in the RB2 mold with upside.
For all the talk of Dobbins this offseason, Gus Edwards has largely flown under the radar. The “Gus Bus” is a steamroller that racks up plenty of yards when given the opportunity. He’s also now two years removed from an ACL, so if we get the old Gus back, you’re in for moderate flex production of rushing yards and TDs because he’s not a receiving back.
There have been some rumors that Hill will be used more in the passing game. Gotta love coach-speak during the summer. Maybe he’s a late-round dart throw. Maybe he’ll just chill on waivers until an unfortunate injury occurs—nothing much to see here.
What does he have left? OBJ is going on about a year and a half where he hasn’t played football due to injury, and he’ll be 31 years old in November. We know who OBJ used to be. If he has anything left, it’ll be good for the ancillary pieces of this offense. If he doesn’t, the Ravens could’ve found other ways to spend $15 million. There’s plenty of risk baked into his ADP (WR53 on Underdog).
You never love players coming off Lisfranc injuries, which is precisely what Rashod Bateman is returning from. But if OBJ helps take the focus off him in the early going, he should be primed for a great 2nd half of the season. His WR45 price on Underdog is just fine to see how he returns from injury.
He’s going into the season as the WR3, but if you told me he was the most-targeted Ravens WR at the end of the 2023 season, I wouldn’t be surprised. Like Bateman, I expect him to start the season slow and have a better 2nd half. He’s going at WR46 on Underdog, so again, not expensive to find out.
Ryan’s Take: Too short.
We saw Likely have some breakout moments in 2022 due to injuries across the team. With a revamped WR room, I wouldn’t expect much production in 2023 unless there are more injuries. But he’s the ultimate TE handcuff. If something were to happen to Andrews (please, God, no), Likely has TE1 upside.
We will be covering every team this offseason. So check back here often for all of our A Look Inside articles.