Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Ravens' Heap might merit late-round pick

About the Author

Recent posts by Mike Wilkening

Underdogs have made some noise in title round

Posted Jan. 14, 2013 @ 2:36 p.m.

What's next for Browns' offense?

Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 9:59 p.m.

Running back a need for Lions

Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 9:52 p.m.

Divisional round handicapping column

Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 4:05 p.m.

Related Stories

Dolphins snag former Ravens LB Ellerbe

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:59 p.m.

Browns strike early, sign Kruger

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:23 p.m.

49ers acquire WR Boldin from Ravens

Posted March 11, 2013 @ 5:57 p.m.

Ravens, Flacco agree to new contract

Posted March 04, 2013 @ 12:28 p.m.

Baltimore Ravens: 2013 team needs

Posted March 03, 2013 @ 3:14 p.m.

Ravens' Jones joins 'Dancing With the Stars'

Posted Feb. 25, 2013 @ 3:28 p.m.

Ravens C Matt Birk retires after 15 seasons in NFL

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 3:44 p.m.

Ravens, Flacco's agent to meet in Indy

Posted Feb. 19, 2013 @ 6:39 p.m.

Eagles sign QB Dixon

Posted Feb. 14, 2013 @ 3:11 p.m.
Posted Aug. 07, 2010 @ 10:56 a.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

This is the 31st in a series of opinionated fantasy football columns that will be posted daily in July and August, providing fantasy owners with some insights to consider as they prepare for their drafts. You can get an in-depth preview of the upcoming fantasy football season with the purchase of the Yahoo! Sports / Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football Guide 2010, available now in newsstands and bookstores, or online at

Undoubtedly, the Ravens are preparing to replace Todd Heap. They selected Oregon's Ed Dickson in Round Three and BYU's Dennis Pitta in Round Four of the 2010 NFL draft, and they are obviously hoping one, or both players are capable of taking over for Heap, who enters the final year of his contract.

Also, the Ravens clearly made a statement about their 2009 passing game in the offseason by acquiring Anquan Boldin and signing Donté Stallworth. The statement: QB Joe Flacco needs more help than he had last season.

Both of these sets of circumstances have seemed to zap Heap's fantasy stock; indeed, he is just No. 24 in Pro Football Weekly and Yahoo! Sports' 2010 TE rankings. However, I believe Heap isn't done being a starter-caliber performer, particularly in bigger fantasy leagues. And he comes with the added bonus of not having to be selected until the final rounds of a draft, if at all.

Heap is a fine insurance policy for owners required to draft two tight ends. He still has relatively good speed, and the Ravens still send him downfield, as evidenced by his 10 catches of 20 yards or more last season — his most such catches since 2005.

Also, at 6-foot-5, Heap can be an inviting target in the red zone. QB Joe Flacco found him for three TDs of 14 yards or less in Weeks 15 and 16, when Heap racked up four of his six TDs in 2009.

Finally, I see the additions of Boldin and Stallworth as positive factors when assessing Heap's potential. Boldin is an excellent possession receiver whom defenses may have to key upon, and Stallworth's speed will keep secondaries honest.

Most importantly, I don't see either as a threat to steal many TDs from Heap, whom I expect to be most effective in the red zone and to continue to have a good rapport with Flacco.

I acknowledge that younger tight ends like the Bengals' Jermaine Gresham and the Titans' Jared Cook probably have more upside than Heap and thus have to be drafted before Heap; potential gets players selected in the late rounds of fantasy leagues, and steady producers usually can be found on the waiver wire. Also, Dickson and Pitta, if quick studies, could take some of Heap's playing time.

But Heap, in my view, looks to continue to have an important role in the Ravens' offense — and a shot at scoring 5-6 TDs.


For authoritative coverage and analysis of NFL news, free agency and fantasy football, visit

Comments ()