The opportunistic Ravens ranked second in defensive fantasy scoring last season, forcing a league-high 34 turnovers, recording 41 sacks and scoring five defensive touchdowns. Baltimore was tough against the pass, with only 18 TD passes allowed and 22 interceptions. The Ravens held opponents to a passer rating of 72.4, the second-best mark in the league. They’re rock solid in the back end with safeties Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson, plus a deep collection of cornerbacks led by veteran Jimmy Smith. Baltimore is also strong up the middle with DT Brandon Williams and ILB C.J. Mosley.
Much of this defense’s 2017 fantasy success was predicated on takeaways and defensive scores -- categories where performance tends to be extremely fickle year over year. This unit’s spiritual leader and best pass rusher, OLB Terrell Suggs, will turn 36 in October. The new architect of the Ravens’ defense, Don “Wink” Martindale, has only one year of experience as an NFL defensive coordinator. In 2010, his Broncos defense ranked dead last in yardage allowed, points allowed and fantasy scoring.
Expect some regression in the turnover tally and the defensive touchdowns. Nevertheless, this could still be a pretty good fantasy defense, since the Ravens and their top-drawer secondary should continue to be strong against the pass.