Breakout Potential: Why Joe Flacco Could Post A Career Year In 2012

Does knowing nearly exactly what you are going to get from a player an asset or a detriment to their stock?  When it comes to Joe Flacco, it appears that being one of the most consistent players around does not work in his favor.  Just look at his numbers over the past three seasons:

  • 2009 – 3,613 yards, 21 TD, 12 INT
  • 2010 – 3,622 yards, 25 TD, 10 INT
  • 2011 – 3,610 yards, 20 TD, 12 INT

Those are solid numbers, yet he appears to be ignored on draft day this season.  According to Mock Draft Central he currently holds an ADP of 149.50, the 19th quarterback coming off the board.

However, in 2011 he ranked 12th in yards thrown…

He tied for 13th in touchdown throws…

He tied for 14th in fewest interceptions…

Obviously, no one is going to argue that he’s going to be one of the elite quarterbacks in the league.  He’s not going to throw for the same yards that the Drew Brees’, Matthew Stafford’s or Tom Brady’s of the world are going to.  The Ravens offense, led by Ray Rice, just isn’t going to be designed to operate like that.

That said, the Ravens passing game has the potential to take a step forward this season.  Ray Rice is always going to be a weapon.  Anquan Boldin is a solid presence and, while not the WR1 that the Ravens may have hoped for, should continue to be solid.

Both Torrey Smith and Ed Dickson began to come into their own, leading the Ravens in receiving TD with 7 and 5, respectively.  Yes, Smith did have one big game early that helped to skew the numbers (3 TD against St. Louis), but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.  We will talk about Smith in much more detail soon, but the Baltimore Sun recently reported (click here to view):

“Torrey Smith’s improvement from a year ago is noticeable. The second-year receiver’s route running is better and he is getting his hips down and accelerating going in and out of breaks.”

Drops were a problem for both Smith and Dickson, but hopefully another year of experience can help combat those problems.  If each of them can get those issues under control the ability of Flacco to produce increases substantially.

Throw in the addition of Jacoby Jones, a viable third receiver when healthy, and the Ravens offense has the potential to be dynamic.  Could this be the year that Flacco eclipses the 4,000 yard mark?  I wouldn’t be surprised.

Could he reach 30 TD passes?  That’s a stretch, given the presence of Rice in the backfield, but 25 wouldn’t surprise me.

Throw in his consistency in limiting the INT and there’s an awful lot to like.

I am not about to try and sell him as a QB1 entering the season.  There are too many other options available to me.  However, if I don’t end up with one of the Top 5 or 6 options, drafting Flacco as my second option makes a lot of sense.  He has a ton of upside and I can easily envision him posting a career year with the talent that he’s been surrounded with.  Since you also won’t have to reach for him, like you might a Robert Griffin III (88.19), there’s even more incentive.  In the later rounds of your draft he is an ideal target on draft day.

What are your thoughts of Flacco?  Is he a player you would consider drafting?  Why or why not?

Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings:

Late Round Target: Could Martellus Bennett Develop Into A Viable Option At TE?
Top Running Back Handcuffs For 2012: Ben Tate, Rashad Jennings, Toby Gerhart & More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *