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Filling the Anquan Boldin Void

Torrey Smith Fantasy

Anquan Boldin, while getting up there in age, was still a very productive wide receiver for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. When news of the trade broke, it came as a shock to some, especially given the price San Francisco paid to get the skilled wide-out.

Anquan Boldin

Filling the Anquan Boldin Void

Earlier this year, Anquan Boldin was traded from the Ravens to the 49ers for a  6th round draft pick. Boldin, while getting up there in age, was still a very productive wide receiver for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. When news of the trade broke, it came as a shock to some, especially given the price San Francisco paid to get the skilled wide-out. Some even speculate that the 49ers were given a “family discount” given that both teams’ head coaches are brothers. As always with a trade in the NFL, fantasy football fans immediately start keeping tabs and paying more attention to a possible replacement. Anquan Boldin played a very important role for the Ravens in 2012 and many thought young superstar Torrey Smith would step up to become the WR1 for Baltimore, it was actually Bolden who stepped up, leading the team in receptions, yards and targets. So far Boldin’s replacement has yet to be named, and with training camp coming up we hope to get a clearer picture heading into fantasy football drafts. Whoever takes his place, will have some big shoes to fill.

The following are my thoughts on potential suitors for filling the Anquan Boldin void and be a asset to your fantasy teams.

Running Backs: Baltimore has always used their running backs in the passing game. Ray Rice has long been a top RB to own in PPR leagues. Bernard Pierce looks to get even more snaps in 2013, and may cut into Rice’s touches. Add to the situation that fullback Vonta Leach is gone and we could be looking at a slight increase of targets for Ravens’ running backs.

Wide Receivers: There are many names to know here. The obvious is Torrey Smith,  who is now forced into the WR1 situation on the team and could have a huge year. However his skillset isn’t the same as Anquan Boldin’s, therefor I see Smith’s overall numbers going up but not drastically. Jacoby Jones is still around, but experienced fantasy football owners have suffered through his song and dance before (Pun intended). He may be a bit more valuable in leagues that reward points for kick returns, but to me it will be more of the same for Jones. Adding to that mix of young unproven talents:  Tandon Doss, David Reed, Deonte Thompson, Tommy Streeter, and Aaron Mellette. All could have some impact, although we may see a rotation of these guys depending on the scheme and play calling. I can see maybe one of them emerging, but not enough to make a huge fantasy impact. There are some names the for sure to keep an eye on if you’re in a dynasty league, but for redraft, they are waiver wire material.

Tight Ends: I look for Dennis Pitta to be heavily involved in the offense this year. In 2012, Pitta ranked third on the team in receptions and targets. Look for that number to increase drastically in 2013. Gridiron Experts has Dennis Pitta ranked as the 6th tight end for the 2013 season. Ed Dickson could also see some increased looks, but profiles more as a blocking tight end.

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