38-Year-Old Linebacker – Free Agent
2013 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Ray Lewis in 2013. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
2013 ADP: –
Ray Lewis Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year contract worth $44.5 million with the Ravens in March of 2009.
Lewis tallied 13 tackles (nine solo) and a pass defended in Sunday's wild-card round win over the Colts.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Ray Lewis: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Lewis announced his retirement while speaking to the media for the first time since October. He previously said that he wouldn't talk to the media until he was ready to play, so this would seem to confirm the prevailing opinion that he'll be a go Sunday. It figures to be his last game in Baltimore, as only a Bengals-Ravens AFC Championship Game matchup could give the Ravens another home game in the playoffs.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Ray Lewis.
Like London Fletcher, Lewis just doesn’t seem to be aging at an appropriate pace. His actual effectiveness took a step back in 2011 at age 36, but that was perhaps in large part due to the turf toe injury through which he played – an injury that cost him four games. Despite playing in only 12 games, Lewis’ stats were about as good as usual on a per-game basis, as he finished with 95 tackles (72 solo), two sacks and an interception. If you project those numbers over 16 games, you get something to the tune of 127 stops (96 solo) and 2.5 sacks. Lewis could see more blitz attempts than usual in 2012, as Terrell Suggs (Achilles) isn’t a good bet to play this year, and the Ravens will need to cook up other means of pressuring quarterbacks. For that reason, something like four or five sacks from Lewis would not be surprising.
It has to happen eventually, but Lewis still isn’t showing signs of slowing down. The future Hall of Famer was a top-tier IDP option in 2010, totaling 139 tackles (102 solo) with two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and two forced fumbles. A threat to make plays both against the run and the pass, Lewis posts big numbers every year despite his opportunities being relatively limited by Baltimore’s three-and-out defense and ball-control offense. The threat of age pushes the 36-year-old further down the list than his production alone warrants. Even if he doesn’t crack the top tier again in 2011, Lewis looks like a safe bet to land in the second one.
Lewis isn’t a sideline-to-sideline speedster any more, but he continues to rack up big IDP numbers in the middle of Baltimore’s defense. He was credited with 133 tackles last season — his highest total since the 2004 campaign — and he added three sacks, making Lewis a top IDP option despite his advanced age, and despite that he failed to intercept a pass for the first time since 2004. He might not reach 130 tackles again this season, but barring injury, he’s a good bet to top 110 with enough sacks and interceptions to remain close to the IDP elite.
He’s far on the wrong side of 30, and he lost several key defensive teammates in the offseason. Those seem like minor obstacles to Ray Lewis. He doesn’t have the speed that once allowed him to chase ball carriers from sideline to sideline, but he compensates with superior instincts and reads, which have allowed him to post three straight seasons of 100-plus tackles with at least two sacks and two interceptions. While injuries are a concern, Lewis played a full 16-game slate last season for the first time since 2003. And even though the Ravens defense lost a few pieces in free agency, Lewis still has a trio of 300-pound defensive tackles to keep blockers off him. It’s worth noting that Baltimore re-signed Lewis this offseason to a deal that will likely take him up to retirement, while letting fellow ILB Bart Scott walk.
Lewis fought through a litany of injuries last season to post his fourth 100-plus tackle campaign in the last five years. He finished with 120 stops, his highest total since 2004, and he did so in only 14 games. Age (33) and injuries are a legitimate concern for Lewis, who missed two games in 2007, two in 2006 and 11 in 2005. He's still a threat for 120 or more tackles, though, and he usually adds a couple sacks and interceptions. He can't make up ground like he used to, although Lewis is still a fast, powerful player with great instincts.
Lewis entered last year coming off surgery to repair his hamstring and needing help with blockers from his defensive tackles. Both situations resolved themselves nicely, and Lewis turned in a Top 10-caliber year, at least as far as points per game are concerned. Lewis missed two games because of a pool of blood that caused stiffness in his back and had to be drained. Even with that problem, Lewis had the mobility to snag two interceptions and the power to make five sacks, but his tackling diminished. In reaching 103 total tackles last year, his fewest when playing at least 14 games, Lewis turned in a season of consistently strong games but few amazing ones. He's entering his 12th season and has had injury problems the past few years, but so long as he plays at least 13 games, Lewis is worth a pick. His superhuman athleticism might now be merely mortal, but he has size, incredible know-how and instincts. He plays with an aggression and intensity that may know no parallel. He needs to re-establish trust with fantasy owners who've expected the league’s top IDP, but who've gotten an injury prone, middle-of-the-road option. Late in a draft, Lewis offers a ton of value.
Drafting Lewis is “gulp” something of a risk this year. If that reads odd, it should. No one can put up the numbers he can at his best, such as in 2003 when he posted 120 solo tackles and six interceptions to finish the year averaging more than 10 FP/G. Typically the top linebacker averages somewhere in the eights. But that was 2003. In 2005, for the second time in four years, Lewis lost 10 games to an injury, in this case a torn hamstring. And leading up to the NFL Draft, he bemoaned the lack of support he’s received from his defensive tackles, and he’s right. Lewis, even at 245, needs the pathways cleared for him, and since the days of Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams hasn’t had the best beef in front of him. That’s why Baltimore drafted 338-pound Haloti Ngata with this year’s 12th overall pick, though Ngata’s known to take plays off. Combine the uncertainty about his supporting cast, hamstring and happiness, and there’s finally some risk to the reward Lewis can offer. That said, Lewis has never failed to produce when he’s on the field. In those injury-shortened seasons, he averaged top-10 points per game figures. In every year of 15 or 14 games played, addng the missing games vaults him into the year-end top 10.
Lewis had a down year in 2004, which for Lewis meant finishing 14th among linebackers in total points. He missed one game, however – add his per-game average for that 16th contest and he would have been sixth. Some down year. Donnie Edwards is more consistent from year-to-year, and isn’t coming off the fractured wrist Lewis is, but only Lewis can deliver 10 fantasy points per game. His wrist recovery needs to be monitored as draft day nears since it’s picks and perfect tackling numbers that separate him from the pack. But if he appears healthy, you’ll get a stud who logged at least four solo tackles in every single game of 2004. The tackling is there – it’s the playmaking that needs to return for Lewis.
You’re simply mad if he’s not the first IDP you take. Barring his injury-shortened 2002, Lewis has failed to log 100 solo tackles only once in his career, in his rookie season when he was but a baby monster and recorded a paltry 99. He’s averaged 3.0 sacks, 2.6 interceptions and 8.6 passes defended per year over his career (again, excluding 2002), so when you put the complete package together, you get, well, the most complete package in individual defense.
Lewis, who is coming off a season-ending left shoulder injury, repeatedly tested it in May mini-camps and looked completely healthy. If he can stay that way, he's every bit as good as Urlacher and should challenge him for the NFL lead in tackles. Throw in a couple picks and a few sacks, and Lewis could easily wind up being the best individual defensive player on the board.