Flacco on the rise, but can he shine in 2009?

(Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

(Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

Fantasy owners are always on the lookout for potential sleepers, even if the next full season doesn’t start for eight months.

One of the players you’ll hear about a lot is Joe Flacco. The strong-armed rookie out of Delaware showed flashes of potential during the regular season, and he’s led the Ravens deep into the postseason. With a full season of experience under his belt and a wealth of talent, it appears the sky is the limit for Flacco in the black and purple.

Of course, quarterbacks wearing those colors haven’t had much success.

Believe it or not, the lone Ravens quarterback to have a monster fantasy season was Vinny Testaverde, and that came in the team’s first season in Baltimore. He had an impressive 4,177 yards and 33 touchdowns in what was the best statistical season of his career.

But since Testaverde found success, the team’s quarterbacks have been mostly irrelevant in fantasy football.

Whether it’s been Jim Harbaugh (1998), Tony Banks (1999-2000), Elvis Grbac (2001), Jeff Blake (2002), Kyle Boller (2003-2005, 2007) or Steve McNair (2006), the Ravens’ most productive signal-caller has left much to be desired. In fact, none of those quarterback threw for more than 3,100 yards or 17 touchdowns in a single season.

While Flacco might have better skills than most of his predecessors, the fact remains that the Ravens are a defensive-minded, run-based team that doesn’t take a ton of chances in the passing attack.

So while Flacco will be selected in all drafts and have his share of solid stat lines, I don’t see him as more than a high-end No. 2 fantasy quarterback in 2009.

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