Joe Flacco to Derrick Mason: A Developing Fantasy Duo?

Taylor RummelSenior Analyst IJune 29, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 18:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens talks on the field with Derrick Mason #85 and Mark Clayton #89 against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Championship game on January 18, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Rookie Joe Flacco was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Flacco was originally a part of the Pittsburgh Panthers NCAA team, but decided to transfer to Delaware since he was not seeing regular playing time behind fellow QB Tyler Palko.

With the Fightin' Blue Hens in 2006, he put up nearly 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns to go with 10 interceptions. The next year he accumulated over 3,300 yards and again threw 18 touchdowns. This time honed his accuracy and decision making, evident by his mere five interceptions.

In perhaps his finest performance while in Delaware, Flacco threw for 434 yards and four touchdowns in one game.

Joe Flacco was not supposed to start for the Baltimore Ravens, but injuries to Kyle Boller and Troy Smith thrust him into the leading role, ready or not.

In his first game he struggled, totaling only 129 yards on 15 completions for a 51.7 completion percentage and throwing all of zero touchdowns.

Flacco settled down and showed his maturity through the season, and those numbers remained a season low.

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Over his next five outings, Flacco increased his completion percentage by over 15 points and showed the NFL that he was a viable starting option. He ended the season with 2,971 yards and 14 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions.

The knock on Flacco's fantasy value this upcoming season directly correlates to the Baltimore Ravens' offensive scheme.

Baltimore has long been a run-first team, severely hurting any potential of Flacco's to become a top 10 fantasy QB. However, a report today from The Sporting News offers a glimmer of hope.

It reads "offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is expected to open up the Ravens air attack in Joe Flacco's second season."

This is certainly good news for potential Flacco owners, since it shows from a prominent source that the Ravens are considering becoming a more balanced team (at least offensively).

One wide receiver in particular might benefit tremendously from this news.Β 

His name is Derrick Mason.

Mason, the No. 1 receiver on the depth chart for the Ravens, is a 13-year vet of the NFL, and is heading into his fifth season with the team.

Last year, Mason didn't show one sign of his age, grabbing 80 passes for 1,037 yards and five touchdowns, all team-leading statistics.

Flacco found Mason frequently last year, and should continue to this upcoming season. After all, a young quarterback's best friend is a sure-handed veteran wide receiver.

Derrick Mason is going in the ninth round on average in 12-team mock drafts, while Flacco is going in the 13th.