Welcome to week three of the NFL Regular Season. Before each game RavensGab will take a look at the various Ravens players poised to make a significant fantasy impact and provide analysis based on current trends and matchups.
Baltimore Ravens at St. Louis Rams
September 25th, 2011 4:05 pm St. Louis, MO
Weather Forecast: Dome
Joe Flacco, QB (197 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT)
Wow, welcome back Good Joe/Bad Joe. After a monster performance against Pittsburgh(at least by Flacco standards) Joe came into Nashville and laid an egg. In standard scoring leagues, Flacco garnered a whopping 7.88 points. It was not what we were expecting to say the least, but as they say “this is why we play the game.”
All bets are off on Flacco until he shows some stability. Against St. Louis I’m giving him a slightly better day than against Tennessee but am going to base the numbers off of Eli Manning’s performance last Monday night, because I think the QB performances will be similar.
Prediction: 220 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Ray Rice, RB (43 yards Rush, 53 yards Rec, 1 TD)
I’m still trying to figure out how Ray Rice can break off 100+ yards rushing against the best run defense in the NFL, and then turn around and fall short of 100 yards total offense against the lowly Tennessee Titans. Rice had a good day points wise throwing up 15 points in most standard scoring leagues, but it definitely wasn’t the outing we expected.
Bradshaw and Jacobs ran for a combined 100+ yards against the Rams last week, and I would think that Rice is going to be in similar territory. That said if Mark LeVoir suits up again at guard, I think Rice gets more looks through the air.
Prediction: 75 yds Rush, 45 yds Rec, 1 TD
Ricky Williams, RB (2 yards Rush, 0 yards Rec, 0 TD)
Ricky Williams scored negative points in standard scoring last week. He doesn’t seem to be all there with the offense yet, and if we’re going to be honest here, he’s only on your bench as a handcuff. If you’re playing him, you’re doing it wrong…
Ricky will only see appreciable points if the Rams get blown out. He may also be good for a TD if the Ravens struggle in the red zone.
Prediction: 25yds Rush, 10 yds Rec, 0 TD
Ed Dickson, TE (25 yards Rec, 0 TD)/ Dennis Pitta, TE (24 yards Rec, 0 TD)
A lack of support from the offensive line, and a lack of a real vertical threat limited what Flacco was able to do with Pitta/Dickson. Neither had spectacular days, but it is worth noting, Dickson was targeted six times and Pitta three. Dickson is the favored target among the two.
If Lee Evans sits, the Ravens won’t have the deep threat to expose the Rams linebackers. This means reduced numbers again for the TE’s. As always you won’t know who is going to get the heavy nod until the game plays out.
Prediction: Dickson — 45 yds, 0 TD/Pitta — 40 yds, 1 TD
Anquan Boldin, WR (46 yards Rec, 0 TD)
Credit to the Titan secondary, they had Anquan Boldin pretty well managed all game long. Strong coverage compounded with constant pressure on Flacco limited what Boldin was able to accomplish.
The St. Louis corners are not as good as Tennessee’s, but the Rams will get pressure on Joe, especially if LeVoir starts in place of Grubbs. Like I said last week, you have to play Boldin if you have him, but he is likely not going to put up the mega numbers you’ll need to win.
Prediction: 70 yrds, 1 TD
Lee Evans, WR (45 yds, 0 TD)
Lee Evans is being limited by the injury to his ankle. He’s still a down field threat but he struggled to get separation from his corner. In his one good reception of the day he was able to get free on a blown assignment and make a good play on the ball.
If Evans is not sidelined by an ankle injury this weekend he should have slightly better numbers. I like him to be used like Hixon or Nicks on the Giants, but only if he plays.
Prediction: 60 yrds, 0 TD
Billy Cundiff, K (1 PAT, 2/2 FG, Lng 41 yds)
Clearly John Harbaugh was looking out for Cundiff’s fantasy owners in the last few minutes of the Titans game. I mean why else would he trot out a kicker deep in the red-zone with under 5:00 to play and down two scores.
More of the same out of Cundiff this weekend. Handful of PATs and one or two FG tries.
Prediction: 3 PAT, 2 FG (35/37 yds)
Defense (1 INT, 0/0 FF, 0 Sack, 0 TD)
Man was I wrong about this defense again last week. They were absolutely manhandled by the Tennessee Titans. They couldn’t get pressure on Hasselbeck, they couldn’t get pressure on receivers across the middle, and the secondary play on the edges was down right putrid. Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs looked very sharp but the rest of the team was flat. Ravens clearly need to get more pressure from the right side of the line in order to free up Suggs to make more plays.
Ravens defense is banged up going into an away matchup against a desperate team. I don’t like the odds of them having big numbers.
Prediction: 1 INT, 2/3 FF, 4 Sack, 0 TD