Fantasy Forecast- Week Four

Welcome to week four 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.

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens

October 2, 2011 8:30 pm Baltimore, MD

Weather Forecast: Chilly, Clear Skies

Joe Flacco, QB (389 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT)

Damn it Joe, you’re starting to make me look bad here. You’re such a wildly erratic statistical player that you’re almost impossible to gauge fantasy wise. From week to week there’s no telling which of you is going to show up. I used to think there is just good Joe and bad Joe, but now I have to acknowledge that there’s also a great Joe. Flacco was certainly great Joe against the Rams last week, pissing off fantasy prognosticators everywhere.

The last time Flacco faced off against the Jets he threw for 248 yards, O TD’s and 1 INT, that said, this season the Jets have the 6th ranked passing defense and are giving up a measly 188 yards per game on average. Couple that with the fact that they have the 31st ranked rushing defense and are giving up 136 yards per game on average, and you have to suspect the Ravens will once again turn their focus to Ray Rice.

Prediction:  220 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

Ray Rice, RB (81 yards Rush, 83 yards Rec, 0 TD)

So here’s an interesting thought, the St. Louis Rams are somewhere in the middle of the field when it comes to overall passing defense. It’s actually one of the stronger parts of their game. Now on the flip side of that coin is that their rushing defense is by far the worst in the NFL. It gives up close to 190 yards per game in rushing yards on average. You’d think Ray would have a monster fantasy day right? Damn you Cam Cameron.

The only team that gives up as many yards on the ground as the Rams is the Jets. Given the fact that Darren McFadden (a slower, stronger version of Rice) gashed the Jets all day long last week, you have to expect a big day from Ray at home. After all, home is where his numbers consistently go up.

Prediction: 120 yds Rush, 60 yds Rec, 1 TD

Ed Dickson, TE (51 yards Rec, 0 TD)/ Dennis Pitta, TE (0 yards Rec, 0 TD)

Last week I thought for sure that a lack of Lee Evans would collapse the passing field for Joe, which would in turn limit his tight ends. Well Torrey Smith came along and shocked the world, thus negating the problem. Dickson got the looks again taking 11 targets to Pitta’s one. Dickson is clearly the favored TE going forward but that could change in a heartbeat.

The Jets have a solid core of linebackers covering the middle of the field. That makes me think the numbers from tight ends will be difficult to come by. That said, I think the Ravens will have more red zone opportunities to work with than they did last week which could increase the production. 

Prediction: Dickson — 55 yds, 1 TD/Pitta — 25 yds, 0 TD

Anquan Boldin, WR (74 yards Rec, 0 TD)

Want to know why the Ravens passing offense is so much better this year than last? Because last year if you doubled Boldin you could also double Mason (they both ran similar routes). Now if you double Boldin you have a second wideout streaking towards the endzone. For reference see Smith, Torrey.

Boldin has been the magnet for coverage this year. I expect more of the same from the very good NY secondary.

Prediction: 65 yrds, 0 TD

Lee Evans, WR (45 yds, 0 TD)

A day of rest was much needed for Lee Evans last week. In his absence his heir apparent looked like the second coming of Randy Moss.

If Lee Evans plays, it’s a legitimate question what will happen with the depth chart after Torrey Smith’s breakout performance. A risky move at best

Prediction: 60 yrds, 0 TD

Torrey Smith, WR (152 yds, 3 TD)

The scariest thing about Torrey Smith’s performance against the Rams was that if not for an overthrown ball by Flacco, he could have had four touchdowns in the 1st quarter. Torrey Smith is the perfect specimen of what happens when a team fails to scout and plan for an opposing player. It became abundantly clear 30 seconds into the game that the Rams had planned their whole game around Lee Evans not playing. They had no answer for a Ravens deep threat.

If you have Torrey Smith on your bench you either picked him up on Sunday or you’re a true Baltimore homer. Either way. Make sure you examine the depth chart thoroughly before starting him against the Jets.

Prediction: 60 yrds, 1 TD

Billy Cundiff, K (4 PAT, 3/5 FG, Lng 38 yds)

An uncharacteristically shaky day for Billy Cundiff. He had the distance on the two 50+ yarders he shanked, but sliced them both right.  

More of the same out of Cundiff this weekend. A handful of PATs and one or two FG tries.

Prediction: 2 PAT, 3 FG (35/37/40 yds)

Defense (1 INT, 1/2 FF, 5 Sack, 1 TD)

The Ravens defense got back on track this week putting up big numbers on account of five sacks and a touchdown. Haloti Ngata is a force of nature and shows why he’s worth the big dollar contract. If you’re playing in a full squad fantasy league, Ngata should be on your team.

The Jets have a poor offensive line and they don’t play well on the road. If the Ravens can take advantage, they’ll have as big a day as any.

Prediction: 2 INT, 2/3 FF, 4 Sack, 0 TD

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