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Ravens Fantasy Forecast: Week 2


Welcome to week two 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 the strengths and weaknesses associated with each based on current trends and matchups.

Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers

September 20, 2009, 4:15 pm San Diego, CA

Weather Forecast: Sunny, Breezy, 80 Deg. (It’s San Diego, were you expecting snow?)

Joe Flacco, QB (Week 1: 307 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT)

Well folks, the cat is officially out of the bag. People all around the league are buzzing about Bazooka Joe Flacco (I wonder if I can coin that?) and his 300 yard 3 touchdown performance against a surprisingly tenacious Kansas City.

Will he be able to repeat against San Diego? Well that’s the game isn’t it? Logic would suggest no. Although Joe looked calm and in control throughout Sunday’s game, the San Diego Chargers will bring a very talented Pass Defense to play this weekend at Qualcomm Stadium. “Lights Out” Merriman will do his best to improve upon the 2 tackles he’s been able to produce in the last two meetings with the Ravens.

Bottom line is that although they have a lot of injuries going into Sunday’s matchup, Kansas City is not San Diego. Expect a hard fought campaign for Flacco through the air. Flacco is an advisable start in most moderate to deep leagues.

Prediction: 200 yds, 2 TD, INT

Ray Rice, RB (Week 1: 108 yds, 0 TD)

Ray Rice came out swinging on Sunday and never looked back. The diminutive back carried the load all the way to a 100+ yards rushing and 12 yards receiving. Although he didn’t cross the goal line, he was put in position to do so on numerous occasions. Look for him to have a better red zone showing this weekend against a Rush Defense that is ranked consistently in the bottom third in the league.

Prediction: 125+ yds, 1 TD

Willis McGahee, RB (Week 1: 44 yds, 2 TD)

It’s a contract year for Willis McGahee, and that means only one thing: he’s suddenly become the ultimate team player. In an uncharacteristic showing of maturity and grace, McGahee did his duty last week with no complaints as he carried the ball for a 44 yards of rushing and 31 yards of receiving. Perhaps he was mollified by his two touchdowns. Who knows, but as a fantasy owner, one should expect more of the same from the enigmatic running back. This is especially true given the suspect nature of the San Diego defensive line.

Prediction: 60 yds, 1 TD

Le’Ron McClain, RB (Week 1: 19 yds, 0 TD)

Perhaps all that talk of McClain being shifted to primary fullback wasn’t just bluster. It appears as if his role has been shifted back into more of a support role and less of a ball carrier. That being said, this is Cam Cameron, do not be surprised if McClain comes out with 10-15 touches this weekend against San Diego.

Odds are McClain will be used in goal line situations and short yard downs. His fantasy in value is hindered greatly by the unknown nature of Cameron’s offensive strategy.

Prediction: 20 yds, 0 TD

Todd Heap, TE (Week 1: 403 yds, 3 TD, 2008)

After wandering the dessert for two straight lackluster seasons, Todd Heap has seemingly returned. If he continues this trend, look for Heap to emerge as Baltimore City’s number one hero. To put Heap’s ascendance in perspective, in week one, Fantasy sage Matthew Berry listed Heap in the bottom third among active tight ends (this against Kansas City mind you), this week however (against a solid San Diego unit) he has Heap ranked in the top five. That’s a mighty big jump. Heap has us all believing again.

Prediction: 65 yds, 1 TD

L.J. Smith, TE (Week 1: Inactive)

For the second consecutive week, L.J. Smith is looking to get his career back on track after being consistently sidelined by injury. It’s looking as if L.J. will play this weekend, but even if he does, look for him as a primary blocking Tight End, used sparingly and in two TE Sets.

Prediction: 20 yds, 0 TD.

Derrick Mason, WR (Week 1: 47 yds, 0 TD)

Mr. Indestructible. Joe Flacco’s safety net had a fairly quiet week one fantasy wise. Although he made a number of spectacular clutch receptions, his numbers didn’t reflect awe inspiring production. That being said, look for Mason to have a better game, but stay in the same relative average for his yardage and touchdown totals.

Prediction: 70 yds, 1 TD

Mark Clayton, WR (Week 1: 77 yds, 1 TD)

In week one, Mark Clayton decided to show up. If Mason is Mr. Indestructible then Clayton is Mr. Inconsistent. Although he had tremendous fantasy value against the Chiefs, it remains to be seen if he can keep that up in week two against the Chargers.

Prediction: 60 yrds, 0 TD

Kelly Washington, WR (Week 1: 43 yds, 0 TD)

A respectable third slot receiver. Washington put up OK numbers against the chief with 43 yds of offense. Look for more of the same this week against the Chargers. Don’t be surprised to see him pick up a touchdown along the way.

Steven Hauschka, K (Week 1: 1/2, LG: 44 yds )

Hauschka was shaky at best last weekend against the Chiefs. Although he converted on all of his PAT attempts, he seemed unable to accurately judge the wind conditions at M&T Bank Stadium. Going 1/2 may not seem that bad, but its not going to cut it in the NFL. Look for him to have a better showing against San Diego’s warm and inviting weather.

Prediction: 3 PATs, 1 FG (35 yds)


LaDainian Tomlinson may be hurt, but the Chargers still have Darren Sproles. The offensive line may be banged up and full of holes, but they still have Antonio Gates. Phil Rivers may have struggled against an inept Raiders team, but he still has the potential to make big plays.

This should be a pretty gritty matchup, and I would be extremely surprised if the Raven’s defense let up more than 14 total points. That being said though, the Chargers are still a good and dangerous squad, don’t expect a shutout, or a massive number of INT’s from the Ravens D.

Prediction: MUST START

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