Fantasy Forecast: Week 12

SP RAVENS COLTS LAM

Welcome to week twelve 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.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
November 29, 2009, 8:30 pm Baltimore Maryland
Weather Forecast: Overcast, Cold

Joe Flacco, QB (Week 11: 256 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT)

People are beginning to wonder if maybe Joe Flacco is playing hurt. The last few weeks he’s been tentative in the pocket, he hasn’t been as mobile as he was earlier in the season, and perhaps most telling of all, he hasn’t been stepping into his throws, causing inaccuracy. Uncharacteristic inaccuracy. It seems as if Flacco has regressed slightly, and we all know that’s not the case.

This week, Flacco faces off against his arch rival, Ben Rothelisburger. He will have to bring his absolute best to beat the streaky Steelers. Although the Steelers will be greatly depleted due to injuries, they are still a very dangerous team fighting for their playoff lives. Flacco is going to project as an ok start in a pinch, but if you have a better option available it might be best to think twice on using any offensive weapon in this game.

Projection: 200 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

Ray Rice, RB (Week 11: 71 Yds Rush, 64 Yds Pass, 0 TD)

Ray Rice continued his streak of dominance last week, even in the face of a largely mediocre performance by his stumbling offense. Many have argued that if not for Cam Cameron’s stubbornness in insisting on Willis McGahee at the goal line, the Ravens would have walked away with a victory.

Against the Steelers, one would expect much of the same out of Rice. He is Flacco’s primary check down target, and he is garnering the lions share of the rushing attack in this Ravens offense. He is the only offensive weapon I would suggest using this week. He is simply a must start no matter who the competition.

Projection: 65 yds Rush, 70 yds Pass, 1 TD

Willis McGahee, RB (Week 11: 25 Yds Rush, 7 Yds Pass, 0 TD)

Willis McGahee was the change of pace/goal line back last week against the Colts. If not for some suspect goal line play calling, Willis may have been the recipient of the Ravens loan touchdown, but unfortunately that was not the case.

Against the Steelers, look for more of the same. If the Ravens are down in the red zone or need a chance to spell Ray Rice, they’ll use McGahee, but otherwise he’ll be used sparingly, which I such a waste of a solid talent.

Projection: 30 yds Rush, 10 yds Pass, 0 TD

Le’Ron McClain, RB (Week 11: 4 Yds Rush, 5 Yds Pass, 0 TD)

Le’Ron is the primary fullback on this team and will continue to be used in this role for the foreseeable future. The Ravens recently signed a free agent FB which seems to indicate perhaps they have intentions of using Le’Ron more in the power run game, but I wouldn’t count on it. If they had intended to do that they’d have signed Lorenzo Neal who is still available and just a phone call away.

Projection: 10 yds Rush, 5 Yds Pass, 0 TD

Derrick Mason, WR (Week 11: 142 Yds, 0 TD)

Against the Colts, Derrick Mason had a monster outing. His 142 yards of offense kept the Ravens firmly in control of the game despite the fact that the rest of the offense just couldn’t get it going. His only major gaffe in the game came with a dropped pass late in the fourth which would have set the Ravens poised to make a run at the end zone.

Against the Steelers, look for Mason to have another big day. The Steelers are a great team but simply put, Flacco has no where else to go, so look for Derrick to be the primary threat.

Projection: 80 yds, 1 TD

Mark Clayton, WR (Week 11: 10 Yds, 0 TD)

Mark Clayton for whatever reason hasn’t had the explosive season many have been waiting for. Whether it’s the fact that he hasn’t been targeted by Flacco, or just hasn’t been able to get separation, he’s been an absolute Ghost. Sure he’ll make some big catches every now and again, but he is otherwise totally fantasy irrelevant.

More of the same awaits against Pittsburgh

Projection: 15 yds, 0 TD

Kelley Washington, WR (Week 11: 8 yds, 0 TD)

For a fantasy analysis of Kelley Washington see Clayton, Mark. Seriously. He is another player who simply either can’t get open, or isn’t being targeted.

More of the same awaits against Pittsburgh.
Projection: 10 yds, 0 TD

Todd Heap, TE (Week 11: 15 Yds, 0 TD)

Todd Heap did not have a solid outing against the Colts, but in his defense he has been playing hurt. He made the best contribution he could, but injuries kept him sidelined for most of the game. Additionally he was kept back to block on Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis in many Pass Block situations.

He is a large question mark against the Steelers as to his ability to play and be productive.

Projection: 30 yds, 0 TD

Billy Cundiff, K (Week 11: 5/6, Long 44 yds, 0 PAT)

The Hero of Baltimore this week, Billy Cundiff was a welcome breath of fresh air after Steve Hauschka’s meltdown. A career day against the Colts was his reward for signing with the team. In his first outing he tied the team record for Field Goals. One bad miss on a botched snap/pressure situation, and he would have broken Matt Stover’s record while facing off against… Matt Stover.

Against the Steelers, one would expect another opportunity for Cundiff to make a go at the FG record. No one foresees this game being a particularly high scoring affair. Truth be told neither of these defenses are the same as they were, but this rivalry will bring the best out of every man on the field.

Projection: 3 FGs, 1 PAT, Long 45 Yds

Defense, (Week 11: 2 INTs, 0 Sacks, 1 FF)

The defense was the hero of the game against the Colts. They kept the explosive Colts offense entirely in check, and had it not been for the sub-par effort put forth by the offense, the team would have regained the swagger they so sorely needed.

This week look for the defense to have a stellar game against the Steelers. They may not be the same dominating squad, they may be injury beaten, but this game brings out the utmost pride in both team’s defenses. It will be a battle and a low scoring game. Start this D with some sound confidence.

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