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Fantasy Forecast: Week 13


Welcome to week thirteen 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 Green Bay Packers
December 7, 2009, 9:00 pm Green Bay, WI
Weather Forecast: Cold/Snowing

Joe Flacco, QB (Week 12: 289 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT)

Those of us who have been watching closely have suspected as much of late, but now it has finally come out that Joe Flacco has a moderate to serious ankle injury and has been playing through the pain. To be honest it’s not really all that big of a shock. Watching Flacco’s inability to scramble and inability to step into his throws has been evidence enough that he has not been playing at 100%. That being said, despite the injury, Flacco played well enough against the Steelers to lead his team to victory.

This honestly is not the best time to be nursing an injury for Flacco fantasy wise. He’s playing the Packers this week and will almost assuredly have his number one target blanketed by one of the best corners in the league, Charles Woodson. Woodson has been making Quarterbacks pay all season and I would not be surprised if Flacco is his latest victim.

Prediction: 200 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT

Ray Rice, RB (Week 12: 88 yds Rush, 67 yds Rec, 0 TD)

Week in and week out Ray Rice has been the heart and soul of this offense. He has literally been carrying the team on his back and making plays happen even when the whole world seems to be crashing down around his head. Against the Steelers, his late catch and run on 4th and 5 was the game breaker. Without his bit of deft maneuvering, the Ravens lose that game. Plain and simple.

If you have Rice you’re starting him. Although the three headed monster has been rearing its ugly (but formidable) head once again, it’s going to be cold, snowy and tough to throw the ball in Green Bay. Expect big things.

Prediction: 90 yds Rush, 60 yds Rec, 1 TD

Willis McGahee, RB (Week 12: 18 yds Rush, 1 yds Rec, 1 TD)

Look, he may not have thrown up the big yards, but he sure as heck made every touch count in the Ravens win over the Steelers. True to form, the Ravens goal line back pounded the rock into the end zone and continually made magic happen for this struggling offensive unit.

If you have McGahee on your bench odds are you’re not going to be playing him, but if you’re in a pinch due to injuries, I think you can count on McGahee for at least one touchdown and an increase in yardage. Like I said previously, Lambeau in December is a passer’s nightmare. Cam will play it safe and run the ball all he can until being forced to throw.

Prediction: 20 yds Rush, 5 yds Rec, 1 TD

Le’Ron McClain, FB/RB (Week 12: 29 yds Rush, 9 yds Rec, 0 TD)

Le’Ron is slowly but surely re-emerging as the power-back for the Ravens. Don’t get me wrong, he is still worthless fantasy wise as the Ravens primary fullback, but if you were to pick him up now he might be a low end gem or at the very least a handcuff to Ray Rice.

I don’t expect massive numbers out of the fullback, especially since he’s hurt, but I think he’ll play ok. Definitely not a starter though.

Prediction: 20 yds Rush, 10 Yds Rec, 0 TD)

Todd Heap, TE (Week 12: 6 yds, 0 TD)

One of these days, cam Cameron is going to have to find a way to get heap more involved in the offense. He’s simply to good of an offensive weapon to keep him tied down. Now don’t get me wrong, the last two weeks Heap’s been needed on the offensive line, but against the Packers, the Ravens will need him to be open and catching passes. You win in Lambeau by running the ball and throwing in the flat with short accurate passes for gains of 6-8 yards. If Cam Cameron works this wrinkle in, Heap has a good day, if not, well; there are other options in the Free Agent pool.

Prediction: 45 yds, 0 TD

Derrick Mason, WR (Week 12: 62 yds, 1 TD)

Another week, another solid outing by Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason. One of the best route runners in the league, he caught the Pittsburgh defense sleeping on a number of different occasions and made them pay. Mason was responsible for the Ravens sole aerial touchdown.

Against the Packers expect Derrick Mason to be covered by Charles Woodson. The cagey veteran Woodson is playing at all pro levels right now and will be draped all over Mason. Much like the matchup against Cincinnati I wouldn’t expect huge things from Mr. Mason.

Prediction: 75 yds, 0 TD

Mark Clayton, WR (Week 12: 129 yds, 0 TD)

Where the heck did that come from? Clayton put on a show in Baltimore last week and absolutely gashed the vaunted Pittsburgh defense like they were a Pop-Warner b-side team. But I suppose that’s the agony we’ve all come to know and expect from Clayton. He’s got the talent, he’s just never found that consistent groove he had back in 2006.

If Mason is covered by Woodson, Clayton will simply have to find a way to get open for the Ravens to have a chance at winning. If he brings the pain like he did against Pittsburgh, the Pack could be in for a very long evening. Start him with caution as a handcuff against Derrick Mason.

Prediction: 90 yrds, 1 TD

Kelley Washington, WR (Week 12: 15 yds, 0 TD)

Kelley Washington is having trouble getting open, and he’s having trouble getting to the ball. When he’s targeted and the pass is good Washington has hands as smooth as silk, but unfortunately when he is targeted the pass is either at his feet or twenty feet above his head. He’s not getting the separation he needs to get open, but at the same time when he is open he’s not getting any help from the QB.

Don’t start him against the Pack, but don’t be surprised if he has a Clayton-esq performance, coming in out of left field.

Prediction: 45 yrds, 0 TD

Billy Cundiff, K (Week 12: 2 PAT, 2/3 FG (29 yds)

Billy Cundiff is a solid option at kicker, especially this week against Green Bay. I am inclined to expect a low scoring game full of field goals which could translate to a big night for Cundiff. Last week he was 2/3 but that number belies the fact that he had about 3 seconds to line up for a 52 yard kick which probably would have been good if he hadn’t been rushed and had been able to get his full boot into it.

Prediction: 3 PATs, 3 FG (36/40/25 yds)

Defense (Week 12: 1 INT, 0 FF, 0 Sack, 0 TD)

I’m not going to try and find a plus side to the Ravens defense against Pittsburgh. I’m of the opinion that it played pretty poorly for most of the game. The unit had some bright spots and it had some solid individual contributions, but simply put they made a third-string quarterback look like the second coming of Donovan McNabb. I don’t know what it’s going to take, but this Ravens unit simply can win the on-on-one matchups at the point of attack. If they don’t get to Aaron Rodgers he will torch them all night long. If The Ravens win it will be because they’re defense held the second best QB in the league to 14 or fewer points, and that’s saying a lot. Start at your own peril.

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