Fantasy Forecast: Week 15

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Welcome to week fifteen 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.

Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens

December 13, 2009, 4:15 pm Baltimore, MD

Weather Forecast: Cold/Wind

Joe Flacco, QB (Week 14: 230 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT)

To paraphrase the immortal Harry Dunn, “[Flacco], just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any [worse], you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!”

Yes it was the Lions, yes Ray Rice stole the show, yes I think a team of paraplegic squirrels could have probably won the game, but still. When It mattered most, Flacco stepped up and led the team to victory. That’s how inning is done.

Against the Bears you have to expect more of the same. Although the Bears are clearly an increase in talent over Detroit, the increase is not by much. The Bears defense has been down right woeful all season, especially on the road. I’d expect another solid not flashy day for Flacco. He’ll use Rice primarily until forced to throw, which hopefully won’t be often given the windy conditions forecast.

Prediction: 250 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT

Ray Rice, RB (Week 14: 166 yds Rush, 53 yds Rec, 1 TD)

I knew he was going to have a big day but no way did I think he would gash the lions for 219 total yards of offense…in the first half. Who knows how high he could have climbed had he not been yanked due to injury.

Against the Bears expect more of the same from Rice. The Bears are on the road, had their schedule interrupted by the blizzard of aught nine, and have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league to begin with. No part of that combination spells anything good for Chicago.

Prediction: 120 yds Rush, 40 yds Rec, 1 TD

Willis McGahee, RB (Week 14: 76 yds Rush, 2 yds Rec, 2 TD)

McGahee had 76 yards of offense and two TD’s…without touching the ball in the first half. When given his opportunity he absolutely manhandled the Lions. Once Rice was yanked due to injury, McGahee shown in the chances he was given.

This week against the Bears, I would probably expect less yardage out of McGahee but like last week, I think he’ll be good for one maybe two touchdowns.

Prediction: 50 yds Rush, 15 yds Rec, 2 TD

Le’Ron McClain, FB/RB (Week 14: 32 yds Rush, 0 yds Rec, 1 TD)

Against the Lions, Le’Ron returned to his form. He didn’t get a ton of looks, but with Rice out, Le’Ron returned to his role as the goal line back. He was rewarded with a touchdown for his efforts.

I don’t expect big things this week from Le’Ron, but I do think that due to the wind, the Ravens will be running the ball until their legs fall off. If they plan a similar attack as against the Lions, Le’Ron could likely see the endzone once or twice.

Prediction: 10 yds Rush, 5 Yds Rec, 0 TD)

Todd Heap, TE (Week 14: 38 yds, 0 TD)

Cam did a good job of using Heap in the flat as a safety check down valve for Flacco. Heap is playing admirably given his injuries and the game plan.

Against the Lions, Heap is listed as questionable for availability.

Prediction: 20 yds, 0 TD (if he plays)

Derrick Mason, WR (Week 14: 94 yds, 1 TD)

The hit Mason took over the middle resulting in his long touchdown catch and run will be on highlight reels forever. He was absolutely crushed by the Lions secondary and by fluke alone remained standing and able to run it to the house for six.

Against the Bears I’d expect good numbers out of Mason. I think the wind will play a major factor in the Ravens game plan, but I still like his odds of + yardage and a score.

Prediction: 75 yds, 1 TD

Mark Clayton, WR (Week 14: 0 yds, 0 TD)

Clayton did not play due to injury in last week’s game against the Lions. He is listed as doubtful for this week’s game against the Bears.

Prediction: 0 yrds, 0 TD

Kelley Washington, WR (Week 14: 0 yds, 0 TD)

Washington did not play due to injury in last week’s game against the Lions. He is listed as doubtful for this week’s game against the Bears.

Prediction: 0 yrds, 0 TD

Demetrius Williams, WR (Week 14: 45 yds, 0 TD)

Demetrius Williams, welcome to fantasy relevance. After a whole season sitting on the bench you finally emerge as a viable receiving option for Joe Flacco. Way to go you.

Against the Bears, Williams will likely be a good handcuff if you’re starting against Derrick Mason. With Clayton out and Washington out, and Heap out, if Joe has to throw the ball he’ll have to look to Williams. If the Bears are worth their salt at all they’ll double up Derrick Mason all game.

Billy Cundiff, K (Week 14: 6 PAT, 2/2 FG (38 yds)

Billy Cundiff is a solid option at kicker, especially this week against the Bears. In the poor weather, Cundiff kicked like an old pro and helped lead the Ravens to a dominant victory. Against the Bears I still like Cundiff, but the high wind warnings in affect due tend to worry about his production.

Prediction: 4 PATs, 2 FG (30/20 yds)

Defense (Week 14: 2 INT, 1 FF, 1 Sack, 0 TD)

The only thing that worries me about the Baltimore Defense matching up against the Chicago Bears this weekend is Jay Cutler’s ability to throw the ball deep. Ok well I guess it is a Catch-22. Cutler can scorch the Ravens with the deep ball, but in all honesty the kid throws more picks than he does touchdowns. Should be an ok week for the Ravens, especially with Devin Hester likely sidelined due to injury. Still have to find a way to get pressure though.

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