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Fantasy Forecast – Week One

Can Pitta Do it Again on Monday Night?

Welcome to week one of the NFL Regular Season. Before each game Baltimore Gridiron Report (BGR) will take a look at the various Ravens players poised to make a significant fantasy impact and provide analysis based on current trends and match-ups.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

September 10, 2012 7:00 pm Baltimore, MD

Weather Forecast: Clear Skies and Warm

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

Every preseason report about Joe Flacco during the 2012 campaign has been about his vast improvements as a Quarterback. Everyone has been buzzing about his improved confidence, his demeanor, his precision targeting, his work with legendary QB coach Jim Caldwell. The hype has been borderline ridiculous. I guess we’ll see if it’s really there or just more smoke and bluster. The stout Bengals defense should provide a good first test.

I’m liking Joe for big numbers on Monday night. He always plays well in prime-time and I feel he’s eager to show the world that he’s mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore.

Prediction:  350 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT

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

Ray Rice is the number one (or number two) fantasy running back (depending on opinion) in all of football.  His numbers don’t lie and his numbers have been phenomenal over the last four seasons. I would not expect anything except more of the same from him from hear on out.

The Bengals have a really solid front seven on defense and they’ve historically done a good job of negating Rice’s talent on the ground. If anything his biggest contributions will come as a receiver. You heard it hear first.

Prediction: 60 yds Rush, 70 yds Rec, 1 TD

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

Trying to predict tight end production from the Ravens is like trying to predict the weather, it just isn’t very reliable. One week it’s Pitta, the next it’s Dickson. Cam Cameron loves two TE sets and has been exploiting them to great effect. That said both are beginning the season a little banged up. Between broken bones and sprained ankles, the status of these two weapons is uncertain. Pitta is the more likely of the two to have the bigger night against the Bengals.

Prediction: Dickson — 25 yds, 0 TD/Pitta — 45 yds, 1 TD

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

Anquan has been a bit of an enigma since he was brought to Baltimore. Although he projected as a number one for this team, he’s been a consistent third option at best. It’s a wonder why he isn’t involved more in the game plan, but his numbers last season were borderline career worst. It’s either he no longer has the ability to get separation or he’s just being focused covered each week. That said he’s still trending in the top 20 WR’s this week, so if he’s on your bench you probably should let him see some time.

Prediction: 65 yrds, 0 TD

Torrey Smith, WR (0 yds, 0 TD)

Torrey Smith is definitely Flacco’s deep threat weapon, but last year he was simply too inconsistent in his numbers to trust week in and week out on your fantasy roster. This season however the reports have been that he and Flacco have gelled in a big way, and that the young speedster has learned to run better routes. If this is true, Joe to Torrey will be as common place as Tom to Randy or Andy to A.J.

Prediction: 110 yrds, 0 TD

Wide Receiver Bullpen, WR (0 yds, 0 TD)

Laquan Williams, Tandon Doss and Jacoby Jones round out the primary WR bullpen for the Ravens. Until you see what each brings to the table there is no legitimate reason to start any of them. Jacoby Jones should and could be a solid fantasy threat, but he’s drop prone and as of week one, an unknown commodity.

Prediction: 25 yrds, 0 TD

Justin Tucker, K (0 PAT, 0/0 FG, Lng 0 yds)

The big leg rookie who unseated Billy Cundiff. Let’s see what’s got.

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

Defense (0 INT, 0/0 FF, 0 Sack, 0 TD)

The Ravens defense was savaged by the postseason. They lost more talent than they brought in. That said there are some bright spots in the secondary and along the D-Line. However it will be all for not if the pass rush isn’t there and Andy Dalton torches them for numerous touchdowns.

Prediction: 1 INT, 2/3 FF, 2 Sack, 0 TD

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