There may not be a bigger game this week, as the Ravens travel to the Georgia Dome to meet the Atlanta Falcons. In the ESPN power rankings, The Ravens soared to the top of the list and the Falcons are perched at the No. 3 spot (Get it? Because they are birds!).
While we could hurry to get all of this week’s starts and sits in before the Thursday night game, I would like to analyze this game and its fantasy implications. So, let’s get implicated.
Start these Guys
Turner has recently been a very solid fantasy option, combining for 48 fantasy points in the past two weeks. I know that many doubted him after posting just 4 and 7 points in the first two weeks, but since then, he did post 4 and 7 again but every other time, it has been over 14 points and as high as 26. If Ronnie Brown can score on the Ravens (as he did last week) then see “what can Turner do for you.”
The Falcons’ defense can cause turnovers like it’s their job (which it is), but after that Week 2 disaster of 4 INTs, Flacco has kept it clean with only 1 INT in 6 weeks. “Joe Cool” bounced back in a big way with 7 TDs in the past three weeks, what else do you need to know?
This may seem obvious, but Boldin has struggled to produce a few weeks this year. He has had four weeks of scoring just 6 points or less. Dunta Robinson, who will most likely be matched up with Boldin in this game, is still recovering from an injury and he is also recovering from the severe burns that he received from rookie Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams flying past him last week. Boldin might not be a burner, but he is a huge playmaker. Dunta better get some ointment.
Perhaps the most underrated injury was the preseason injury that kept Ed Reed out off the field until two weeks ago. Did you know that Ed Reed has had 3 interceptions in the last two games? Prior to his return, the combined total for the whole defense was just 3 INT in six weeks. Even though the Ravens defense has been lackluster for fantasy point this year they are on the way up. Ride them this week like Ray Lewis rode that raven in his Old Spice commercial. “It’s like a Fantasy, ONLY IT’S REAL.” Yes Ray, it is real.
It is hard to call him a vulture because they don’t let him play the role of a Mike Tolbert or Brandon Jacobs. He doesn’t pound the rock; he is a finesse redzone threat. Ray Rice still sees the majority of the carries, but McGahee has carved himself out a very good looking redzone resume. Not counting the game when he was blanked in the Week 6 loss to New England, he averages 11 points a game since Week 4. The downside is that there are a lot of ways to score for the Ravens, but for some reason, McGahee gets a lot of chances.
Sit these Dudes
Ryan is my No. 1 sit player for this next week and let me tell you why. Ryan has a weak receiving corps, save Roddy White, he has yet to go over 300 yards this year and his No. 1 WR White is recovering from an minor knee injury on a short week. You might say, “But Alex, Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers are playing great with their WR corps out with injuries.” To that, I pretentiously reply, “Matty-Ice is not Rivers nor Manning.” Ryan’s backup WRs Douglas, Finnernan and Jenkins only average 2.375 points per week each. Couple that with Tony Gonzalez’s mediocre 6.4 point average and you have no passing game if White is limited in any way.
Didn’t I just mention Tony Gonzalez’s mediocre 6.4 point average?
He may look like a robot playing football, but he isn’t nearly as productive. He has only been targeted 5 times in the redzone this season. If you have a gut feeling that this is the week that Heap gets a TD, then go for it. His value really only lies in his TD potential because he doesn’t rack up yardage. He’s less like Megatron and more like Wall-E or a Roomba.
Remember when everyone was all “OMG I gotta get Snelling, he just had 35 points!” Well, since Week 2, he hasn’t even amassed 35 points total, it’s only been 16. That makes his average the EXACT same as Tony Gonzalez. This now makes the third time I’ve mentioned Tony Gonzalez’s mediocre 6.4 point average.
If by some bizarre occurrence you have Housh in your lineup, you are probably better off picking up Donte’ Stallworth. He’s faster, he’s a huge vertical threat, plus he’s fresh off his vehicular manslaughter charges and a foot injury (I should note that they are unrelated).
Remember you MUST have the NFL network to watch this game, so I recommend going to either your closest sports bar or your richest friend’s house whichever is closer.