Joe Flacco 8/10
Expect Flacco to have a solid day at Arrowhead. He leads the AFC in passing yards and he, like the rest of the team, are coming off a little extra rest after a compacted first four games. The Chiefs do have the 12th-ranked pass defense, but Flacco has been putting up some gaudy numbers. He is averaging over 300 yards-per-game passing and also ran for a touchdown last game. If Flacco can continue to gel with his pass-catching-corp, his numbers should be starter-worthy in the fantasy realm.
Prediction: 320 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Ray Rice 9/10
Call this a hunch, but I fully expect Rice to have a big game. He is coming off his worst rushing game of the season by far and the Chiefs have the 20th-ranked rush defense. The Chiefs have been owned in the first three quarters of games, so I would expect Rice early and often. Rice can gash the Chiefs defense, which will open things up for the passing game. Cam Cameron should be fired if he doesn’t give Rice 20 carries, as that has been Rice’s and the Ravens’ magic number for success. Expect the Ravens to be in front the majority of the game, so plan on a heavy dose of Rice to salt the game away.
Prediction: 140 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 30 yards receiving
Torrey Smith: 8/10
Smith appears to be rounding into form. He has 224 yards receiving and three touchdowns in his last two games since the death of his brother. There is a little bit of concern however, as Smith exited the last game with a sprained ankle. The good news is that Smith has had nine days to rest the ankle and appears to be all systems go. Smith has been good at possession-receiver-type catches as well as the long strikes he has been known for. If he can continue to become a more complete receiver, his fantasy potential may have a very high ceiling.
Prediction: 5 catches, 115 yards, TD
Anquan Boldin 7/10
Boldin was reminiscent of his glory days last game, as he was a beastly possession receiver. He had 131 yards, but more impressive was his nine catches. He single-handedly led the first drive of the second half down the field for the Ravens with a series of big grabs. Boldin has been frustrating as a consistent fantasy option, but if Flacco continues to average around 300 yards passing, Boldin is going to get a chunk of those yards. However, consistency remains a concern, so play Boldin cautiously.
Prediction: 6 catches, 80 yards, TD
Dennis Pitta 7/10
Pitta came crashing down to Earth for fantasy owners last week with a goose egg. He only had two targets as Flacco was targeting his wide receivers more. Pitta is still a trusted pass-catcher for Flacco so he should have a decent bounce-back game. Pitta probably won’t get the amount of targets he was getting the first couple of weeks, but he still has value. Monitor him closely and play him cautiously.
Prediction: 5 catches, 75 yards
Justin Tucker 9/10
Tucker was bound to eventually miss a kick after starting out his career with eight straight conversions. He still remains a top tier kicker as long as the Ravens keep averaging 30 points-per-game. He has proven he can drain field goals from way downtown so roll him out there with confidence.
Prediction: 2/2 FGs, 1 50-yard field goal, 3/3 XP
Yes the Chiefs boast the top-ranked rushing offense, but the Ravens have performed better against the run. Their unit is still in the top half of the league against the run and have shutdown the likes of LeSean McCoy, Stevan Ridley and Trent Richardson. The good news is the defense is going against the most turnover-prone team in the entire league. Matt Cassel has been struggling big time this year, so maybe this is the week the Ravens turn around their brutal passing defense (29th-ranked) and have a big day against Cassel and the Chiefs. If the Ravens can contain Charles, expect a big game from the D.
Prediction: 17 points allowed, 300 yards allowed, 3 sacks, 2 INT, 1 fumble recovery.