Joe Flacco 7/10
Flacco is coming off a lopsided day statistically after the Ravens had to furiously comeback last week in San Diego. Flacco had 296 of his 355 passing yards in the second half and overtime during the comeback win last week, so fantasy-wise he had a good day in regards to yards.
Flacco only had one touchdown, but he didn’t turn the ball over, so overall it was an above average day, especially considering he was on the road where his numbers are way down.
The Steelers do have the best passing defense in the league, and this game is of the utmost importance for the Steelers’ postseason aspirations, so the defense should pose a stiff challenge for Flacco.
The Steelers and Ravens have traditionally played low-scoring games, so this doesn’t appear to be the sexiest match-up for Flacco.
Prediction: 225 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Ray Rice 7/10
Rice has traditionally struggled against the Steelers’ defense, so this also isn’t the greatest fantasy match-up. Rice actually had a better day receiving when these teams met two weeks ago. Rice had five catches for 53 yards, but only had 40 yards on 20 carries.
With winning streaks and a chance to clinch the division on the line, expect a better fantasy effort from Rice. While I wouldn’t go crazy with the game implications trumping the Steelers’ stout defense, I still expect a better game, especially on the ground for Rice this time around.
Prediction: 70 yards rushing, touchdown, 35 yards receiving
Torrey Smith 6/10
Smith is coming off the best game any Ravens’ pass-catcher has had all season with 144 yards on seven catches. Smith was a beast during the Ravens’ furious comeback last week, but he had done little up to that point, so his involvement in the offense was a bit skewed.
Numbers are numbers nonetheless in the fantasy realm, so it was a big day for Smith.
However, Smith will be facing a Steelers’ defense that completely shut him down two weeks ago. Smith had caught only one of his seven targets for a paltry seven yards, so that was a complete fantasy dud. Troy Polamalu will also return this week so that also doesn’t help Smith’s cause.
This match-up paired with Smith’s huge swings in consistency makes him a dangerous play.
Prediction: 3 catches, 44 yards
Anquan Boldin 7/10
Boldin tends to have bigger fantasy games in tough match-ups, which this game certainly is. Boldin has had his biggest days this season in nasty games, as his eight catches for 79 yards two weeks ago against the Steelers indicates.
Boldin should have similar stat line this time around, and I think may finally break his lengthy streak without a touchdown.
This veteran receiver is a beast in these types of games, so there is the potential for Boldin’s biggest fantasy day of the season, especially in point-per-reception leagues.
Prediction: 7 catches, 81 yards, touchdown
Dennis Pitta 7/10
Pitta appears to be on a positive swing in his inconsistent play, as he has scored a touchdown in two of the last three games. His nine targets last week were also very encouraging, so there is potential for value if he gets a lot of looks from his buddy Flacco.
Pitta caught his only target for five yards when these teams met two weeks ago, but Pitta suffered a mild concussion on that catch and missed virtually the entire game.
This isn’t the greatest match-up for Pitta, but he is on good run so he is a decent option.
Prediction: 4 catches, 45 yards, touchdown
Defense/Special Teams 9/10
The defense played a solid all-around game last week, allowing low point and yardage totals. The six sacks were a season high as the unit is starting to gather some steam.
Throw in the fact this unit is facing Charlie Batch and a Steelers’ offense that had eight turnovers last week, and all of a sudden the vulnerable Ravens’ defense is a good fantasy play once again.
Jacoby Jones had the Ravens’ only touchdown two weeks ago in Pittsburgh on a punt return, so he helps this unit’s cause.
All things considered, expect a big day at home with a lot on the line for the Ravens’ defense.
Prediction: 13 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, forced fumble