Our weekly look at the Ravens' matchup from a fantasy football perspective...
This game doesn't figure to have lots of fantasy heroes, but Torrey Smith stands out as a likely source for production. For starters, the ex-Terp has a touchdown and five receptions in two straight weeks. The yards haven't been there, but that's where the Jets come in. New York has allowed an average of 220 yards to wide receivers over the last three games with six touchdowns in that span. It's true the Ravens passing game hasn't thrived this season, but expect a commitment to the air because of likely struggles on the ground.
Marlon Brown is expected to play after sitting last week with a knee injury and the risk-reward option is semi-useful to those in 14-team or larger leagues. Brown's red zone size gives him the edge over Jacoby Jones, who really doesn't deserve a fantasy roster spot at this point. Neither does Dallas Clark, though the Jets allow the seventh most points to fantast tight ends. Don't chase the matchup, but note it exists if desperate. The TE intrigue comes with the possible activation of Dennis Pitta, which most likely comes next week. Those still struggling at TE can add Pitta now and see what happens heading into Week 13.
Every Ray Rice owner and certainly every Ravens fan wants to believe last week's sterling performance is the start of a dynamic closing stretch. Maybe he has another 131 rushing yards, one TD effort this season - it just won't be in Week 12.
The Jets lead the NFL in rush defense (73.2 ypg) thanks to an imposing front-7. In Week 11 against the Bills, New York held Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to 40 yards on 25 carries. Over their last three games, the Jets have allowed an average 52.3 yards.
As a reminder, before last week Rice had not topped 75 yards on the ground all season. Though he'll receive some extra production in PPR formats, he's more Flex than RB2 this week.
For thoughts on Joe Flacco, we turn to Rotoworld's Evan Silva: " Joe Flacco's 2013 performance inspires little confidence that he can be more than a two-QB-league option. Missing Dennis Pitta dearly, Flacco has consistently flopped in plus matchups this season and is on pace for career worsts in YPA (6.55), passer rating (75.3), and TD-to-INT ratio (21:21). In two career games against Rex Ryan defenses, Flacco has completed 30-of-69 throws (43.5%) for 411 yards (5.96 YPA), no touchdowns, two interceptions, and two fumbles lost.
The defense and the kicker
Geno Smith completed eight passes last week. That's after the rookie completed just eight the game before. No, he did not throw just eight passes in each. Smith did throw three interceptions last week on the road and he hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since Week 7. Start the Ravens defense with confidence based on this alone. As for kicker Justin Tucker, he's booted 18 consecutive field goals after making a pair in each of the last two weeks. Considering there likely won't be many touchdowns in this game, the hot kicker should receive enough field goal opportunities against the Jets.
On the other side...
Santonio Holmes offers more name recognition than fantasy production, especially playing with a wildly inconsistent rookie quarterback. The Jets wide receiver rotation has remained schizophrenic all season thanks to injuries and Smith. Holmes, whose only two catches last week were each over 30 yards, arguably stands atop it right now. Based on that and the potential targets, he offers WR3 potential, but in a true risk-reward way.
In addition to CSNwashington duties covering the Wizards, Hoyas and the college basketball scene, Ben writes about and ranks fantasy football players for FFToolbox.com, rated the most accurate site for the 2012 season.