Fantasy Fix Week 5: Hey, Ravens, not this again

Fantasy Fix Week 5: Hey, Ravens, not this again
October 5, 2013, 9:00 pm
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Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) is tackled during the first half of an NFL football game agains the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

(AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Our weekly look at the Ravens' matchup from a fantasy football perspective. Next up, the Miami Dolphins...

The receivers

Torrey Smith - After three straight solid games, Smith busted loose with five receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore's loss to the Bills. For a player considered a deep threat only entering the season, the ex-Terp has been remarkably consistent so far this season with at least 85 receiving yards in each game. Led by corner Brent Grimes, Miami allows the seventh fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, but Smith has produced even as defenses know he's the one to watch. Start him, start him, start him at least as a high-end WR2

Marlon Brown - It's quite possible we've seen the best of the undrafted rookie this season. Brown scored his third touchdown in three games in Week 4, but also developed a hamstring injury, making his status questionable. Then there is the expected return of Jacoby Jones from a knee injury. Brown remains the starter, but Jones will dance away with some of his snaps and targets. Seeing as the Ravens offense isn't clicking, the Dolphins pass defense is stingy, Jones is returning and Brown could be limited, pass on starting him or Jones for that matter. Oh, don't waive Brown (or pickup Jones) unless roster issues require such a move. Touchdowns are touchdowns, but right now that's about all he's generating.

Dallas Clark/Ed Dickson - From Rotoworld's Evan Silva: " The Dolphins are allowing the most fantasy points in the league to tight ends, but Ravens TEs are awfully hard to trust. 34-year-old Clark is a half-decade removed from his prime and hasn't cleared 50 yards since Week 1. Purely in terms of pass catching, Dickson has been the worst tight end in football through four games." What he said.

The runners

Ray Rice - Come up with any excuse, but none justify the Ravens giving their lead back only five carries last week against the Bills 30th ranked run defense - or against any defense. Now comes the annual tradition of the coaching staff saying there will be a commitment to feeding Rice. Expect exactly that this week against Miami's suspect run defense and because it's the right thing to do. Start Rice in all formats and most of all don't panic. We've been through this before.

Bernard Pierce - The power back strained his calf in week 4, but should play this week. However, with Rice back and the Ravens needing to get their star involved, Pierce shouldn't play for fantasy owners unless, well, unless there isn't a choice. The frequent Flex option remains a must hold for all Rice owners and those in virtually any format.

The passer

Joe Flacco - Yeesh, that was bad. After his brutal five-interception performance against the Bills, Flacco enters Week 5 ranked 26th among fantasy quarterbacks. Factor in Miami's aggressive pass rush and there is simply no reason to play him in leagues that don't require two quarterbacks. Considering the Ravens face formidable pass defenses in three of the next four weeks, Flacco won't be viable for a while. For those holding him as a bye week option, start scanning elsewhere for help in case this doesn't turn around ASAP.

The defense and the kicker

The Dolphins are allowing 8.5 points per game to opposing fantasy defenses, 12th most overall. Baltimore's unit hasn't been dominate overall, but it has scored at least eight points in each of the last three games, As for Justin Tucker, he's made five straight kicks after missing two in Week 2. Kickers are averaging 7.7 points against the Dolphins this season, making the Ravens version a viable option.

On the other side...

Miami's passing game with second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill is much improved, but that's more of an NFL angle. Tannehill's fantasy numbers are middle of the pack-esque and he's unlikely to produce significant stats this week against Baltimore. Ex-Steeler Mike Wallace remains largely a decoy in the Dolphins' attack. His downfield ability makes him a constant threat, but he remains a risky all-or-nothing player as evidenced by his three games with less than 25 receiving yards. 

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.