Fantasy Fix Week 6: Can Flacco hang with Rodgers?

Fantasy Fix Week 6: Can Flacco hang with Rodgers?
October 13, 2013, 12:00 am
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Our weekly look at the Ravens' matchup from a fantasy football perspective...

The receivers

Torrey Smith - That's two straight games with over 100 receiving yards for Smith, who also scored his first touchdown of the season against Miami. On 27 receptions this season, he's averaging a stellar 20.6 yards per catch. The thing is, the ex-Terp isn't just potent, but consistent. Baltimore's leading receiver - by a bunch - has at least 85 receiving yards in each contest. Already a top-15 weekly option, Smith will move up higher once he starts finding the end zone with greater regularity. Green Bay has allowed six touchdowns in four games to fantasy receivers. 

As for Joe Flacco's other targets including Marlon Brown, Jacoby Jones, Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson, this from Rotoworld's Evan Silva: "Flacco's 2013 targets: Smith 51, Dallas Clark 29, Marlon Brown 23, Ray Rice 22, Brandon Stokley 16, Tandon Doss 14, Deonte Thompson 12, Ed Dickson and Vonta Leach 11, Bernard Pierce 5. ... Brown returns from a hamstring injury that cost him Week 5. Brown has not been heavily targeted and could share snaps with Jacoby Jones. This is a fine matchup, but I'd want to see Brown play effectively following the muscle pull before trusting him in fantasy." Outside of Brown, there is no reason to roster any of the non-Torrey Smith receiving options outside of the truly deep leagues. Dickson remains intriguing, but so do other fantasy tight ends playing in better situations. 

The runners

Ray Rice - Hey, the Ravens put the ball back in Rice's hands last week, 33 times in fact. He turned those chances into two touchdowns and 102 yards from scrimmage while directing the Ravens to a win. Green Bay is without starting outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who doubles as a sack master and run stopper. That only helps Rice's cause. No matter the matchup, he remains a must start. 

Bernard Pierce - Though Rice dominated the touches against the Dolphins, Pierce still rushed 11 times for 46 yards, his best per carry performance on the season. For now he remains more of a lottery ticket than a weekly Flex play. Desperate owners can hope for a touchdown, though Green Bay hasn't allowed one on the ground to an RB this season. 

The passer

Joe Flacco - The good news is the absence of Clay Mathews limits the Packers' pass rush. The bad news is Flacco doesn't have a bevy of receiving options to work with, certainly not compared to his counterpart, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. The Packers rank 24th against fantasy quarterbacks this season, but Flacco averages a paltry 11.2 points. That's well below Rodgers' 21.0, but also trails Jets rookie Geno Smith and the scuffling Matt Schaub. It's not the worst matchup for Flacco, but there is no reason to suggest he breaks out a massive performance either. Start him if needed and he's a solid QB2, but instead also possible free agent Chad Henne, who should be in garbage time mode from the second quarter on against Denver.

The defense and the kicker

Green Bay's offensive line has allowed 11 sacks in four games. In that span, the Packers have committed six turnovers, though were spotless in two games. Facing Rodgers is certainly no fun, but don't sit (or waive) Baltimore simply because of the matchup. As for Justin Tucker, look at this way. The Ravens either stall and settle for field goals...or only occasionally do that. He's made all nine of his attempts over the last three games a pace that makes Tucker a strong start.

On the other side... 

In a season with limited running backs choices - for quality ones, anyway - Eddie Lacy looks more and more promising after dominating touches last week. The rookie had 23 carries for 99 yards against the Lions while Johnathan Franklin remained in the shadows. Generating production against a Ravens defense that allows the fewest points to fantasy backs won't be easy - but owners should start Lacy regardless. Let me repeat: running backs, limited options. If that's not your concern, then at least note the Packers average 453 yards per game, third in the NFL. 

In addition to CSNwashington duties covering the Wizards, Hoyas and the college basketball scene, Ben writes about and ranks fantasy football players for, rated the most accurate site  for the 2012 season.