Wednesday, October 17, 2012

W7 Fantasy Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans

Week 7 Previews

Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans - 1:00pm EST Sunday


On Monday night I made what I considered to be a relatively serious move to get Arian Foster on my team. I offered Marshawn Lynch and Hakeem Nicks to the individual who currently owns Arian Foster. He is starting Andre Roberts this week and started Andre Roberts and Briant Hartline when he lost his first game to me two weeks ago. Given his situation I figured it was a fair trade attempt...and the thought of starting Ray Rice and Arian Foster in a game against eachother just seems too incredible a fantasy story to pass up. For one glorious moment the two best running backs in the league (everyone who drafted LeSean McCoy ahead of these two now knows why I spoke out against him before the season) will be going up against each other. Everything else is an afterthought for me in terms of fantasy. On a completely unrelated note, the song I'm Only Sleeping by the Beatles is stuck in my head. If you like the Beatles and don't know it, it's a lovely song...if it isn't a bit depressing.

Fantasy Outlook: Good (and historic)


6th Joe Flacco - Did you see what Aaron Rodgers did to this defense last week? I don't expect Flacco to throw for 6 touchdowns, by any means, but it is ridiculous to think that the Packers didn't expose something here. The play action and screen game should beat what the Packers did, and then the Ravens receivers should be able to take care of this secondary. I feel like Torrey Smith has been drawing the top corner lately, and I think Flacco will be able to take advantage with his strong arm. I'm excited about starting Flacco this week. Houston has been very good against quarterbacks, but they haven't exactly played the top level...except for Rodgers.

20th Matt Schaub - This could be low for Schaub, but I worry about what I saw last week. The injuries to the Ravens defense should give this team a little more operating room, but I just can't get past the fact that Schaub has only had one really good game this season. Every other game he has been good for about 200 yards and 1 touchdown. That's all the Texans need from him to win most weeks.

Running Backs:

1st Arian Foster - Foster is the best running back in fantasy football going up against a defense that is injured and has been unusually lax against the run game. It's great when we actually get rankings correct at the top, and this is another great matchup for Foster and this Texans run game.

2nd Ray Rice - Ray Rice isn't always the second best running back, but the Texans haven't been very good against the run lately. Sure, they held back the Packers' second string runner, but they gave up more than one of the best defenses in the NFL should. The real success of the Houston run defense has been in keeping runners out of the end zone. They are the only team in the NFL who has not allowed a rushing touchdown, but there is nothing to suggest Ray Rice can't fix that...and he could always just catch a 70+ yard touchdown pass.

35th Ben Tate - You never know when Tate is going to have a big game. He's been pretty quiet most of this season, with one exceptional game. Try not to play him if you can avoid it.

Wide Receivers:

13th Torrey Smith - Smith has been very variable this season, but I think this is going to be a good game for him. The Texans' cornerbacks have been vulnerable lately, and Torrey Smith is the kind of guy who can take advantage of those discrepancies. The Texans allow an average number of points to receivers, so nothing is stopping Smith from breaking out.

15th Andre Johnson - I worry that even this is too high for Andre Johnson. I worry that even this is too low for Andre Johnson. I can't tell if age or lack of offensive diversity, or great defense, or amazing running game is getting to him. Something has happened, and most of those issues can be fixed...but age and injuries cannot. I think Johnson is probably a decent WR2/3, but he hasn't been reliable. 

29th Anquan Boldin - Boldin is trying to have his best year since moving east, and it is likely because of the support from Torrey Smith. The lack of a true deep threat has allowed defenses to crush Boldin over the middle, but things are opening up this season and he is prospering. You have to like where things are going for Boldin.

Tight Ends:

Owen Daniels - We hold TEs to lower standards, but Daniels has been decent so far this season. The Ravens allow under 7 points per game to tight ends.

Dennis Pitta - Pitta fell off the map after a few good early games, but this is a chance for him to redeem himself. The Texans are allowing over 8.5 PPG to tight ends.

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