BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 24: Ricky Williams #34 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium on November 24. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the 49ers 16-6. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Last week we mentioned Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta as a possible fantasy football 'Sleeper of the Week" and while he only had two catches for 19 yards, both came on the back-breaking 16-play, 76 yard drive in the third quarter of the team's dominating 16-6 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving night. The first came on a third down that extended the seven-and-a-half minute drive and the second was an eight-yard TD reception to put the Ravens ahead 13-6 on their way to the final score.
We also noted that rookie CB Jimmy Smith could be a fantasy football "sleeper," but it's tough to pinpoint a defensive player to perform from a fantasy perspective. That said, we'll stay away from the defensive side of the ball for this week, although ILB Jameel McClain has played great since Ray Lewis was injured and rookie pass rush specialist Pernell McPhee might get noticed a lot in the game Sunday at the Cleveland Browns. Just saying...
Anyway, there are not too many players on the offensive side of the ball for the Ravens that could be considered as "sleepers" anymore, but let's go with backup RB Ricky Williams this week against the Browns. Cleveland is ranked 29th in the NFL defending the run (138 yards/game) and that might explain why they are curiously ranked 1st in the league defending the pass (174 yards/game). That is probably because teams get ahead of them on the scoreboard and spend a majority of the later part of the game running the ball and the game clock.
Ricky should get his touches in relief of Ray Rice, who figures to get the ball a lot in this game and with the game's outcome securely in the Ravens hands late in the game, expect a rest for Rice and a heavy dose and chance for cheap success from Ricky Williams, our pick for the Ravens fantasy football "Sleeper of the Week."