Ravens fantasy football advice: Start/sit/sleepers

Could Bernard Pierce make for a surprise fantasy football play this week? - Justin K. Aller

Here's this week's take on fantasy football featuring only Ravens players.

Start 'em

WR Torrey Smith: Coming off a game where he only had one catch for 12 yards, you know Smith will be looked at to be more involved this week. He's had mixed results against the Steelers, though and that could offer caution. However, up until last week, Smith had at least 85 yards in each contest.

RB Ray Rice: It probably feels like you're hitting your head into a wall starting Rice each week. But here's some optimism for you. Based on what John Harbaugh's said this week, it would appear the Ravens might be tweaking the running scheme some to better fit the personnel. If that's the case, perhaps Rice busts loose this week. After all, it is Steelers Week.

Ravens D/ST: The Steelers rank 31st in the NFL in rushing offense, meaning this could be a great opportunity for the Ravens to force Pittsburgh into being a one-dimensional team early. The Steelers haven't been able to score much, averaging just 17.6 points per game. In fact, their best outing came when the Steelers scored 27 in a loss to Minnesota — yes, the same Minnesota team that's one of the worst in the league.

Sit 'em

TE Dallas Clark: Clark had four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown last week, with his score coming on a vintage one-handed catch. But that was last week. Clark hasn't proven that he can be relied upon on a week-to-week basis just yet.

Sleepers

WRs Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown: The same as last week, these two are seeing plenty of looks and making the most of them. You could even throw in Tandon Doss at this point. With the Ravens struggling to run the ball this year, the offense could open it up sooner than expected. Neither option should be looked at as a WR2, but they could be plugged in as flex plays if you need a fill-in due to a bye.

RB Bernard Pierce: OK, so if the Ravens tweak their offensive line scheme some more as Harbaugh indicated this week (and possibly return to last year's techniques), perhaps the running game gets back on track. If that's the case, Pierce all of a sudden becomes valuable. The Steelers, uncharacteristically, are 22nd in the NFL against the run, giving up an average of 114.8 rushing yards per game. Tough to throw on, Pittsburgh has been ceding yards on the ground.


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