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Baltimore Ravens Week 4 Fantasy Report

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The Ravens aren't known for fantasy studs, but a couple of players could do you well this week.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm the furthest thing from a 'fantasy expert', just a Ravens fan. If you followed my advice in this Kamar Aiken post,  you would've done terribly if you followed my advice. Since my only credibility is being a Ravens writer, I'm not giving Steelers advice.

While the Ravens have been floundering in real life, that doesn't mean that they haven't produced several fantasy football playmakers. If you've rostered Steve Smith, Sr. or Crockett Gillmore over the past few weeks, you are probably pretty happy. While the Ravens have produced great fake football stats recently, this offense is really unpredictable.

With that said, here is who you should and shouldn't play this week.

QB: Joe Flacco

Don't Start Him.

Flacco is a pretty match-up dependent QB. While he posted back-to-back 20+ point performances in Weeks 2 and 3 against the Raiders and Bengals, he first posted a dismal 0.68 score in Week 1 against a stout Broncos defense. In the past two weeks, the Pittsburgh defense held Colin Kaepernick and Nick Foles to 25 and 7 points each. However, it's important to note that Kaepernick's points were the result of a game flow that forced the 49ers to air it out in an attempt to play catch up. With that knowledge in hand, it's reasonable to hypothesize that a matchup against the Steelers won't equal fantasy greatness, especially in a game that doesn't exactly scream offensive shootout.

If you need a replacement for Tom Brady on BYE, or are just streaming QBs, I'd look elsewhere. Someone like Derek Carr, Tyrod Taylor, and Andy Dalton.

RB: Justin Forsett

Don't Start Him, But Perhaps You Want To Buy Some Shares.

Forsett has absolutely flopped. He's posted 16.5 total points so far, and is the league's 33rd best in rushing yards. That's pretty disappointing for a guy who many thought would be their RB2. With a match-up against a Steelers defense that allows an average of 67 rushing yards per game this season, you aren't starting him. I'd recommend starting a higher upside back like Karlos Williams, or Devonta Freeman.

His poor performance does offer an interesting situation, one in which you can acquire a Top 30 draft pick at a significant discount. While many are saying his poor performance is due to him being a one-hit wonder under Kubiak, they are wrong in my opinion. This is definitely an offensive line issue, and it's one that will be fixed soon. You see, the Ravens have been starting James Hurst in the place of injured LT Eugene Monroe, who has been out with a concussion since the first quarter of Week 1. Hurst has quite literally been the league's worst player, and received that honor from Pro Football Focus last week. He's been simply dreadful, but the good news is that Monroe should be back next week. It's only a matter of time before the line improves and the Ravens lean back on their run game.

WR: Steve Smith, Sr.

You're starting him.

No fancy writeup needed. Smith is a target monster, and that's gold in fantasy. He's the only legitimate receiving option on a team that likes to air it out. This is only amplified by the fact that TE Crockett Gillmore is out for this game. At times, it seems like Flacco stares down Smith, and you know it's going to him. You'd be silly not to start Smith. Even if the gameflow doesn't favor the passing game, he will still get those targets.

K: Justin Tucker

He's pretty great. I'd start him.

Despite the attempts of many to model out kicker performances and opportunities, it's not really an exact science or an accurate one. For me, I'd like to have a kicker who can convert on those opportunities, no matter how many he gets. I'd say the most accurate kicker in league history fits that description. Tucker has put up 30 points thus far, and has only missed one on the year, a rarity for him. I'd say he's a pretty safe bet as far as kickers go.

Others

  • D/ST: It wouldn't be smart to start them, even against the Vick-led Steelers. Until this secondary shows signs of getting their stuff together, the Baltimore defense isn't a good bet in fantasy.
  • Kamar Aiken: Not consistent enough at this point. While Flacco likes to barrage Steve Smith with targets, he pretty much spreads it out to many receivers after that. This is evidenced by that fact that Aiken didn't receive a single target on Flacco's 49 pass attempts last week.
  • Crockett Gillmore: Is out this week. Likely not good enough to stash, but it depends on your league settings and needs.
  • Maxx Williams: Likely won't get enough production this week to justify a start. I mentioned earlier that Flacco loves to spread it out, and his targets are super hard to predict. Besides, fellow tight end Nick Boyle could also grab a few targets.
  • IDP Leagues: Daryl Smith and C.J. Mosley are the only Ravens I'd consider starting. Tackles are everything in these leagues, and these two are the co-leaders in that stat on the Baltimore squad with 21 total each.
Best of luck this week fantasy players. I hope my advice doesn't lead you astray.