Thursday Night Fantasy Blog: Week 4

Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Fantasy Tips, Inside the Game, Playbook War Room

Tonight’s matchup is nice AFC North divisional matchup, but the fantasy implications rest heavily on the Ravens. Besides Trent Richardson, the Browns Offense is not very favorable for fantasy owners. With that being said, the Ravens have enough firepower on offense that we suggest you seriously consider trying to get some of these guys in your lineup.

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

When the Browns have the ball…

  • Brandon Weeden: Weeden still has not shown enough to even be considered a fantasy backup at this point. The Browns OL has not provided consistent protection for him, while the WR corps simply does not get open as much as they need to. Both of these things, combined with Weeden’s inconsistencies as a QB, make him fantasy irrelevant.
  • Trent Richardson: Even though Richardson did not put up good yardage totals last week, he still did enough in the passing game, and found the endzone, to put up a respectable fantasy day. The Browns OL will have trouble getting a consistent push on the Ravens front seven, but Richardson is simply too talented not to play; just do not expect a breakout performance.
  • Cleveland WRs & TEs: Stay away from this group, plain and simple.

When the Ravens have the ball…

  • Joe Flacco: Going up against a defense that has been torched the past two weeks by Cincinnati and Buffalo, Flacco is in a good position to have a big day. The Browns pass rush is not strong enough to get to Flacco on a regular basis, which means Flacco is going to have plenty of time to throw the ball.
  • Ray Rice: The Ravens zone-rushing attack is going to have a lot of success this week. The only way to disrupt the zone-run scheme is to penetrate the line of scrimmage. The Browns DL is not talented enough to consistently disrupt Ray Rice and his OL. We anticipate that the Ravens will be in control of this game long enough that Rice should get a lot of carries on the ground.
  • Torrey Smith/Anquan Boldin:
    • Smith’s vertical speed is going to cause the Browns problems the entire game. The Browns are going to have to provide safety-help to prevent Smith from getting down the field. However, he has improved enough in his route running to still cause issues in the intermediate passing game.
    • That Safety help over Smith, combined with the success of the running game, will provide a lot of room in the middle of the field. However, Boldin has become the 4th target in the passing game, behind Smith, Dennis Pitta, and Ray Rice, which concerns us that there will not be enough targets to go around.
    • Dennis Pitta: As Pitta continues to grow as a TE, so does his fantasy production. We think he is a good start tonight. Pitta is simply too athletic for the Cleveland LBs. If Cleveland decides to put a Safety on him, Pitta’s ability to utilize his frame will be too much for the Browns to stop.
    • Ravens D/ST: The Cleveland Offense should be over matched by this Baltimore defense. The Ravens should give up limited yardage and should be able to generate a few turnovers in the process.
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