The (3-5) Oakland Raiders will be flying across country to Maryland to take on the (6-2) Baltimore Ravens. The Raiders are coming off getting run over by the muscle hamster Doug Martin and the Bucs, while the Ravens went into the Dog Pound in Cleveland and came away with a win over the Browns.
The key to victory for the Raiders will be the ability to run the football. With Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson OUT for the Raiders, they will turn the rock to Taiwan Jones and Marcel Reece. While Jones will get the bulk of carries early on, I see Reece getting plenty of work throughout the game with his ability to catch out of the backfield (8 catches for 95 1TD vs Tbay) The key for Oakland is to keep with the run, as teams successful this year have shown the ability to run it straight ahead on them.
The Raiders will rely on the arm of Carson Palmer, who has been productive with the stat line this season averaging over 281 yards/game. Although the Ravens have been all about defense in years prior, they have been vulnerable in the secondary, and I expect Palmer to find his big Wideout Denarius Mooreoften.
The problem for the Raiders have been stopping the run. Last week Martin ran all over them for 251yrds and 4Tds!! Lucky for me, I had him started in my fantasy lineup and single handily won my week! (Sorry Coles – had to plug that in) It doesn’t get any easier for them this year, as Ray Rice will be licking his chops waiting for them. Rice is a similar back to Martin, with the small, quick frame and the multiple looks he gets catching and running. Expect Rice to have a monster game!
Joe Flacco has been an above average quarterback at home, and the offense has looked better as well. They will get into their high tempo, no huddle sets early to put the pressure on Oakland’s defense and keep them on the field, so that they can pound the ball with Rice in the 2nd half against a tired D.
Flacco will have a decent game against this D keeping it simple mixing run and pass. Rice will get his 25 touches, and I think Boldin will get a lot of works and some tough catches to keep the chains moving. Oakland is giving up 40% conversions on 3rd down and that’s a recipe for disaster against a balanced offense like Baltimore.
Baltimore wins this game comfortably
Fantasy Studs – Anquan Boldin, Ray Rice, Marcel Reece, Denarius Moore, Brandon Myers
Stay Away – Darrious Heyward-Bey, Taiwan Jones, Dennis Pitta