Thursday night’s scheduled game during NFL Week 4 will pit the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens against one another in an AFC North divisional clash.
The Ravens are on an extremely short week, having played down to the wire on Sunday night against the New England Patriots.
That shouldn’t stop them from running roughshod over the Browns.
If you’ve been relying on guys like Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta, now’s not the time to stop doing that.
Even if you haven’t been relying on Flacco, he could still have a big game on Thursday night.
Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland Browns)
See above. Ray Rice and Torrey Smith are kind of obvious names at this point, so I just included Flacco and Pitta here as a reminder.
Pitta is one of the most-targeted tight ends in the NFL.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Carolina Panthers)
In the last two weeks, the Panthers have allowed 276 rushing yards on 45 carries to the New Orleans Saints’ Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas, as well as Andre Brown of the New York Giants. Michael Turner should be worth a start here, too.
But Carolina also surrendered 16 catches for 145 yards to Brown and Darren Sproles. Rodgers tends to be the guy catching passes out of the backfield for the Falcons.
Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings (at Detroit Lions)
The sophomore quarterback in Minnesota will get a new toy to play with this week, wide receiver Jerome Simpson. He also gets a Lions secondary that has been ravaged in recent weeks.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Washington Redskins)
The Redskins have allowed huge games to wide receivers over the last couple of weeks. In Week 2, Danny Amendola of the St. Louis Rams caught 15 balls for 160 yards and a touchdown. Week 3 saw A.J. Green receive nine passes for 183 yards and a score.
Arizona Cardinals D/ST (vs. Miami Dolphins)
The Cardinals’ defense has been playing very well. Now it gets a rookie QB in Ryan Tannehill to fly cross-country.
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (vs. Houston Texans)
You don’t need me to tell you that Johnson is having a hard time gaining yards this season. A quick glance at your fantasy box score will tell you that. Some fantasy owners will be forced to start him this week for lack of better options.
But expectations should remain low this week.
Last season, Johnson gained 18 yards on 10 carries against the Texans at home. On the road, he gained 61 on 15. But before you get too excited, remember that that matchup took place in Week 17.
Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
The 49ers are coming off of a surprising loss to the Minnesota Vikings. But they still pack their run defense to take with them on the road. Greene should be in for a long day.
The Cowboys have shut down opposing passing games. They allowed 213 yards to Eli Manning in Week 1, 151 yards to Russell Wilson in Week 2 and 110 yards to Josh Freeman in Week 3.
That does not bode well for Jay Cutler, who has thrown for 309 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions in his last two games.
If Cutler can’t get the ball to his guys, then his guys can’t get the ball. Simple as that.
New York Jets D/ST (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
The New York Times reports that the Jets have lost star cornerback Darrelle Revis to a torn ACL for the season. It is not recommended to start the Jets as a fantasy defense without an incredibly favorable matchup and/or a history of playing well without him.
They have neither this week.