Fantasy football's Week 4 gets kicked off when the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens brawl on Thursday Night Football, and there are some big-time fantasy studs on the field for this prime time matchup.
We've got the inside scoop on which players will dominate, and which ones will fizzle out.
The Browns haven't been good against the run thus far in 2012 (No. 22 ranked team with 368 yards allowed).
Unless Cam Cameron loses his mind and abandons the running game, Rice will have a big game. Furthermore, there's a good chance Ray Lewis and company shut down the Browns offense, meaning the Ravens will likely be up by a touchdown or two in the second half.
Rice should get 20 carries, and I expect him to get 100-plus yards on the ground. He'll likely have a positive impact in the passing game, too, and I expect him to score at least one touchdown on the day.
The Ravens haven't been as dominant on defense this year as they have been in years past, but Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are going to be all over what the Browns try to do on offense. Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is in for a frustrating outing, and I expect him to toss at least two interceptions.
Furthermore, the Ravens have only given up 3.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs, and given the fact that Trent Richardson has had only one good game against a struggling Cincinnati Bengals defense, I don't expect him to fare well.
Through three games, Smith has become one of the NFL's premier big-play receivers, averaging 23.5 yards per catch and scoring two touchdowns.
The Browns are still without lock-down cornerback Joe Haden, and as a result of his absence, the team's secondary has given up a ton of yards—No. 27 ranked passing defense in the NFL, allowing 807 yards through three games.
Smith should have a big game.
Flacco has had a fantastic start to his 2012 campaign, and given the way teams have been able to pile up the yardage through the air against the Browns this year, I don't expect things to change for him in Week 4.
Don't expect Weeden to excel against the Ravens on Thursday Night Football.
He's had one good game so far this year, and it came against the Cincinnati Bengals—a team with a struggling secondary (No. 22 ranked passing defense in 2012). The two other games he played in this year were what we like to call "learning experiences".
The veteran players in the Ravens secondary will eat him for dinner.
Richardson, like Weeden, has only had one good game, while struggling mightily in the other two.
The Ravens are strong against the run, only allowing 3.3 yards per carry. Richardson may have a lot of carries before the night is done, but I don't see him piling up yardage against this unit.
Little was shut out against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1, and he was held to two catches in Week 3 by the Buffalo Bills.
He's in for another low-output performance against Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams, along with the entire Browns offense.
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