Ravens vs. Steelers: Fantasy Studs Who Will Soar on Sunday Night Football

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 17, 2012

Nov 4, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) runs for a 19-yard touchdown pass play in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Forget about the popcorn. You'll want to put your shoulder pads and helmet on for Sunday night's black-and-blue rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. 

These two teams never cease to entertain with a physical brand of football not found anywhere else. But for fantasy owners hoping to win their matchup in Week 11, starting the right players in the weekend's finale is crucial to earning a late-season victory.

Let's take a look at a trio of fantasy studs who will soar on Sunday night.


Ray Rice, RB

Ray Rice's versatility makes him a fantasy stud week in and week out, and on Sunday night vs. the Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens back will be key for the road team.

Expect Joe Flacco to look Rice's way in the passing game often with the Steelers' front seven bearing down on him. And of course Rice will be a factor on the ground, if offensive coordinator Cam Cameron makes it a mission to run him around 20 times.

Rice has 179 touches for 941 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games this season. That equates to over five yards per touch and a score every 25 touches. 

Assuming Rice touches the ball 20 or so times this weekend, he's primed to rip off chunks of yards and find the end zone at least once.


Jonathan Dwyer, RB

At 5'11", 230 pounds, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer is a bruising style of runner, and a back capable of success against the Baltimore Ravens' front seven.

Dwyer already has two 100-plus-yard rushing games in 2012, and will face off against a suspect run defense in Baltimore on Sunday night. The Ravens are allowing 132 yards on the ground per week in 2012 and have surrendered nine rushing touchdowns in nine games.

With Dwyer splitting carries with Isaac Redman and perhaps Rashard Mendenhall in Week 11, don't expect another 100-yard game, but 75 yards and a touchdown aren't out of the question. 

Also, look for Dwyer and Pittsburgh's other backs to benefit from quarterback Byron Leftwich's (playing in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger) check-down passes. 


Torrey Smith, WR

The Ravens speedy wide receiver is a stud when it comes to taking the lid off of defenses.

Don't think so? Just go back and watch his game-winning touchdown reception with eight seconds left to play at Heinz Field last November. Smith was targeted 10 times in that Ravens win, catching five balls for 71 yards and the go-ahead score.

Smith has three receiving touchdowns in the past two games since Baltimore's bye, and is averaging a ridiculous 17.7 yards per catch in 2012. Even more impressive, his seven touchdowns in nine games this season match his 2011 count as a rookie.

Yes, I'm aware that the Steelers rank No. 1 in the NFL defending the pass, but the Ravens rank No. 13 in pass offense and have more than enough weapons to give Pittsburgh's secondary trouble on Sunday night. 

No weapon will be more effective than Smith, though.


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