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Fantasy Football Week 12: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for the Baltimore Ravens

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 18 :  Emmanuel Sanders #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers breaks through the defense of Albert McClellan #50 and Sean Considine #37 of the Baltimore Ravens on November 18, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Jon ReidCorrespondent IINovember 23, 2012

After a huge road win against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, the Baltimore Ravens will jet west to take on the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

With an 8-2 record, you'd think that the Ravens are big favorites for this week's contest.

Guess again.

Baltimore hasn't been the most effective road team this season, despite having won three of its five games on the road up to this point. Last season, against this team, Baltimore was absolutely throttled, trailing for most of the game and never getting within one possession in the second half.

With injuries plaguing the Ravens this year, it's conceivable that the Ravens could lose in San Diego again.

So how does this impact your fantasy team? Who should you start and who should you sit when it comes to the Ravens this week?

 

Joe Flacco

Let's start with quarterback Joe Flacco.

With Flacco being the best Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde impersonator in the NFL, there shouldn't be any question as to whether you should start or sit the Ravens QB this week.

Since the Ravens will be on the road, he's a must-sit.

Last week's game in Pittsburgh reinforced the notion that Joe simply cannot play on the road. Couple that with Cam Cameron's beyond questionable play-calling and Flacco is poised for another fantasy football disaster this week.

 

Ray Rice

Baltimore's starting tailback has been absolutely amazing.

Despite the fact that his offensive line has been dreadful the last two weeks, Rice has still found ways other than rushing yards to accumulate fantasy points.

Sure, last week only saw Rice pick up 9.3 points in most standard leagues, but even that is a respectable number and probably won't cost you a win. Keep in mind he was going up against the league's No. 1 pass defense and No. 6 run defense on the road.

The week before? He put up over 12 points, even though the Ravens struggled on the ground.

Sure Baltimore's offensive line has not been playing well and the run game has been struggling as a result, but Ray Rice will find other ways to pick up fantasy points.

He's a must-start this week, and every week.

 

Torrey Smith

Torrey Smith has been somewhat of a fantasy enigma.

He seems to either have a great week (usually thanks to one big pass resulting in a TD) or he's a flop.

Take, for instance, his last two games.

Two weeks ago against the Oakland Raiders, Smith nearly hit 20 fantasy points in most standard leagues, yet last week in Pittsburgh, he was shut down by corner Ike Taylor and only had seven receiving yards.

Because of his explosiveness, it's hard to sit Smith. Especially against the likes of the Chargers, who are 19th in the league in pass defense.

Smith is a week-to-week kind of guy, but he should fit into a wide receiver three slot for sure this week.

 

Anquan Boldin

This season hasn't been a great one for Anquan Boldin fantasy owners.

Boldin hasn't reached the 10-point mark since Week 4 against the Cleveland Browns.

Road games haven't been kind to Boldin owners either, with Boldin's best performance being 8.2 points in Kansas City.

To be fair, much of the blame for Boldin's lagging fantasy stats away from M&T Bank Stadium are thanks to Joe Flacco and his home/road splits.

Whatever the reason for his lack of fantasy production on the road may be, it would be wise to sit him this week if you have another option at wide receiver.

 

Defense

The Ravens defense may be worth a start this week.

With last week's emergence of Corey Graham (though we'll see if he fares as well against Philip Rivers as he did against Byron Leftwich), a healthier Haloti Ngata, an improving Paul Kruger and an always dangerous secondary that includes Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, Baltimore may have a surprisingly good week.

There's also the fact that the Chargers are ranked 24th in total offense this season. That's an encouraging sign for Ravens defense owners.

Furthermore, for those who play in leagues that include special teams points for return touchdowns, Jacoby Jones has been on fire lately and could go for another return touchdown at any time.

Week 12 is definitely a week to start the Ravens defense.

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