Ravens at Buccaneers
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Week 1 fantasy prospects of several Ravens are rated on a 0-5 scale, with 0 being the lowest mark and 5 the highest. You'll find far more low marks than high this week as the Ravens look to snap an 11-game road losing streak.
Steve McNair, QB: There will be weeks when it's worth gambling on McNair. This isn't one of them. He'll be good for a touchdown in his Ravens debut, maybe two, but I'd set my sights low against Ronde Barber and company. This has all the makings of a 13-10 final. Rating - 1 out of 5
Jamal Lewis, QB: Lewis spent most of his dismal 2005 season griping that he couldn't get into a rhythm. Well, you have to wonder what kind of rhythm he'll be in after missing the final two weeks of the preseason with a hip injury. You also have to wonder how effective he'll be against a traditionally tough Tampa Bay defense. Lewis is a very average player at best. Rating - 2 out of 5
Mike Anderson, RB: I expect Anderson to get several touches; I just don't expect him to do much with them. Rating - 1 out of 5
Musa Smith, RB: A feel-good story during the preseason, but not a good play in Week 1. Smith is a savvy sleeper pick, but until his role is better defined, he has next to no fantasy appeal. Rating - 0 out of 5
Derrick Mason, WR: Mason is in for a big season, but he doesn't have much going in his favor in Week 1. Barber and Brian Kelly form one of the best CB tandems in the league. Throw in Mason's injury status (thigh) and he's an iffy play. Rating - 3 out of 5
Mark Clayton, WR: Clayton has been slowed by a hamstring injury and didn't show much during the preseason. It could be a quiet day. Rating - 1 out of 5
Todd Heap, TE: A great play any week, Heap is the Ravens' best bet to get in the end zone this week. He scored five times in the Ravens final six games of 2005. Faced with a formidable pass-rush, McNair will throw his way often. Rating - 4 out of 5
Matt Stover, K: Veteran will get at least a couple of field goal attempts in what figures to be a low-scoring game. Rating - 3 out of 5
Ravens defense: The Buccaneers offense starts with workhorse running back Cadillac Williams, who averaged 21 carries per game as a rookie and ranked 13th in the NFL with 1,178 rushing yards. The Ravens will concentrate on containing Williams and need big games from their interior linemen to make it happen.
Chris Simms is nothing more than an average quarterback, but he has capable pass-catchers in Joey Galloway, Michael Clayton and tight end Alex Smith. Galloway, who accounted for better than 40 percent of the Bucs' receiving yards a year ago, is the primary target. But points will be tough to come by against a Ravens defense that seemed to be onto something late in the preseason. Rating - 4 out of 5