Ravens vs. Bengals

Thursday, 8 p.m.


Here's how the Ravens players stack up on a fantasy scale ranging from 0-5 against Cincinnati, with 0 being the low mark and 5 being the high:

Steve McNair, QB: The Ravens didn't need him to do much against the Steelers. McNair went 18-for-24 for 140 yards and a touchdown. He's completed at least 60 percent of his passes in five straight games. In the Ravens' last game vs. the Bengals, McNair threw for 245 yards although he failed to tally a touchdown. Cincinnati's pass defense ranks dead last in the NFL, allowing 245 yards per game. Drew Brees threw for 510 yards against the Bengals two weeks ago, and Philip Rivers threw for 337 yards against Cincy three weeks ago. This is going to be a close game, and the Ravens will need McNair to make plays down the stretch. He's a decent start here. Rating - 3 out of 5

Jamal Lewis, RB: He has run for five touchdowns in his last four games and looked good in the first half against the Steelers last week, piling up 61 yards through two quarters. Cincinnati's rush defense ranks 19th in the league, allowing more than 116 yards per game on the ground. The Bengals have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns this year. Only Indianapolis and the Jets have allowed more. Lewis is still not among the top-tier of fantasy backs, but he's a solid No. 2 option this week. Rating - 3 out of 5

Mark Clayton, WR: As was the case with McNair, the Ravens didn't need Clayton to do much against the Steelers. The last time the Ravens faced the Bengals, he had eight catches for 73 yards. Look for similar yardage numbers in this one, and don't be surprised if Clayton gets in the end zone. Rating - 3 out of 5

Todd Heap, TE: He ended his three-game touchdown draught against the Steelers while catching a season-high seven balls for 58 yards. Heap has scored six times this season, which ties him for the league lead among tight ends with Alge Crumpler. He's a tremendous start every week. Rating - 5 out of 5

Matt Stover, K: He was successful on a pair of field goal tries Sunday to go along with three PATs. Stover has hit 19 of 20 field goal attempts this season and should get some opportunities against Cincinnati. Rating - 4 out of 5

Ravens' defense: Everyone saw what Baltimore did to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' offense, but this will be one of the unit's toughest matchups of the season. Carson Palmer is averaging 330  yards per game in his last three and has tossed nine touchdowns since losing to the Ravens in Week 9. Chad Johnson leads the league with 1,055 receiving yards, and Baltimore has given up deep pass plays all season. The Ravens' defense is a must-start every week, but don't expect numbers like it put up against Pittsburgh. Rating - 4 out of 5

The pick: Bengals (-3)