So you laughed when I said the Baltimore Ravens would struggle in Buffalo. I was even derided in a couple of e-mails I received. But as I predicted, the Ravens stunk it up on the road and their fantasy performance left quite a bit to be desired. The good news was Willis McGahee found the end zone and so did Derrick Mason. Those two have been the lone fantasy bright spots for the season.
Here's a look back at the Ravens season and how their players have done in the realm of fantasy football:
Steve McNair, QB: Injuries have been an evident problem, but so has age. Steve McNair has thrown only two touchdowns this season after tossing 16 last year. He's only completed three passes of 20 yards or longer, even though he's averaging nearly 40 pass attempts per game. An offensive line that has had as many starting fives as an Isiah Thomas New York Knicks squad doesn't help, but the fact is that McNair isn't a starting fantasy quarterback right now and his ceiling is a No. 2 fantasy quarterback at best.
Willis McGahee, RB: "First round production from a second-round back" is a line you heard me say frequently if you listened to our fantasy football draft on Sirius Satellite Radio and although Willis McGahee hasn't disappointed in yardage total (second-most rushing yards in NFL), the fact that he only has two rushing touchdowns is hampering his owners. As the Ravens get healthier on offense, expect him find the end zone with a little more frequency.
Mark Clayton, WR: Entering his third NFL season, Mark Clayton was tabbed as a breakout candidate by many observers, but an early ankle injury, combined with inadequate play at quarterback, has limited Clayton to 153 yards this season. He is waiver-wire scraps for now but keep an eye on how this offense functions after the bye week.
Derrick Mason, WR: Derrick Mason was supposed to be a write-off but he has been one of the best fantasy parts on this decrepit offense. Mason leads the NFL in receptions, which is great in point-per-reception pools. 529 yards and two touchdowns is also very respectable in non-point-per-reception pools, particularly as a second or third wideout. Unless you are in a shallow pool, he should be on your roster.
Todd Heap, TE: Todd Heap has only 19 receptions and one touchdown this season, which is not what many fantasy owners expected out of him. He's been battered and bruised, which has likely compounded the team's struggles in the red zone. He is still the main receiving threat in the red zone so if you own him, you've got to hold on to him and hope the passing offense improves after the bye week.
Ravens Defense: Fifteen sacks is fairly low for a defense that notched 60 sacks last season and has been more dominant in the past than this season. Even so, they aren't giving up many points per game, which is likely the key stat for defense in your fantasy league. The Ravens also have 14 takeaways, which is the third-highest total in the NFL.