Every season, a few surprise studs come out of fantasy Siberia to reward savvy owners who had the foresight to select them in the later rounds of the draft. A season ago, Adrian Foster, Peyton Hillis and Brandon Lloyd come to mind. Ray Rice, Miles Austin and Sidney Rice were unlikely heroes in 2009. And so on and so forth. Midway through the 2011 season, let's take a look at this year's biggest fantasy surprises.
The Ravens scored the game's final 16 points to pull away from the Texans and post a 29-14 victory on Sunday. The Ravens defense slowed down the Texans with second-half adjustments and the offense benefited from big plays from Anquan Boldin and others. ... John Harbaugh's brother, Jim, the 49ers coach, got in an altercation with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. ... Maryland coach Randy Edsall praised quarterback C.J. Brown. ... John Beck could start for the Redskins.
As great as the Ravens' defense was Sunday night — and it was magnificent — it was the resourcefulness of quarterback Joe Flacco on third down that helped Baltimore land critical early blows in the bare-knuckle fight against the New York Jets.
Former Ravens quarterback and current ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer recently evaluated the ceilings of the league's top passers under the age of 27 and ranked them based on their potential to become "elite." You might be surprised which players -- there are five of them -- Dilfer said had a higher ceiling than Joe Flacco.
The Ravens secured a flawless victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, but a few potential weak spots were exposed by the Tennessee Titans as the Ravens experienced a road letdown in a 26-13 loss in Nashville.