About the Author
Recent posts by Michael Blunda
Here is a look at how Sunday's Ravens-Chiefs wild-card game could unfold from a fantasy perspective:
When the Ravens have the ball: The Ravens have gotten back to their roots in recent weeks, committing to the run more than they had for much of the season. RB Ray Rice had 95 carries (for 376 yards and two TDs) over the last four weeks, and he should be the focal point this Sunday. The Chiefs have allowed more than 200 yards rushing twice in their past four contests, proving they can be vulnerable on the ground. QB Joe Flacco did not have a prolific campaign, but he was steady, throwing 25 TD passes and 10 interceptions. He hasn't aired it out much lately and might not have to this week if Baltimore can successfully run the ball. If K.C. is able to contain Rice, though, Flacco could be in line for a multi-TD performance. With WR Anquan Boldin struggling and likely to be matched up with rising CB Brandon Flowers, Derrick Mason could be Flacco's top target. The veteran has been a much more dependable option in the second half than Boldin, who could be held in check. Back from injury, don't be shocked if TE Todd Heap makes a sizable impact on this game.
When the Chiefs have the ball: Considering the Chiefs boasted the No. 1 rushing attack this season, there's little doubt that they will try to attack the Ravens on the ground. With 230-1,467-5 rushing, RB Jamaal Charles finished second in the league in rushing yards and nearly broke the single-season mark for yards per carry (6.38). With hulking Baltimore NT Haloti Ngata clogging up the middle, K.C. could try to get Charles the ball on the edges and use him often in the screen game. He'll be the offensive centerpiece. Thomas Jones also will see his fair share of carries, but the Ravens are too strong up front for him to find much room. QB Matt Cassel needs to put his poor Week 17 outing behind him, as he had a terrific season with 27 TD passes and only seven picks. Given Baltimore's ability to shut down the run, Cassel could be called upon to make plays with his arm, something for which he has proven capable. He could have a respectable day as long as WR Dwayne Bowe is able to get open. Bowe exploded for 15 TDs this season and is the Chiefs' only receiving threat, so he'll need to have a standout day. Look for him to do so vs. susceptible corners. TE Tony Moeaki should be good for a few grabs as Cassel's safety valve.