The Ravens can still make the playoffs if they beat the Bengals this Sunday and get some help from other teams. That's surprising considering the start the defending Super Bowl champions got off to this year. Receiver Torrey Smith has had a quiet year as the team's No. 1 option. He has 69 receiving yards in each of the last two games and has one touchdown in the last five weeks. Joe Flacco will need to connect with him more often this week if the Ravens are to win.
Flacco will not only need to find Smith, he'll also need his tight end Dennis Pitta against the Bengals. The Bengals have given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this year and Pitta has fewer than 30 yards receiving in two straight weeks. He's been a popular late-season waiver wire addition in fantasy leagues but his owners may want to look elsewhere for Week 17.
Quarterback Andy Dalton scorched the Minnesota Vikings last week. His four touchdowns and 366 passing yards probably won some fantasy owners their championship in leagues playing a shorter schedule. The Ravens' secondary unit is a bit stronger than that of the Vikings, but Dalton has been putting up good fantasy numbers in each of the last three weeks, so he'll be worth starting this Sunday based on his hot play of late.
Of course, as Dalton goes, so goes receiver A.J. Green. Green found the end zone twice against the Vikings last week and he's scored four times over the last four weeks. The last time the Bengals played the Ravens, Green lucked out and caught a tipped ball on a Hail Mary pass. Not only is he lucky, he's good. He's got to be in fantasy lineups this week without a doubt.