Broncos QB Kyle Orton was supposed to come back to Earth when he faced the Ravens in Week 5. This was the game that would certainly put him squarely back into the fantasy mid-card.
Orton went out and passed for 314 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions. So much for that line of thinking. He joined Browns RB Peyton Hillis as another player who was supposed to be exposed by the once-vaunted Ravens defense, but instead, went out and proved himself.
Now the reality is that the Ravens defense is no longer the fantasy darling that it once was.
In fact, the Ravens are near the bottom in fantasy points, at No. 28 overall on NFL.com, joining teams like the Bills, Jaguars and Texans. Kind of surprising for a team that many feel is the best in the NFL.
But the Ravens are not alone. The Vikings rank just one spot ahead. Remember when you would bench running backs going against the Williams Wall? Yeah, well, Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson both put up favorable stat lines against the Vikings on Monday night.
And do not forget about the Jets. Sure, the Jets may have won the night for you with a pick-six. But Brett Favre did toss three touchdowns. Plus, Darrelle Revis might not even play next week, showing that training camp might just be important.
Be careful when setting your lineups this week. There was a time when seeing one of your players going up against the Ravens, Vikings or Jets meant that he was going to sit on the bench. But that notion is as antiquated as the flashing 12:00 on your VCR.
If Hillis did not convince you of that a few weeks back, Orton certainly did this week.
For those of you who have been hanging on to the Ravens defense, well, the time may have come for you to part ways. There is a hope that Ed Reed could return those fantasy numbers to old heights, but that is a big “if” right now.
– Adam Rank