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AFC North fantasy football update

9/24/2010

The AFC North blog is doing extremely well in ESPN's blogger Gridiron Challenge. I'm in the 99.2 percentile and No. 37 overall in our league, which contains more than 3,300 members.

But we're moving ahead to Week 3. So here is some fantasy advice for AFC North players in our community:

  • Baltimore Ravens tailback Ray Rice, who is off to a slow start, has a chance to produce a breakout game against the Cleveland Browns. The coaching staff is aware that Rice has been underused in the first two weeks and the offense has suffered. So I expect him to get the ball in both the running and passing game.

  • I would stay away from anyone on the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense. The Steelers didn't score an offensive touchdown in last week's win over the Tennessee Titans. Fourth-string quarterback Charlie Batch is running the show, which means the team will play very conservative. Hold onto Rashard Mendenhall, Heath Miller, Mike Wallace and Hines Ward if you have them. But it’s probably best to keep them on the bench until Ben Roethlisberger returns.

  • I do like Pittsburgh's and Baltimore's defenses this week. The Steelers are collecting a lot of points with their ability to create turnovers (seven last week). The Ravens still haven't allowed a defensive touchdown, and that streak may continue against Cleveland.

  • Keep an eye on AFC North kickers. Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent was fantasy gold last week, converting on five field goals. The Bengals' offense will only get better, and Nugent is likely still available in most leagues. Jeff Reed also has been solid during Pittsburgh's struggles to score touchdowns. He could be a good play this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.