What to watch for: Frankly, the timing for having to travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens couldn't be worse for Denver. BAL, coming off three straight losses of six points or less against teams with a combined record of 16-5, will not only be in an extra surly mood, but it will also benefit from a bye in Week 7. The Broncos bring with them the league's 5th-heaviest rushing attack (30.8 carries per game). But DEN is coming back down to earth in the rushing game a bit after a strong start – backfield fantasy production is 33% worse than the league average their past two games – and it hasn't yet been able to overpower a stout run defense (like BAL). I'm not expecting much from the RB combo of Knowshon Moreno(notes) and Correll Buckhalter(notes), but I have a feeling that Buckhalter, with his physical, tenacious style, is a better fit (and fantasy play) in this one. The Ravens should respect the running game, at least, and that should allow QB Kyle Orton(notes) some opportunities through the air. He's gained the trust of head coach Josh McDaniel by throwing just 1 INT (his only TO) through six games. DEN is one of the better teams in the league at protecting its QB, and BAL has been disappointing for its lack of sacking the QB, so you can expect Orton to have time to throw. Big, physical wideouts (Sidney Rice(notes), Vincent Jackson(notes), Dwayne Bowe(notes)) have enjoyed success against BAL this season, and that casts a nice (read: green) light on WR Brandon Marshall(notes). Orton has said that he has the best rapport with WR Eddie Royal(notes) among his receivers, but after targeting him 15 times in Week 5, he got just 4 looks in Week 6, the third time in six games he's had 4 targets or less. I wouldn't bank on any other WR outside of Marshall, but TE Tony Scheffler(notes) (coming off a 100-yard performance before the bye) is mildly enticing against a BAL defense that has allowed a TD and/or 50+ yards to a TE in four of six games.
No RB has done better against DEN than what Cedric Benson(notes) did to the Broncos in Week 1 (76 rushing yards, 32 receiving yards, TD). In other words, there hasn't been much for RBs to shout about against DEN. That said, four of the six teams that DEN has faced rank in the bottom half of the league in YPC on offense. BAL should be able to at least hold serve on the ground, and versatile RB Ray Rice(notes), who has taken hold of the backfield featured role, could make life difficult for a DEN defense that has allowed the 3rd-most receptions and 4th-most receiving yards to RBs – Rice leads all backs in both categories. DEN is the 2nd-toughest team in the league for QBs to score points against in fantasy, and it has faced some credible competition in that regards (Carson Palmer(notes), Tony Romo(notes), Tom Brady(notes), Philip Rivers(notes)). I think QB Joe Flacco(notes) has become a defensible fantasy start in any situation, but I'd be surprised if this turns out to be a better-than-average '09 performance for him. Among WRs, Derrick Mason(notes) is a reasonable play (color him chartreuse – somewhere between a green and yellow light), but I'd steer clear of Mark Clayton(notes), who typically makes his money with big plays – DEN has allowed the 4th-fewest pass plays of 20+ yards (13). As for TE Todd Heap(notes), he's been over 40 yards in all but one game, but DEN is among the best in the league at limiting TE fantasy points. He may get his 40 yards, but I wouldn't bank on much more than that.