Sep 11, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett (29) runs past Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds (93) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
If you’re looking for a surprise breakout star in the 2014 NFL season, you could do a lot worse than Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett. In the wake of the Ray Rice scandal, Forsett has established himself as a force and, along with quarterback Joe Flacco, is poised for another big game when the Ravens visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Forsett was originally drafted in the seventh round in 2008 by the Seattle Seahawks and saw playing time with Seattle, the Indianapolis Colts, the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars before signing a one-year deal with the Ravens in April. With Rice suspended and Bernard Pierce still struggling to overcome off-season shoulder surgery, Forsett has stepped into a starting role at age 29.
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Through seven games, Forsett has racked up 503 yards on the ground, well on-pace to shatter his personal single-season record of 619 set with the Seahawks in 2009. Most impressively, he is leading the league with 5.8 yards per carry. Facing a Bengals’ defense that ranks 29th in the league in YPA at 4.9, Forsett would seem well set for another big game, with a good chance to top 100 for the second time this season.
Helping Forsett’s case will be the continued strong play of Flacco and the Ravens’ passing game. Flacco is completing nearly 64% of his passes and is on pace for more than 4000 yards passing. He has tossed 14 touchdowns against five interceptions and has been sacked only eight times on the year.
Overall, the Ravens’ offense ranks 7th in the NFL in total yards and 6th in total points, while the Bengals’ defense ranks 31st in yards allowed and 18th in points allowed.
To make matters worse for the Bengals, the Ravens have the stingiest defense in the NFL in terms of points allowed, and Baltimore will be looking to avenge a Week 1 loss to Cincy on their home turf.
This game, on “paper” at least, shapes up as a smorgasbord of offense for the Ravens and of fantasy points for owners of Forsett, Flacco and Ravens receivers Steve Smith, Owen Daniels and Torrey Smith.