Kickoff: Sunday, November 15th at 8:20 PM ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Betting Odds: BAL -7, 41.5 total via Oddsshark
Lamar Jackson (Start, QB1)
Lamar Jackson is a stud, but he hasn’t been near as elite this year as he was in 2019. He’s only QB11 in 2020 so far, and those who drafted him at his 2nd round ADP have been disappointed, to say the least. Going up against a Bill Belichick defense is never something to look forward to, but this isn’t the Belichick defense of old. The unit has been ravaged with injuries and ineffectiveness this season, and they just gave up 27 points to Joe Flacco and the Jets. The Jets. Jackson has to be licking his lips at the thought of this matchup after what he saw on Sunday night. On Sunday, Jackson himself played possibly his best game since Week 1, so he’s rounding back to form just in time for the weather to turn cold. New England has allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, which would normally give me pause, but this feels like a Sunday night beatdown against an uninspired Patriots team to me. Roll with him if you’ve got him.
Mark Ingram (Sit), J.K. Dobbins (Start, Flex), Gus Edwards (Start, Flex)
Mark Ingram has missed the last few weeks, and in his place, it’s been somewhat of a timeshare between J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. They each have 27 carries in the last two games, but Dobbins has the most yards from scrimmage while Edwards is the only one to see the end zone. Either way, they’re both scoring just enough to be fantasy relevant, and this matchup is ripe for the taking. My gut says this is a game Dobbins can use his speed and finally take one to the house, but Edwards is a safe play as well and I’ll be firing him up in a few leagues. This has the potential to get ugly.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Marquise Brown (Sit, WR3), Willie Snead IV (Sit), Miles Boykin (Sit), Mark Andrews (Start, TE2)
Hollywood Brown has been mediocre at best this season – he’s currently WR43 in PPR leagues, and his 49 targets tie him with DeVante Parker for 36th most in the league. That’s your WR1 for the Baltimore Ravens, a run-first team that is also run-second and then maybe pass-third. The Patriots have three solid corners, led by J.C. Jackson who has been the best of the bunch which also consists of Jonathan Jones and some guy named Stephon Gilmore. Jackson is fast, tough, and smart, and while he was beaten a few times by Breshad Perriman on Monday night he still bounced back with a huge interception late in the game. Whether it’s Jackson or Gilmore lined up opposite Brown this week, don’t expect a huge game for Brown since it will likely be another run-heavy game script. He’s a Flex/WR3 play at best, and he always has that deep ball upside we all love to see, but don’t count on that.
The Patriots have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, and that’s including two games against Travis Kelce and George Kittle. That does not bode well for Mark Andrews, who is only TE8 this season with his 59.1% catch rate which is second-lowest in the top 11 TEs. You likely may not have a better option than Andrews, but this is not a great matchup for him so temper your expectations if he’s your starter.
New England Patriots
Cam Newton (Sit)
Well, Week 9 was a bit better for Cam Newton in that he led the Patriots to a win and didn’t throw an interception, but what stood out to me was that his mechanics still have not improved. All season he’s been throwing the balls into the dirt because he’s not stepping into his throws, and it’s incredibly irritating for this Patriots fan who took the mechanics for granted during the Brady era. Here’s an example from the San Francisco game, but he was doing plenty of this against the Jets on Monday.
Cam Newton "breaking the chain" once again. Throwing with his feet parallel to the line of scrimmage. Doesn't step into it. Hips open early. Ball falls well short of an open Byrd. This isn't about a shoulder issue, maybe a foot issue, but mainly just poor mechanics. #Patriots pic.twitter.com/4QB9z8b6td
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) October 26, 2020
What’s most troubling is that he’s making these bad throws both when under pressure and in an open pocket. The Ravens’ 24 sacks on the season are 6th most in the league, and the Patriots’ offensive line is dealing with some injuries. Yes, a lot of Cam’s fantasy value comes from his success in the running game, but if the Ravens’ defense doesn’t have to worry about the pass they’re going to key in on Cam’s running abilities and take those away. This is a bad matchup for the Patriots, and you should be looking elsewhere at QB if you roster Cam Newton.
Damien Harris (Sit), James White (Sit), Rex Burkhead (Sit)
This backfield continues to mystify, as it looked like Damien Harris was running away with the job before Monday night’s game. That’s when Rex Burkhead took over after Harris was knocked out of the game with what was described as a chest injury. There’s a huge question mark surrounding Harris this week, and even if he does go the matchup is not great. Baltimore has allowed the 5th fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs, so whoever suits up as the “starter” for the Patriots will likely have low-end flex value at best. On the defensive front, Calais Campbell is dealing with a calf injury and his status is up in the air for Week 10. He’s been the 8th best interior defender against the run so far this season according to Pro Football Focus, so that would be a huge loss for Baltimore. Still, I find it hard to trust anyone in this backfield not named Harris, so that injury is key. Keep an eye on it.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Jakobi Meyers (Sit, Flex), Damiere Byrd (Sit), Gunner Olszewski (Sit)
With both Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry injured, the #1 receiver in the Patriots’ offense has been none other than Jakobi Meyers. Meyers has 30 targets in the last three weeks, scoring 52.9 PPR points over that span. It’s been a heck of a stretch for the sophomore receiver, and as long as Edelman and Harry remain out he will likely continue seeing a majority of the targets in this offense. Unfortunately, with the added usage and the #1 designation, that likely means Meyers will be shadowed by Jimmy Smith, the third-best coverage corner in the league this season per PFF. Meyers is not elite in any shape or form – the majority of his 12 receptions in Week 9 came against the Jets’ soft zone, where he spent his time finding open space as opposed to beating out corners. That won’t be the case against Baltimore, so he’s a desperation flex option due to target share alone. I wouldn’t even consider either Damiere Byrd or Gunner Olszewski for fantasy purposes, though I could see Byrd having a 10 point day at most if Meyers is taken out of the game.
-Ben Brown (@FelixTheDog23 on Twitter, iamatechnician on Reddit)