Kickoff: Monday, December 14th at 8:15 PM ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Betting Odds: BAL -3, 48 total via Oddsshark
Lamar Jackson (Start, QB1)
Lamar Jackson toyed with Dallas last week, he looked like he could have dropped 40 fantasy points if needed. Despite 3 total touchdowns and 94 yards rushing, Jackson finished outside the weekly top 12 quarterbacks. Jackson is now the QB13 in PPR formats. However this week he faces Cleveland, a team he has absolutely torched in his career. In his last four games against the Browns, Jackson has scored 121 fantasy points. He has passed for three touchdowns in each of the last three games, including a Week 1 matchup. History is on his side and until the Browns prove they can stop him, managers should be forcing him into our lineups.
J.K. Dobbins (Start, Low-end Flex), Gus Edwards (Sit)
Baltimore’s running game got back on track last week against Dallas, rushing for 294 yards as a team. Gus Edwards led the backs with 101 on the ground but just 7 carries. Rookie J.K. Dobbins carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards and a touchdown. The team seems to have phased out Mark Ingram, which clarifies things a bit for fantasy managers, but he is still receiving touches. However, this backfield has a lower ceiling than last season and just as many options. Dobbins looks like the most dynamic back on the roster but still hasn’t managed to wrestle away control of the backfield. If this remains the case, the Dobbins cannot be considered anything more than a flex play this week and Edwards would be a shot in the dark.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Marquise Brown (Sit), Miles Boykin (Sit), Mark Andrews (Start, TE1)
The Ravens’ entire receiving corps is hard to trust heading into your fantasy playoffs. Both Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin scored last week against Dallas but both finished with less than 40 yards receiving. Brown has not had a single top 12 finish so far this season and finished inside the top 24 just twice. That’s not going to get it done for us. Sit Brown this week and Boykin should not even be on most rosters.
On Wednesday Mark Andrews was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list. he will be eligible to play Monday night. Andrews has been the one bright spot in the passing game this season, currently top-5 in the weekly tight end scoring. Andrews torched the Browns in Week 1 and should have extra incentive to perform big in this critical division matchup. He is an auto-start this week.
Baker Mayfield (Sit)
Baker Mayfield has enjoyed back to back top 12 QB performances four times in his career, the last dating back to Week 11/12 of 2019. Anyone who has managed Baker in their lineups knows that consistency is not his strongest suit, finishing in the top 12 just 25% of his career games. This week he will face a Ravens defense that has held him to less than 200 yards passing in the last two matchups. I am not counting on Baker continuing his hot streak, and h will come back down to earth this week as the Browns look to control the clock against Baltimore.
Nick Chubb (Start, RB1), Kareem Hunt (Start, Flex)
Nick Chubb has been nearly unstoppable in the past few weeks, continuing his strong season. Chubb has reeled off 100-yard games in five of eight games he’s played and leads the league in several important RB metrics, like yards after contact and forced missed tackles. Chubb is a joy to watch and in an easy top-3 start this week, despite the tougher matchup with the Ravens. The Browns will run the ball early and often and he will be fed all night. However, in four games since Chubb’s return from injury, Kareem Hunt has just one RB2 finish. Hunt is still seeing at least 15 opportunities, which will put him in flex play status, but he’s only seen six targets in the last three weeks. Without the passing game volume, Hunt becomes hard to trust. Look elsewhere if you have a stronger option this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Jarvis Landry (Start, Flex), Rashard Higgins (Sit), Donovan Peoples-Jones (Sit), Austin Hooper (Sit)
The Browns passing game exploded last week, with four touchdowns. That was not the norm and managers shouldn’t expect such a big game. Jarvis Landry is earning targets and has enjoyed two solid games in recent weeks. Landry has 10+ targets in each and scored in both games. Stick with him this week as a flex play. However, managers should be wary of the big games last week from Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Both had 90+ yards and a touchdown but that was the first sighting from either in several weeks. It’s playoff time and we are looking for certainty and neither can provide that. At tight end, Austin Hooper has disappeared in recent weeks. What’s more, is he isn’t even seeing many targets or opportunities, just 11 in four games. Hooped hasn’t gained more than 50 yards receiving since Week 6. His value is plummeting and he belongs on the bench this week.
-Marc Salazar (@dingwog on Twitter)