Cowboys @ Ravens
We finish out our Week 13 with the Baltimore Ravens coming home to take on the Dakless Cowboys, who are attempting to get some semblance closer to the lead in the least competitive division going. Lamar Jackson and J.K. Dobbins both make their return, as well as many other regulars on the Baltimore squad who were either injured or on the COVID list. Mere minutes prior to kickoff, it came out that Dez Bryant tested positive for COVID-19 and had to sit this one out. Contact tracing quickly determined that nobody else was at risk of contracting the virus, but there was a brief moment in time when the entire game was in jeopardy. The Cowboys sure wish the game hadn’t been played, as the Ravens put a beat down on the Cowboys, 34-17. Read on for what we saw!
Andy Dalton: 31/48, 285 Yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 sack | 1 rush, 2 yards
Despite not reaching 200 passing yards until late in the fourth quarter, Andy Dalton put together one of his strongest showings against a Baltimore defense that has been tenacious for the better part of this season. Per Football Outsiders, their rushing DVOA is 4th, and their passing DVOA is 9th…showcasing that they’re well above league average in both areas this season. Dalton focused primarily on Michael Gallup, connecting with him on his first passing touchdown, and that connection continued throughout the game. There’s clearly not as much upside or electric fantasy value putting Dalton in your lineup in replacement of Dak Prescott, but with three of his last four games against bottom-half DVOA valued teams, there’s likely some value in having Dalton resting on your bench for worst-case scenarios.
Ezekiel Elliott: 18 carries, 77 yards | 6 targets, 4 receptions, 18 yards
Tony Pollard: 8 carries, 22 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards
The alarm bells have been ringing for most of the season, ever since Dak went down just a month in, to potentially drop or “sell” Ezekiel Elliott. I hate to say it, but the season has shown that maybe Dak’s absence isn’t the only problem when it comes to Zeke. He’s eclipsed 100 yards on the ground just once this whole season, when he ran for 103 yards in Week 11 vs Minnesota. To go along with that, he’s only rushed over 20 times in three games this season. Maybe this is just an outlier, but the shine is off Zeke for this year, and I’m also wondering if it’s gone for dynasty value as well. Watching Zeke rush up against this Baltimore line, and it’s very clear the offensive line of Dallas has lost some steps (maybe an entire elephant herd’s worth), and Zeke is now stuck basically to his own talent alone and not much help from others. Add in a quarterback who doesn’t leave the pocket akin to Dak, and teams can either hone in and load up the box, or force Zeke to beat them. It’s slightly worrisome, so for a rusher who was basically seen as a Dynasty Top 3 RB, I can’t in good faith say not to start him for the rest of the fantasy season this year…likely, fantasy playoffs. What I would say is if you lucked into having some depth at RB (James Robinson, Wayne Gallman, etc), maybe look at what other opportunities you may have at running back and go from there. As mentioned earlier, the defenses ahead are of much lower talent levels, but Zeke hasn’t really been deserving of your roster spot so far. He’s not breaking tackles, he’s not breaking edges, so don’t let him break your fantasy lineups.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Michael Gallup: 11 targets, 7 receptions, 86 yards, 1 TD
CeeDee Lamb: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 46 yards
Amari Cooper: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 43 yards, 1 TD | 1 carry, 10 yards
Noah Brown: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 40 yards
Dalton Schultz: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 44 yards
Blake Bell: 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards
The Dalton-led offense was salt and peppered targets all over the field. Three different receivers soaked in seven targets or more, and two got a touchdown, so the offensive weapons for Dallas thankfully helped shine in their fantasy showcases. Granted, this team isn’t doing much for their real-life fans, but it’s not what we line up for. This Dallas offense is built like a Hemi but it lost the wheels on its’ tank when Dak ended up out for, at the very least, the rest of this season. Michael Gallup was an early pass removed from having two touchdowns for the game and balling out, so to speak, but will settle for one touchdown the same as Amari Cooper. Dalton Schultz caught all four of his targets, but down the stretch, it was the other receivers who were getting Andy Dalton’s looks.
Lamar Jackson: 12/17, 107 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT | 13 carries, 94 yards
Lamar Jackson had a lot of us very worried. In the first seven games, he only attempted ten-plus rushes once, and then he was compromised by COVID. Well, just a week removed from his positive test, Lamar actually had potentially his best game of the year. He was throwing on the run, breaking out when the need arose and almost breaking 100 yards on the ground for the second time all season. This is what we wanted. Lamar took this team and lifted it on to his shoulders Hercules style. You can now lock Lamar and his swagger into the top five quarterbacks for the next few weeks, and fantasy managers who made it this far with an average season from Lamar can be relieved he’s stepping into his own when you may just need it most. He also hit Marquise Brown with one of the prettiest deep corner endzone passes I’ve seen all year. See it below!
This angle is 🔥 🔥
— PFF (@PFF) December 9, 2020
Gus Edwards: 7 carries, 101 yards
Mark Ingram: 6 carries, 28 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard
J.K. Dobbins: 11 carries, 71 yards, 1 TD
Justice Hill: 1 reception, 4 yards
Patrick Ricard: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards
Ya know what really grinds my gears? Losing fantasy leagues when you don’t have a consistent RB2 or RB3 on your roster. In my case, it’s due to the belief and expectation that a head coach would eventually realize the level of talent they have in their skill players and make adjustments once they do. J.K. Dobbins is the best running back on the Ravens. Running with electric motion and not wasting yards, he ate with a late-game touchdown and also broke off a long thirty-something yard rush with ease. He impressed more and more with almost every touch of the ball. Gus Edwards himself made the case why he should be the second in command, and actually averaged well over 10 yards per carry in this one. Hopefully, Baltimore will move on from Ingram next year and his under 2 million dollar cap hit, and we can see the backfield skewed towards Dobbins and Edwards.
JK Dobbins has been fed 😁
— PFF (@PFF) December 9, 2020
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Marquise Brown: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 39 yards, 1 TD
Miles Boykin: 3 targets, 1 reception, 38 yards, 1 TD
Luke Wilson: 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards
Devin Duvernay: 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards
Marquise Brown should hopefully continue to be a red-zone threat in the final weeks of the season, as his speed can create separation even in tinier areas of the field, and if Lamar is out running then that will take some of the focus off of Brown. He did catch a slick sliding touchdown grab (seen above) that fantasy managers have been missing all season. There’s little talent in the wide receiver room in Baltimore otherwise, so you can look at Brown as a WR3 with WR2 upside moving forward. His average receiving yards per reception is 14.8 PER catch. Absurd numbers, so it’s very clear in the open field, Brown can make you some highlights. This is the guy you want in your dynasty leagues to go forward with.
Miles Boykin made his only catch on the night count, as it was an acrobatic leaping grab that he then ran into the end zone. He shouldn’t have any fantasy value moving forward, but he is talented and worth a stash in dynasty formats. The same goes for Devin Durvernay, who caught his only reception on the evening. This air attack should improve when Mark Andrews finally returns, hopefully as early as Week 14.
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)