What We Saw: Ravens at Browns

What on earth did we just watch?

Ravens @ Browns

 

The only thing missing from Lamar Jackson‘s heroic 4th quarter return was Paul Pierce’s wheelchair! Holy wow, what an absolutely incredible finish on Monday night as the Ravens came from behind to beat the Browns, 47-42. Where do I even begin to describe the amazing game-ending sequence I just witnessed? Jackson battled through “cramps” in the 4th quarter, only to come back in and throw a 44-yard, go-ahead TD on 4th and 5 – and that was only the beginning of the most exciting 2 minutes of football I’ve witnessed all season. Baker Mayfield led the Browns on a game-tying TD drive in less than a minute, but ultimately gave the Ravens and K Justin Tucker too much time left to kick a 55-yard, game-winning FG. While the final two minutes were absolutely crazy, the final two seconds told a tale of their own – not just with a Cleveland safety leading Baltimore to cover the points spread, but with 4 Browns players touching the ball and losing fantasy points in the meantime. This was a game that saw 9 rushing TDs – a tie for the most in NFL history and the most since 1922. Practically every fantasy-relevant player in this game went off, so what does that mean for your team? Let’s dive into what we saw:

 

 

 

Baltimore Ravens

 

Quarterback

 

Lamar Jackson: 11/17, 163 yards, 1 TD, 4 sacks | 9 carries, 124 yards, 2 TD

 

It’s safe to say that Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson had his greatest performance of the 2020 season so far – not just from a fantasy perspective, but from a league standpoint also. Jackson’s 124 rushing yards were his most this season, and he consistently made eye-popping plays reminiscent of his MVP campaign from a year ago. Backup QB Trace McSorley stepped in for Jackson while Jackson was in the locker room, and it was mentioned after the game that Jackson returned to the game coincidentally at the same time McSorley sustained a knee injury himself. Ravens’ RB J.K. Dobbins said after the game that he hadn’t even realized it was Jackson coming in to take the snap when it happened. All in all, it was a performance for the ages for Jackson and the Ravens, and Jackson has another juicy matchup next week against Jacksonville for your fantasy playoff team.

 

  

Running Backs

 

Gus Edwards: 7 carries, 49 yards, 2 TDs | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards

J.K. Dobbins: 13 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD

 

While Lamar Jackson was the star rusher of the night for Baltimore, their RBs also contributed respectable fantasy output as well. In a surprising move, RB Mark Ingram saw just one offensive snap on Monday night and zero touches – adding even more evidence to the speculation that he is being phased out in Baltimore. RBs Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins took the bulk of the work, and while Dobbins out-touched Edwards overall, Edwards’ finding the end-zone twice gave him the slight upper-hand between the two. While Edwards was more efficient with his touches overall, Dobbins also mustered a couple of chunk plays and looked impressive throughout the night. Both of these backs will carry some flex value consideration with them into the fantasy playoffs based on their soft matchups alone – with Jacksonville next week, followed by the Giants in Week 16. 

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Marquise Brown: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD

Willie Snead: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 29 yards

Miles Boykin: 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards

Mark Andrews: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 78 yards

 

As has been the case for many weeks this season, the pass-catching group for Baltimore was mostly quiet. TE Mark Andrews paced the group in catches and yardage, making several key drive-extending plays for Baltimore down the stretch – but failing to find the end-zone in his return from the Covid/Reserve list. WR Marquise Brown was having a miserable night until he found himself on the receiving end of Lamar Jackson’s insane 44-yard TD pass with 2 minutes left to go. Brown had multiple drops and had only one catch for 6 yards at that point. With the fantasy playoffs marching on, it appears that Andrews will remain the Ravens’ most trustworthy receiving option – with Brown set to resume his role as a boom-or-bust TD dependent flex option.

 

 

Cleveland Browns

 

Quarterback

 

Baker Mayfield: 28/47, 343 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT | 5 carries, 23 yards, 1 TD

 

Browns’ QB Baker Mayfield did all he could to lead his team to a victory on Monday night, but he fell just short of doing so. Lucky for his fantasy managers, Mayfield produced his best fantasy output of the season in the process. Mayfield threw for more than 300 yards for his second straight game and also scored his first rushing TD of the season. Baker led the Browns’ offense back from a multiple score deficit multiple times against the Ravens on Monday night, and with such a great game, it’s a shame that either of these QBs had to wind up on the losing end. If you are still in your fantasy playoffs and you have Baker as your starting QB, you have to be pleased with such a great performance against such a tough matchup. Baker faces another tough test for fantasy QBs against the Giants next week, but then his Week 16 championship matchup doesn’t get any better against the lowly Jets’ D.

 

 

Running Backs

 

Nick Chubb: 17 carries, 82 yards, 2 TDs | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 21 yards

Kareem Hunt: 6 carries, 33 yards, 1 TD | 7 targets, 6 receptions, 77 yards, 1 TD

 

Browns’ Kareem Hunt has been the topic of much negative discussion in the fantasy realm lately. He hadn’t had an RB1 week since Week 10, he wasn’t getting nearly as much work since fellow Browns’ RB Nick Chubb‘s return from injury, etc. However, that all changed on Monday night against the Ravens. Hunt and Chubb both went for over 100 scrimmage yards and 2 TDs against Baltimore, likely with some great fantasy playoff implications. Of the two, Hunt’s efficiency was much more impressive – Hunt having outgained Chubb overall even being out-touched 19-12 and barely out-snapped 53%-45%. It was Hunt’s receiving TD late in the 4th quarter to tie the game for Cleveland, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to get the Browns a victory on Monday night. Both of these backs should play a big role for your fantasy playoff team over the next couple of weeks with Chubb as a set-and-forget RB1 and Hunt as a trusty RB2/FLEX.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Jarvis Landry: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 52 yards | 1/1, 12 yards

Rashard Higgins: 10 targets, 6 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TDs

Donovan Peoples-Jones: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 74 yards

David Njoku: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 45 yards

Harrison Bryant: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 18 yards

 

It was a slight surprise that Browns’ WR Jarvis Landry was the least productive WR for Cleveland on Monday night, but it speaks to the growing chemistry between Baker Mayfield and WR Rashard Higgins. Higgins’ role has grown since a season-ending ACL injury to WR Odell Beckham, Jr., but his 10 targets on Monday were the most he’s seen this season, and his six catches tied the most grabs he’s had all year. With TE Austin Hooper sidelined with a neck injury, TE David Njoku led Cleveland’s TEs with 45 receiving yards – his best performance since Week 1. It will be tough to know which pass-catcher of Cleveland’s to trust over the rest of your fantasy playoffs, but Landry should hold at least WR2 value against the Giants and Jets in Weeks 15 and 16, respectively.

 

Photo by Erik Drost (https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]) | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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