What We Saw: Week 1

QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during the opening weekend of the 2020 NFL season.

 Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

 

This was a matchup I was looking forward to all off-season and it did not disappoint (for the Baltimore Ravens, at least). While many thought the Ravens wouldn’t be able to go up multiple scores every game, they did show that their offense will be elite again this year. The Cleveland Browns continued their dominant run of losing the first game of the season (16 years!). I expect them to be much better going forward, but it was a rough Week 1.

 

Baltimore Ravens

 

Quarterback

 

Lamar Jackson: 20/25, 275 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT | 7 carries,  45 yards

 

 

I think QB List’s own Erik Smith nails it in the QB List Discord Server (which EVERYONE should join!). The big question coming into the year would be if Lamar Jackson was going to run as much. Jackson himself had said he thought he would be running less, to the dismay of fantasy managers everywhere. Not to fret, fantasy managers, as he was running a ton, rushing for the most of any Baltimore Ravens player in this one. He was also making STELLAR throws all game, side arming it multiple times and hitting Marquise Brown deep. His connection with Mark Andrews carried into this game and should be a consistent source of touchdowns all year. He made only a couple of mistakes (one throw that could have easily been intercepted but luckily wasn’t). He and Patrick Mahomes will be the 1A and 1B at quarterback for a long, long time and we are all #blessed to get to watch them.

 

Running Backs

 

Mark Ingram: 10 carries, 29 yards

J.K. Dobbins: 7 carries, 22 yards, 2 TDs

Gus Edwards: 4 carries, 43 yards

 

I think Father Time is finally starting to catch up with Mark Ingram. He wasn’t as good as running mate (and soon to be the first option in the running game) J.K. Dobbins, getting stuffed at the line on multiple occasions. While Ingram led the backs in rushing attempts and was the lead-back, it won’t be for much longer if this trend continues. Dobbins out-snapped Ingram 23 to 21. Dobbins himself wasn’t amazing on the ground but made it count when it mattered, converting on both red-zone touches he got. It could just be a one-game sample but if Dobbins continues to get goal-line work, he’s going to be a monster for the rest of the season. The longest run of the night came from Gus Edwards, who had a 39-yard run. He didn’t get much work but is someone to keep an eye on.

 

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

 

Marquise Brown: 5 receptions, 101 yards

Willie Snead: 4 receptions, 64 yards, 1 TD

Miles Boykin: 3 receptions, 37 yards

Mark Andrews: 5 receptions, 58 yards, 2 TDs

Nick Boyle: 2 receptions, 3 yards

 

Marquise Brown seems to be the main deep-threat for the Baltimore Ravens and that is a stellar role to have. He showed his wheels in this one, catching a 47-yard pass early and continued to get passes both short and deep. He had 46.3% of his team’s air-yards and if those numbers stay that high he will be ELITE this year. Willie Snead had four receptions and Miles Boykin had three, both showing us it’s unclear who’s going to be the second guy in the wide receiver corps. Whoever ends up being the second wide-receiver in this offense will have value, as Sneed showed you this week with a touchdown. While I’m not rushing to pick either up yet, it’s something to watch as Boykin had rave reviews from camp this year.

This feels like we’re watching the beginning of a dominant Tight End season from Mark Andrews. Two TDs in the first half helped accentuate a stellar Week 1 performance for him and while he wasn’t needed much in the second half, he still gave you an exemplary performance. Nick Boyle didn’t do much offensively, but he was out there often to block. It’s clear they want to have two tight-ends out there but Boyle is going to be mostly used as a blocker. If Andrews were to get hurt (heaven forbids), Boyle might be an interesting replacement, as his hands have rated positively.

 

Cleveland Browns

 

Quarterback

 

Baker Mayfield: 21/39, 189 Yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 2 carries, 3 yards

 

It was a… mixed performance, to put it kindly. Baker Mayfield started on the wrong foot, immediately throwing his first pass for an interception. NFL Update shows us just how ugly it was:

 

 

Yeesh. His offensive-line seems like it will still be an issue for him again, as he was forced to throw out-of-bounds multiple times. The Ravens defensive-line was ALL over him. His arm strength is still there, as he fired bullets to Jarvis Landry and Kareem Hunt for first downs. His biggest issue (and something that’s going to ultimately hold him back) was his accuracy issues. At least three times he over-threw Odell Beckham Jr and that’s not going to be great for his or OBJ’s value. It felt like he was checking-down a lot and not being able to hit the deep guys.

 

Running Backs

 

Nick Chubb: 10 carries, 60 yards | 1 reception, 6 yards

Kareem Hunt: 13 carries, 72 yards | 4 receptions, 9 yards

 

Like the end of last year after Kareem Hunt was reinstated, this is going to be a two-headed monster. I felt like I noticed Hunt a lot more throughout the game, but the final stat lines don’t show that much difference between the two. Nick Chubb ended up having the longest run of the two at 29 yards but neither had a chance to get going, as they trailed almost all game. Hunt’s 19 touches to Chubb’s 11 isn’t something I’m super worried about, as they essentially tied in snaps, 36 for Chubb and 35 for Hunt. This creates a good buying opportunity. If anyone is worried about Chubb (after one game) I’d be inquiring. Even with the Browns trailing most of the game, they still turned to their running backs often, which helps a ton. I expect both to feast next week vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.

 

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

 

Jarvis Landry: 5 receptions, 61 yards

Odell Beckham Jr: 3 receptions, 22 yards

KhaDarel Hodge: 1 reception, 12 yards

Austin Hooper: 2 receptions, 15 yards

David Njoku: 3 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD

 

What a rough game for the wide receivers. Jarvis Landry showed that he’s healthy and got a lot of work closer to the line-of-scrimmage. He thrives in that role and can create after the catch. He’s showing to (as always) be a PPR value. Odell Beckham Jr. on the other hand had quite a miserable day. Like I mentioned before, it’s not all his fault, as he was overthrown often by Baker Mayfield. You could tell he was as frustrated as we were. He not only dropped a catch on 3rd and short but also had a catch ruled incomplete after stepping out of bounds before catching it, returning to the off-sides to vent. Having only three receptions on 10 targets won’t cut it for him but stay patient with him. The fact he was the most targeted receiver is good and lead the team percentage in air-yards with 37.5% of them. I noticed KhaDarel Hodge a couple of times and he seemed to be the third guy of the receivers. While that might not amount to much with so many mouths to feed, keep an eye on him in dynasty leagues.

Austin Hooper had a pretty forgettable game. He was used a lot as a blocker and was only targeted twice. David Njoku, on the other hand, had a much more interesting game. QB List’s own Ben Palmer summed it up perfectly:

 

 

DANGIT, DON’T DO THIS TO US AGAIN NJOKU! Just when I think I’m out, he pulls me right back in. While he only had three receptions, he showed that he’s got some pretty hands and surprising speed for a tight end. He was wide-open for Baker’s only touchdown and could surprise defenses. It seemed to me they used him spread-out like a wide receiver and if that was to continue he could be interesting, as he seems to be the third tight end on the depth chart (also behind Harrison Bryant). Unfortunately, he left with a knee injury, but hopefully it’s nothing serious.

 

The Baltimore Ravens will continue to be fantasy studs this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished with a top 12 option at every position. The Cleveland Browns, on the other hand, are going to have some growing pains. Hopefully, Kevin Stefanski can prove he’s not a bad coach and stick around a bit longer than other Browns coaches. They need some stability to reach their potential.

 

-Jamie Sayer (@JamieSayerPL)

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