Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans
We came into this game anticipating a high-flying, young QB battle filled with scoring – but what we got was something else entirely. While Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson weren’t awful by any means, they also weren’t as electric as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Baltimore finished with 33 points on the day but only scored 2 offensive TDs, and one of those was scored by a guy that also plays linebacker. Let’s take a deeper look:
Lamar Jackson: 18/24, 204 yards, 1 TD | 16 carries, 54 yards
As mentioned before, Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson turned in a performance that was less exciting than we’re used to, but he still managed to provide an acceptable output for his fantasy managers. It was a showing that amounts to what we can expect as Jackson’s absolute floor. Jackson was able to move the ball with relative ease against the Texans’ secondary, although he did see constant pressure from Houston’s formidable pass rush – and was sacked 4 times. I know this could probably go without saying, but Jackson is just so hard to contain. He didn’t have a great deal of success on the ground (3.4 YPC) but he did break off a couple of first downs to keep drives going. Baltimore rushing for 230 yards as a team meant that Jackson didn’t need to throw very much, and so his pass-catchers suffered as a result. Jackson should be primed for more production next week in a primetime matchup with Kansas City.
Mark Ingram: 9 carries, 55 yards, 1 TD | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards
Gus Edwards: 10 carries, 73 yards
J.K. Dobbins: 2 carries, 48 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards
In a surprising change of events, it was RB Gus Edwards who paced Baltimore’s backfield in carries and rushing yards on Sunday after being an afterthought in week 1. It appeared that the Ravens’ coaching staff decided to ride the hot hand on Sunday, and Edwards was the main beneficiary. Rookie RB JK Dobbins failed to record his first touch until the 3rd quarter. Dobbins broke off an electric 44-yard scamper in the 4th quarter once the game was already in hand, but didn’t produce much otherwise. RB Mark Ingram had the best fantasy output of the day – scoring a 30-yard TD run off a direct snap – but otherwise wasn’t very efficient with his carries. Unfortunately for managers who roster players in this backfield, the workload situation wasn’t made any more clear after Sunday’s game. At this point in the season, it will remain tough to predict which of these backs will produce the best fantasy performances.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Marquise Brown: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 42 yards
Miles Boykin: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 38 yards
Willie Snead: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards
Devin Duvernay: 1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards
Mark Andrews: 3 targets, 1 reception, 29 yards
While it was a quiet day for all of Baltimore’s pass-catchers, the biggest disappointment of the bunch may just be TE Mark Andrews. After grabbing 5 receptions for 58 yards and 2 TDs last week, Andrews was only able to corral 1 of his 3 targets on Sunday. Andrews will undoubtedly remain a top-tier fantasy TE this season, but Sunday’s performance was certainly a dud. WR Marquise Brown led the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards, but was held out of the end-zone and finished with an otherwise quiet fantasy outing. As mentioned before, the only receiving TD for the day came from Ravens’ FB/LB Patrick Ricard. It will be interesting to see if any Ravens pass-catchers can produce a larger output next week against a tough Chiefs’ secondary.
Deshaun Watson: 25/36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 5 carries, 17 yards
It may be too early to say this and I certainly don’t want to believe it yet, but Deshaun Watson does not look good this year. This Texans offense also does not look good. I know there are a lot of new pieces and of course, the departure of WR DeAndre Hopkins has left Watson behind to pick up the pieces. Now, to be fair, starting the season against the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs followed by reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens is no small task. Both of those defenses were able to constantly pressure Watson and cover his downfield options at the same time. Watson has looked timid and quick to leave the pocket thus far this year. While I still have hopes that Watson will improve his fantasy output as Houston’s schedule softens throughout the season, I must assume that rostering him thus far has led to some disappointment. Watson’s string of tough matchups will continue next week as he and the Texans take on the Steelers.
David Johnson: 11 carries, 34 yards | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
If we were cautiously optimistic regarding RB David Johnson’s Texans debut last week, his performance today knocked us down a few pegs. And as I said earlier, this just doesn’t look like a good offense, yet. Johnson was unable to get anything going on the ground, averaging just 3 YPC on Sunday after carrying for closer to 7 YPC in week 1. It’s encouraging to see a consistent amount of usage for Johnson thus far, but at the same time, it is discouraging to see such a low floor is possible for Johnson. If the Texans get behind early in games and are forced to abandon the run, Johnson will likely become fairly TD-dependent to produce his desired fantasy output. Pittsburgh has been tough against the run thus far this season, so it may be a stretch to anticipate a huge bounceback performance from Johnson next week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Brandin Cooks: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 95 yards
Randall Cobb: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 59 yards
Kenny Stills: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
Keke Coutee: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards
Will Fuller: 1 carry, 0 yards
Jordan Akins: 7 targets, 7 receptions, 55 yards
Darren Fells: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards, 1 TD
Much like their Ravens counterparts, it was a mostly disappointing day for the Texans’ group of pass-catchers. A bright spot was WR Brandin Cooks – he seems to have left his quad injury behind him in grabbing 5 receptions for nearly 100 yards. Cooks looked more fluid in his routes and had very little trouble getting separation from Baltimore’s secondary for most of the afternoon. WR Will Fuller‘s performance was the biggest bust of the day – he failed to even register a target and took his only touch (1 carry) for 0 yards. Fuller did leave the game briefly in the 2nd quarter to have his sore right hamstring worked on by trainers, but he did return to the game in the 2nd half. Houston’s TEs each had a fantasy-relevant performance. With Deshaun Watson not allowed enough time for most of his deep routes to develop, he looked to his tight ends often to keep drives alive. While it’s still tough to say whether TE Jordan Akins or TE Darren Fells will be the higher scoring TE over the course of the year, Akins seems to be the one worth rostering – at least for now.
— Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, LightsKamaraAction on Reddit)