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Ravens vs. Bengals: Fantasy Football Preview

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In-depth breakdown of all the viable fantasy football option for this week’s match up

This Sunday, the Ravens return home to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North showdown. Baltimore will be looking to extend their lead atop the division while the Bengals are still searching for their first win. Below is a positional breakdown of every fantasy relevant player in this matchup.


Quarterbacks:

Lamar Jackson

Jackson has cooled off over the last three weeks but has still returned top-5 value at the quarterback position for fantasy purposes. Last week against the Steelers was easily his worst performance of the season as he completed 19-of-28 passes for 161 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions in a 26-23 win. Even then, he added 70 yards on 14 rushes, saving his fantasy day and proving that even in his worst games, he still has a safe floor.

Jackson is currently tied at second for the league lead in passing touchdowns (11) and leads all quarterbacks with 308 yards on the ground. To put his rushing statistics in perspective, he currently has more yards on the ground than Packers’ running back Aaron Jones. The Bengals defense ranks at the bottom of the league in rushing total allowing 411.8 yards per game to offenses, making Jackson a locked and loaded QB1 this week.

Andy Dalton

Despite the Bengals struggles, Dalton has been a sneaky good fantasy play at the quarterback position. After a brutal outing against the Steelers in Week 4, he bounced back against the Cardinals with 262 yards and two touchdowns. Dalton has always found success against Baltimore, but this time will be without Ravens killer A.J. Green and speedy John Ross III. It may not matter as he will be facing a Ravens defense that made third string Devlin Hodges look like a starting quarterback.

Baltimore will be without starting safety Tony Jefferson who is lost for the season with an ACL injury. Former sixth-round picks Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott figure to platoon the position in relief. The Ravens haven’t been able to get much pressure to opposing quarterbacks the last four games, allowing three of them to throw for 349-plus yards. Dalton is a solid streaming option against a pass defense that allows the fourth-most passing yards per game this season.

Running Backs

Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill

Despite tough sledding in Week 5 against Pittsburgh, Ingram has been as solid as you could expect for this Ravens offense. His role as the workhorse isn’t in question and he faces a dream matchup against a porous Bengals run defense. Cincinnati is allowing 167.6 yards per game on the ground, ranking 31st in the NFL trailing only the Miami Dolphins. If you remember back in Week 1, that’s the same team Ingram gashed for 107 yards and two touchdowns on only 14 carries. With the passing game struggling, this is a great opportunity to get the offense back in rhythm and take advantage of their poor run defense. Ingram is a solid RB2 with his usual weekly RB1 upside.

Playing sparingly, Edwards has looked impressive on his opportunities, but that has not translated to viable fantasy numbers. He is one of the most valuable handcuffs you can own with the impressive run game in Baltimore. He would immediately enter the RB2 conversation if Ingram were to go down with injury. There will be games where Edwards and Hill are more involved, as they will not run Ingram into the ground early on. This could be one of those games with a heavy run game script expected. Hill has not yet carved out a role in the offense and hasn’t been featured in passing game to the surprise of many. Until that happens, he is not a viable fantasy option.

Joe Mixon

When Brandon Williams is in the lineup for Baltimore, no running back has topped 62 yards against them. Without him, Nick Chubb ran wild for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Although he is limited in practice this week, it looks like Williams will be a full go while the Bengals could be without both starting tackles. Running behind an already depleted offensive line, it’s been tough sledding for Mixon as he has failed to reach 100 yards in any game this season.

He had one receiving touchdown back in Week 3, his only touchdown on the season. These have not been the returns fantasy owners had hoped for when they were drafting him in the second and third round. He is still seeing enough volume where you should feel safe starting him as a low-end RB2, but the upside will be limited.

Wide Receivers

Marquise Brown, Willie Snead IV

The injury report will need to be monitored leading up to game time on Sunday as Hollywood is now nursing an ankle injury. Although he did return, he was nothing more than a decoy in the second half of the Pittsburgh game. The Bengals have been prone to giving up the big play, ranking in the bottom five of allowing plays of 20-plus yards. Brown has been a bit boom or bust, but you can’t argue with his target share in this offense with a depth of target of almost 15 yards per play.

The Ravens have expressed their desire to get the ball in his hands more, whether that be quick throws or jet sweeps. They are aware he has become one of the most important factors in this offense as they were stagnant when he was forced from the game last week. If he can go, he will be a safe WR3 play with room for more upside.

If Brown is unable to go, Willie Snead IV would become a sneaky good streamer for this matchup. He works primarily out of the slot and won’t wow you with big plays, but he has solid hands and trust with Jackson. No receiver besides Brown has stepped up thus far, so the balls will need to go somewhere if he is unable to go. Monitor the inactive list on Sunday and if Brown is out, look to Snead as a solid streamer option if you are short on talent due to bye weeks.

Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate

The Ravens won’t be getting harassed by A.J. Green this time around, but that doesn’t mean they are out of the doghouse. Boyd has given them plenty of headaches in the past, and who can forget the cringe-worthy 4th & 11 conversion that sent the Ravens home in Week 17 of the 2017 season? In two games against the Ravens defense last year, Boyd combined for 10 receptions, 162 yards, and a touchdown in the two games. Boyd went off last week against Arizona, posting 10 catches on 14 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown.

He is the WR1 for the Bengals offense with the absence of Green, which means he could be in the shadow coverage of Marlon Humphrey. Humphrey has spent the last two weeks shadowing Odell Beckham Jr. and Juju Smith-Schuster, effectively limiting their production. This limits the upside of Boyd but based on volume alone, he will remain the WR2 range.

When John Ross was placed on injured reserve, it opened the door for Auden Tate to take over the WR2 duties, making him a popular waiver wire addition. He found the end zone in Week 5 for the first time this season but has only reached 10 targets once in 2019. Playing primarily on the outside, Tate should see plenty of Maurice Canady and Humphrey, if he does not follow Boyd to the slot. Although the Ravens defense has been allowing yards in bunches, it is in the slot where they have truly struggled, and Tate doesn’t figure to get many snaps there. He is not someone you should be relying on in your lineup this week.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst

The Ravens passing attack has taken a significant dip since the first two weeks of the season, and Andrews stats have reflected it. He hasn’t caught more than five balls since Week 2 although his target share has remained consistent. Injuries are starting to pile up as he has been battling a foot injury and now appears to be dealing with a shoulder issue after landing on it in Week 5. His status for Sunday will be worth monitoring if the Ravens opt to rest him against a bad Bengals team with an important stretch upcoming. If he is active, plug him in as a TE1 which should be the case every week.

Playing in a limited role, former first-round pick Hayden Hurst has seen his snap count rise in recent weeks as they look for more options to emerge in the passing game. Hurst has looked solid on his opportunities but has only seen five targets once this season. If Andrews is unable to go in this one, Hurst becomes a solid streaming option who could end the week with TE1 numbers.

Tyler Eifert

It is no secret that the Ravens defense struggles covering the tight end position. The addition of Josh Bynes has helped stabilize the defense but will now have to deal with the loss of Tony Jefferson. Chuck Clark is an instinctive player but has struggled in coverage throughout his career, allowing 21 receptions for 219 yards and four touchdowns on just 30 targets. Eifert had a great match up last week facing a Cardinals team that struggles mightily against tight ends and was still unable to be effective. This makes him hard to trust on a weekly basis and is nothing more than a shot in the dark streamer.

Poll

Who will have the most fantasy points on Sunday?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Mark Ingram
    (36 votes)
  • 10%
    Joe Mixon
    (4 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now