The Patriots head to Baltimore for their first major test of the season, putting their undefeated record on the line. The Ravens are three-point dogs at home in this one, with the total set at 44.5. Here are some Showdown targets to consider.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
Lamar Jackson ($11,400) will look to make history with a third-consecutive 100-yard rushing game, but the Patriots will be playing the run in this game. Jackson went just 9-for-20 passing the ball in Seattle, which is what New England will look to force Jackson to do. On a Showdown slate, Jackson’s always worth rostering, but his rushing floor is generally what gives him so much upside. If the Patriots’ elite defense can limit Jackson to some pedestrian rushing numbers, it’ll be tough for him to have a breakout game through the air. The Patriots have allowed the fewest DKFP to QBs this season.
Mark Andrews ($7,400) is the most expensive pass-catcher on the Ravens, and he feels to be overpriced. He caught just 2-of-8 targets in Seattle last week, and his DKFP average is very skewed by two huge games to start the season. Andrews averages almost 15 DKFP per game, but he hasn’t topped than number since Week 2. The Pats rank third in DKFP allowed to TEs, and I’d rather target for a big play on the outside. You could also make the argument that the Patriots will limit big plays, funneling more targets to Andrews.
Marquise Brown ($7,200) is expected to play through ankle and thigh injuries in this one, but you’ll need to confirm he’s a full-go. Brown could easily get shut down by the best secondary in football, but his tournament upside on one big play could be worth more than the volume we see from Andrews.
Willie Snead ($4,200) is a tough value play to see paying off his salary. Snead hasn’t had more than four touches in a game this season, and he only saw one target in Baltimore’s last game prior to the bye (he failed to catch it). If I’m using this salary on a Raven, give me Justin Tucker ($4,000). Tucker’s the best kicker in the NFL, and he has as least 12 DKFP in three straight games.
Miles Boykin ($2,000) is the only other punt play to consider at WR, but he has been just as big a part of the offense as Snead lately.
The Patriots’ defense has also allowed the fewest DKFP per game to the RB position, but at least we know what we’re getting in Mark Ingram ($8,200). He should have no problem getting 15-20 touches, and playing from behind could even help him get involved in the receiving game. Gus Edwards ($2,400) would be your punt play at RB. Ravens D/ST ($3,400) is off the board for me when facing the Patriots, but if affordable, and should be contrarian.
New England Patriots
The Ravens rank 9th in DKFP allowed to QBs and RBs, so it’s a pretty tough decision if you want to base a Patriots stack around the passing game or running game. After topping 20 DKFP in five of the first six games of the season, Tom Brady ($11,200) has failed to reach that mark in consecutive games. I think he’s a safe floor target, and you’ll probably play a QB one way or the other. But in what should be a low scoring game, his upside is limited.
I’d rather use the salary on Julian Edelman ($10,400), just because we know he’s likely to see plenty of targets. Edelman’s been targeted 38 total times over the last three games, catching at least seven passes in each game. He also has four rushing attempts in that span, so we should be getting 10 touches out of him in this spot.
Mohamed Sanu ($6,800) and Phillip Dorsett ($6,600) will be battling for that WR2 work, and either is a viable play at the same price point. Brady is trying to work Sanu in, which could mean forcing him the ball some. Dorsett has more familiarity with Brady and the offense, though, so you can argue he’s still the better play for now.
It’s worth mentioning first-round pick N’Keal Harry can make his NFL debut here, and he has the potential to challenge both of these guys for targets.
EDITOR’S NOTE: N’Keal Harry is not active for tonight’s game.
Ben Watson ($3,000)is the only healthy TE worth considering here, and his salary does come down $1,800. You’ll probably need a touchdown here, though, because Watson’s seen limited looks in the passing game in his two games this season (he’s caught 4-of-6 targets).
Jakobi Meyers ($1,400) would be the punt play at WR, but it remains to be seen how larger his role will be with both Sanu and Harry active.
Sony Michel ($7,600) is the battering ram for this offense, but the ground game can stall at times. Michel carried 21 times against the Browns, but he scored just 7.4 DKFP. From a volume standpoint, he’s safe to trust, and I like that he’s cheaper than Ingram.
James White ($7,000) is listed a questionable with a toe injury, but the injury has been described as “minor” and the Patriots are confident he’ll play. If for some reason he is out, Michel becomes a higher upside play, and Rex Burkhead ($3,200) jumps onto the radar. Burkhead’s questionable himself with a foot injury, but played through it last week, although his snaps were very limited. If White does play without any restrictions, he’s a very safe play due to his volume as a receiver.
EDITOR’S NOTE: James White and Rex Burkhead are active for tonight’s game.
Brandon Bolden ($1,800) is a viable punt play if Burkhead is ruled out, but didn’t touch the ball last week with Burkhead back in the lineup.
So by now, you’re probably wondering where you can spend some salary with so many average plays in this game. The Patriots D/ST ($7,800) is one of the top weapons in fantasy, and I see no reason to start fading them now. “The Boogie Men” are averaging over 20 DKFP, and seemingly come up with touchdowns every week. Keep trusting them.
If you want to play a kicker, just go with Tucker. Nick Folk ($3,800) is kicking in his first NFL game in over two years.
THE OUTCOMEFinal Score: New England 23, Baltimore 16
I think this has the makings of a competitive game. The Ravens are coming off a huge road win in Seattle, and have had the bye week to prepare for the Pats. But in the end, I trust New England’s defense to limit the Ravens enough to grind out a win. Patriots D/ST CP has to be a consideration.
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