Week 8 Fantasy Preview: Ravens @ Cardinals

  • Baltimore Ravens (5-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-6) Best Lines Available

    Bavens (-390) @ Cardinals (+320): O/U 44.0/44..5 (-110)
    Ravens -8.5 (-110), Cardinals +8.5 (-110)

    Writer’s Record:
    Bet: 17-15 +4.94u
    Lean: 7-5 +2.73u

    The Ravens utterly embarrassed the Lions a week ago in a heavyweight bout and now have their sights on their fellow bird in the desert. The Cardinals have remained competitive in most of their games, but fallen short all but once. The Ravens defense has been stifling and Lamar Jackson looks like a superstar while Joshua Dobbs has fallen off the wagon. Can the Cardinals keep this one close, or are they doomed before kickoff?

    Main Storylines to Watch

    Will Gus Edwards remain in charge of the backfield? Previously, the Ravens had been mixing in backs like Justice Hill and running the backfield as more of a committee, but Gus Edwards was a true lead back with 14 carries in Week 7, one going for a TD. Hill was extremely efficient thanks to a 27 yarder, but only took four carries.

    Is this the Trey McBride breakout game? The rookie could be in for a big game with TE Zach Ertz having just been placed on IR. Will McBride seize the opportunity?


    Baltimore Ravens


    Lamar Jackson: LJ was nearly perfect in Week 7 against a Detroit defense that had been giving many QBs a hard time lately. The Ravens’ game plan was simply better and it showed early in that game. Now, he faces a much weaker defense and there is no reason to believe he cannot replicate his success. I have Lamar locked in as a top five QB this week.


    Gus Edwards: The Gus Bus had a huge game thanks to an 80 yard reception and a rushing TD. He was the lead back for Baltimore in a positive game script and was clearly above Justice Hill in the pecking order. He can be fired up in most leagues as an RB2 with upside.

    Justice Hill: The volume has fallen off for Hill so his fantasy value is gone. Unless the Ravens elect to make drastic changes to what we saw last week, highly unlikely due to the success we saw, Hill simply does not have the volume to be started anymore and can be dropped in favor of higher upside players who may remain on the waiver wire. While rookie Keaton Mitchell has yet to see any action other than a single pass caught last week, even taking away one or two carries would all but negate Hill’s workload.


    Zay Flowers: Flowers had a solid day with 75 receiving yards and is surely still the receiver to own on this team. The rookie has been consistent with a safe floor and is even more valuable in PPR as he usually sees a hefty target share. Flowers is a safe FLEX play for fantasy managers.

    Odell Beckham Jr.: OBJ found himself atop the team with seven targets, but without too much to show for it, finishing under 50 yards. He should not be expected to play a big role or have much fantasy value, but he helps the offense out as a whole and gives Lamar another weapon to use. Chasing last week’s production by starting him in fantasy would surely be bold.


    Mark Andrews: On National Tight Ends Day, Andrews showed why he is one of the best in the business. He will not see two TDs every week, but he is still the number one threat in this offense for Lamar Jackson, especially in the red zone. You are starting Andrews with confidence every week as he is currently the TE2 on the year in standard and half point PPR, even after missing Week 1.

    Arizona Cardinals


    Joshua Dobbs: As we began to suspect, the days of Dobbs being a fantasy hero are over. The Ravens defense has not been kind to opposing QBs, limiting Jared Goff to zero TDs for the first time this season. Dobbs is in for a tough game here and should be avoided in fantasy. He consistently threw errant passes with only a touch of pressure coming his way. His only real hope for a solid fantasy game is breaking off some scrambles for big gainers.


    Emari Demercado: After a very split backfield in Week 6, Demercado took over the lead role with 13 carries. The run game was stifled by Seattle aside from a 20 yard TD run by Dobbs and the Ravens will not make things much easier. With James Conner still out, the Cardinals offense as a whole suffers greatly. He can be an emergency start based on volume alone, but the upside is quite limited.


    Marquise Brown: Hollywood was the newest victim of Seattle’s young CB duo a week ago and faces another tough matchup this week. The fact of the matter is, until Dobbs can figure something out in the passing game, it will be risky to start any of the receivers. While Brown saw seven targets he only came down with three of them and most of the misses were on bad throws and tight coverage, not necessarily to the fault of Brown. The volume hopefully provides some safety for him, but the floor is only a couple catches for around 40 yards.

    Michael Wilson: Wilson is in the same boat as Brown but is even riskier. He usually will not see as much volume as Hollywood and suffers from the same QB problem. Wilson should not be started this week, but is certainly still worth monitoring as the rookie develops.


    Trey McBride: McBride continues to look like he should be a bigger part of this offense and now sees his chance with Zach Ertz landing on the IR. Previously, the two had been splitting targets almost evenly, but this game is McBride’s first chance at a rookie breakout. It is still risky to roll him out in a tough matchup, but he should be rostered in leagues deep enough to allow bench space for a TE.

    Betting Insight

    PLEASE NOTE: This is intended for entertainment purposes. This is not intended as gambling advice. If you are looking for gambling advice from professionals, please sign up for the SportsEthos WagerPass. These are the thoughts of our fantasy football division experts, and some are sure to be better than others.

    The Ravens should dominate this matchup and I expect the Cardinals offense to have a very hard time in this game. Baltimore is capable of covering the over on their own, but it seems like they can never put together back to back dominant performances, so let’s ride the under with a couple plus territory bets on anytime TDs.

    BET: UNDER 44.5 (-110) 1.1u to win 1u (FanDuel)
    BET: Mark Andrews Anytime TD Scorer (+140) 1u to win 1.4u (Bet365)
    BET: Gus Edwards Anytime TD Scorer (+110) 1u to win 1.1u (Bet365)

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