November 8, 2022, 1:35 pm
Ravens 27, Saints 13 (Ravens covered -1.5, U 46.5)
Pregame: Both teams absorbed a tough blow to their receiving corps this week, with both Rashod Bateman (Lisfranc fracture in foot) and Michael Thomas (dislocated toe) getting season-ending diagnoses for their respective injuries. Bateman is expected to be ready for 2023 training camp, while Thomas has a murkier outlook both with his injury recovery and his future in New Orleans. In terms of who will be the biggest fantasy beneficiaries in light of the unfortunate news, see more in the team sections below.
The under on the projected point total looks more likely with the two wideouts sidelined, especially as Saints CB Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) still has yet to practice since his Week 6 injury and looks like he’ll be absent again. On the Ravens side, two key offensive weapons in TE Mark Andrews (shoulder) and RB Gus Edwards (hamstring) remain banged up and not practicing. In some positive injury recovery news on the Baltimore side, rookie second-rounder DE David Ojabo will hope to make his pro debut in this game after suffering a torn Achilles in his March pro day.
Postgame: The Ravens defense stepped up big time on the road to lead the way to Baltimore’s third straight win, holding the Saints out of the end zone until there was a little over four minutes left in the game. Veteran LB Justin Houston was the star in this one, picking off Andy Dalton once and running his multi-sack streak to three games. Baltimore’s D/ST has been the seventh-highest scoring unit over the past four weeks, and now get to rest up on their bye week before licking their chops for the hapless Panthers in Week 11. Meanwhile, the Saints offense was stuck in neutral for much of this game, resulting in mediocre fantasy nights for players like Alvin Kamara and Chris Olave.
Pregame: Last week didn’t start off great for Lamar Jackson, who posted 144 scoreless passing yards in the first half against the Bucs before losing both Andrews and Bateman to injury. But, Jackson bounced back in the second half with two passing TDs to both reach the 20-point plateau and record multiple passing scores for the first time since Week 3. The 43 rushing yards were his fewest since his 17 in the season opener, but that’s nitpicking a bit as fantasy managers are likely just relieved to see him break a top-10 weekly finish again after a four-week drought. The Saints have underachieved defensively and have also allowed the 14th-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks, so expect Jackson to continue trending upward.
Postgame: Things started off in record-setting fashion for Jackson (133-1-0 passing, 11-82-0 rushing, 17.5 total fantasy points), who threw for the 100th touchdown pass of his career in the first quarter with a beautiful strike to Isaiah Likely after rolling to his right toward the sideline. Passing volume was few and far between after that, and Jackson finished with less than 175 passing yards for the fourth time in six games. As is normally the case however, he made up for it on the ground with the most rushing yards since Week 3 on a hyper-efficient 7.5 YPC. Fantasy managers will have to look for spot-start options next, as the Ravens are on bye in Week 10. When Jackson returns however, he’ll have a couple of great matchups against the Panthers and Jaguars.
Pregame: Gus Edwards (hamstring) and his questionable status for Monday brings Kenyan Drake back into our fantasy lives once again. A healthy enough Edwards would be a high-end flex play against a Saints defense that has been the seventh-stingiest in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. But in his absence, Drake would occupy that spot albeit with a bit more boom/bust to his game outlook. Drake has alternated 7-15-0 average rushing weeks with 8-90-0.5, so it’s been a bit hard to pin down expectations. He did average an impressive 8.8 YPC last week and actually ranks sixth among all backs in breakaway run rate (10.2%), so there’s certainly plenty of big-play potential still left in his legs. Edwards is still the safer fantasy option due to his goal-line role when both are healthy, but Drake is a decent flex start if you’re left in a bind.
Postgame: Edwards ultimately was ruled out with the bad hamstring, and now at least gets an extra week to get healthy with the bye up next. In his stead, Drake (24-93-2 rushing, 2-160-0 receiving, 23.9 total fantasy points) punched in two scores even if the yardage was not accumulated in the most efficient way. While Drake has been plenty startable in fantasy when he has the backfield basically all to himself (Justice Hill was sprinkled in with five touches), things will get considerably more crowded soon if Edwards is ready to come back in Week 11 while J.K. Dobbins is first eligible to come off IR in Week 13.
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