- The Ravens are as good as they come defensively.
- Ravens are starting a rookie quarterback and rookie running back against the league’s worst defense and are favored.
- The Raiders starting receivers due to injuries and trades are Seth Roberts, Marcell Ateman, and Dwayne Harris against the league’s second best defensive unit in yards allowed.
Derek Carr is ranked as the 26th quarterback according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 69.1. He didn’t entirely struggle against a stout Cardinals secondary, throwing for two touchdowns with no turnovers but only amassing 198 passing yards. This week Carr and the Raiders take on the 4th best pass defense and overall best defense in points allowed. The Raiders left tackle Kolton Miller continues to allow sacks in pairs as pass rusher Chandler Jones tallied two against him. Center Rodney Hudson has not allowed a quarterback pressure all year. The Raiders will also be doing their quarterback zero favors yet again, as they intend to roll out the worst wide receiver corps the league has seen this season. The combination of Roberts, Ateman, and Harris will be easy pickings for a veteran Ravens secondary. Tight end Jared Cook will likely have to be Carr’s first option again this week. The Raven also boast a talented linebacker group led by veteran Terrell Suggs which will look to slow down Cook will also taking advantage of an offensive line with weak edges. The Raiders may also be without Doug Martin, who did not play in the second half of Week 11 against the Cardinals. With his injury it can be assumed a drop in volume,that would leave Jalen Richard to take the reins as the lead back in Oakland with DeAndre Washington to back him up. Washington saw his most significant snap percentage (34%) while filling in for Martin, but Washington doesn’t add any new elements to the offense. They face a Ravens defense holding teams to only 3.9 yards a carry on the season.
Lamar Jackson will start his second game this week with Joe Flacco still out due to a hip injury. Jackson looks to follow in fellow rookie quarterback Josh Rosen’s footsteps and also have his NFL breakout game against the Raiders. Although it seems he’s not quite ready to be a prolific passer, his offensive line is more than able to make running lanes for the rookie. Alex Collins has been listed as questionable all week and does not look like he would receive a massive workload, since the Ravens have been conservative with their bruising back. Rookie running back Gus Edwards will likely receive the bulk of the work due to his on-field chemistry with Lamar Jackson and the synergy he provides to the rushing duo. He his a “north-south” runner with good power but lack the ability to go laterally, while his quarterback doesn’t possess the strength to crush linebackers he has the agility to go around them. The tandem ran for 224 yards on 43 carries in Week 11, with Edwards added a touchdown against the Bengals. The Raiders are 2nd worst in rushing yards allowed. The pass catchers will be in for a slow day, as Jackson only attempted 19 passes, completing 13 for only 150 yards and added an interception. Willie Snead manage to corral five passes but for only 51 yards. Jackson appears to have a connection with third year tight end Nick Boyle as he was the only receiver with more than one reception. The Raiders lack talent at all levels to completely stop a rushing attack led the most dangerous rushing quarterback since Michael Vick.
START or SIT
QB Derek Carr
QB Lamar Jackson
RB Gus Edwards
RB Jalen Richard
RB Alex Collins
RB Deandre Washington
RB Buck Allen
WR John Brown
WR Seth Roberts
WR Willie Snead
WR Marcell Ateman
WR Michael Crabtree
WR Dwayne Harris
TE Nick Boyle
TE Jared Cook
TE Mark Andrews
Derek Carr - A severe lack of weapons against a talented team makes him a must sit.
Lamar Jackson - Provides a solid rushing baseline with the added upside playing against the Raiders. If Jackson can get his passing game up to the next level this game he will finish in the top 5.
Doug Martin - He didnt play the entire second half and finally got in enough practice to be listed as active but against the ravens front, he is a fade.
Jalen Richard - I would start him here based on the uptick in volume as the main back. Although washington will cut into his snaps Richard is the more talented runner. Can only suggest as a flex play against a strong defense.
DeAndre Washington - haven’t seen anything yet.
Gus Edwards - Week 12’s waiver wire darling will finish in the RB2 range (RB13-24) against a porous Raiders defense. Added opportunity to due Collins injury.
Alex Collins/Buck Allen - Both will be minimally used primarily due to being in the lead for the entire game. The Ravens already monitor Collins snaps as it is and if he’s only posting limited participation in practice it won't be a surprise if he doesn't suit up. Buck Allen is primarily used in garbage time or comeback situations and neither of these scenarios will be likely this week.
Jordy Nelson - last minute off the injury report against a tough ravens defense. fade.
Other Oakland WRs - Fade. Low talent threshold against top tier pass defense.
John Brown - The low percentage of pass plays will not affect him as much as the other receivers since he only needs one big play to keep your fantasy team afloat.
Willie Snead - The high volume of targets he will receive as the team’s best way to move the sticks drive to drive but his value will only be found if he can find paydirt.
Michael Crabtree - Although it’s a revenge game scenario for the veteran there simply won’t be enough passing volume to go around.
Jared Cook - Carr will mostly look to Cook to move the Raiders offense through the air. With a high volume of passes and predictable game script, Cook will get into the end zone if the Raiders do.
Ravens Tight Ends - Fade. Volume isn’t there and the reward doesn’t outweigh the risk against a susceptible Raiders defense.
Raiders - Continue to fade. Blowout imminent.
Ravens - Although they haven’t recorded a turnover in five games, I’m still starting the Ravens due to high sack potential while facing a low scoring offense.