This article is part of “The Worksheet” from Rich Hribar, one of the fantasy industry’s most-read early week articles that provides unique statistics and expectations on every player for every game. Portions of “The Worksheet” will appear on RotoViz every week throughout the 2020 season. Read the full article at Sharp Football Analysis.
Ravens at Patriots
|35.16%||2||Opp. Rush %||51.32%||32|
|64.84%||31||Opp. Pass %||48.68%||1|
- The Patriots have turned the ball over on a league-high 23.1% of their possessions and have forced a takeaway on a league-high 20.0% of opponent possessions.
- Opposing teams have scored on just 25.8% of their possessions versus Baltimore, the lowest rate in the league.
- The Ravens have scored 61.5% of the points in their games, the highest share in the league.
- 46.5% of Lamar Jackson’s pass attempts have come on non-first down pass attempts needing seven or more yards, the highest rate in the league.
- On those passes, Jackson is averaging 6.1 yards per pass attempt with a 55.6% completion rate.
- Just 33.3% of Jackson’s pass attempts have come on first down, 33rd out of 36 qualifying passers.
- On those first down pass attempts, Jackson is averaging 8.5 yards per pass attempt and has completed 69% of his passes.
- The Ravens are averaging 3.9 yards per play on first downs, 23rd in the league. That mark was 5.1 yards on those plays in 2019, second in the league.
Jackson has been the QB18 or lower in five of his past seven games. He has worked his way up to third at the position with 8.1 rushing points per game, but sits 25th at the position in passing points per game (12.6). The position itself is just much stronger this season. Jackson’s 19.9 fantasy points per game is 11th among quarterbacks this season, but would have been good for eighth a year ago.
Either way, Jackson has been a far cry on returning investment this season. Baltimore has been a far worse rushing team on early downs, but they are still running too often on early downs, which is forcing Jackson to pass in obvious passing situations, which is not a strength of this offense.
The Patriots had a hard time defending Joe Flacco last week (20.5 points), so we are not going to run away here, but Jackson has not shown the requisite ceiling to consider as a high-end QB1 until his passing efficiency ramps up or the spot is too obvious to ignore. Consider Jackson a rushing-based top-15 option.
Newton has bounced back with two QB1 scoring weeks the past two games on the strength of three rushing touchdowns. Newton has not thrown a touchdown pass since Week 3 and still has not thrown a touchdown pass this season to a wide receiver. The Ravens are fifth in passing points allowed per attempt (0.37) and are second in allowing 6.4 yards per pass attempt, so we are not expecting much from Newton through the air here. Newton is also averaging just 5.1 yards per pass attempt versus the blitz as opposed to 8.5 Y/A when not blitzed and the Ravens blitz at the second-highest rate in the league (42.6%). Newton is a rushing-dependent QB2.
We will still need to wait on word for Mark Ingram this week, who has missed the past two games with an ankle injury. In his absence, J.K. Dobbins has 30 touches and Gus Edwards has 29. Neither back was effective last week, with Dobbins posting 35 yards and Edwards 34, but Edwards found the end zone for the third consecutive game. The Colts are second in the league in yards per carry allowed to backs, but the Patriots are 26th (4.7 YPC) and 28th in rushing points allowed per game to backfields (16.6). Dobbins is the most electric of the options here, but Edwards is the back with the touchdown equity. Both are matchup-based FLEX options with high variance.
The Patriots are another backfield that keeps rotating usage per week and that is before accounting for Newton dominating the short yardage scores. After 5-7 touches the previous three weeks, Rex Burkhead led the team with 15 touches on Monday night with 67 yards and a touchdown.
Damien Harris has been effective with his opportunities, averaging over 5.0 yards per carry in four of his five games this season, but he does not have any third down touches and is rushing dependent, catching just two passes on the season. Sony Michel is close to returning, but Harris has been significantly better in this role than Michel was.
James White has all but slipped away for us, garnering just one, four, and six touches the past three weeks for 62 combined yards. This all while the Patriots have played from behind in all three of those games.
The Ravens are allowing just 10.0 rushing points per game (fifth in the league), but are 16th in receiving points allowed per game (10.2) to the position if you want to hold a candle for the team dusting off White this week. Harris is a rushing-dependent RB3/FLEX with Burkhead and White as FLEX options.
Meyers is fifth in the league in targets the past three weeks with 30, turning in receiving lines of 4-60-0, 6-58-0, and 12-169-0. Meyers has 287 receiving yards the past three weeks while Damiere Byrd leads the team with 337 yards on the season. After two weeks of primarily playing in the slot, Meyers ran 67% of his routes on the outside last week, where he received 11 of his 14 targets. The Ravens are a stickier matchup than the 49ers, Bills, and Jets, allowing 7.4 yards per target to opposing wideouts (third) and 1.54 points per target to the position (second), but Meyers has established himself as Newton’s clear cut top target here and is still a floor-based WR3 option.
Brown has now been a WR3 or better just twice on the season. The squeaky wheel still needs some grease as Brown managed to secure just 3-of-5 targets for 38 yards last week against the Colts. Brown has now topped six targets in just two games this season. Brown is hanging onto the cache that he has 40.1% of the team’s air yards (which ranks third among all wideouts), but his 6.1 targets per game are 41st among all wideouts. The Patriots just had a world of trouble containing the ghost of Breshad Perriman last week, but Brown is stuck WR FLEX status.
Byrd’s 11.5 PPR points on Monday were the second-most he has had all season. Byrd has managed to produce two top-40 scoring weeks with none inside of the top-30 and has yet to reach the end zone, leaving him in WR5 territory in a tougher matchup than the one he just had against the Jets.
Andrews is getting more exercise this season, playing 64% of the offensive snaps compared to 35% and 41% over his first two seasons, but he has also been damaged by the anemic passing stats in this offense. Andrews looks fine in rate stats as he is fourth in team target share (21.3%) and first in share of team air yards (24.1%), but in counting stats he is 13th in targets per game (5.5) and 16th in receptions per game (3.3). Andrews is sitting on a season high of 58 yards receiving with 21, 32, and 22 yards in his past three games. The state of the tight end position is the last remaining thing keeping Andrews alive as a boom-or-bust TE1.
Rich Hribar, fantasy football analyst for Sharp Football Analysis, uses advanced analytics and deep data analysis to uncover edges in the fantasy marketplace.