Monday Night Showdown – Browns Ravens – King of the AFC North? Let’s find out!

First off – I need to make a mea culpa for recommending James Connor for Captain, MVP, anything last night. Man is the egg on my face on that one. Silly me to think that the Steelers would utilize their starting running back, finally healthy, in a tough AFC Matchup. I mean it’s not like they had any issues moving the ball or scoring points other wise, right? Oh wait, they did. Anyway that is my bad.

Tonight we get the Browns and the Ravens and I have to be honest, I am kinda psyched to see this matchup. In week 1 the Ravens thoroughly trounced the Browns – but now in week 14 this this is a different Browns team than we saw in Week 1. The Browns have since gone 9 and 3 and are riding a 4 game winning streak. Meanwhile the Ravens just snapped their own losing streak of sorts, with their win last week being only the second in their last five games. On the one hand, the Browns looked poised for a playoff run while the Ravens are still clawing for a Wild Card Berth. So if I had to look at this game, I think it is the incumbent vs the upstart and I think it has the makings of being a good one.

Last night’s showdown article I think I went too deep in the weeds and again I’m sorry. If you rostered Stefon Diggs or Josh Allen or the Bills Defense last night at Captain/MVP, you were in good shape. So for tonight I am going to try and streamline my approach…

My Captain/MVP Picks

Just the facts ma’am. On DK, I like Baker Mayfield at Captain. Since week 1 Baker has just grown up and is carrying himself and his team with swag – and why not? They have the best record in more than a decade for the franchise. But there are other things going on that I also want to note. First, Lamar Jackson will be uber chalky tonight (last time Lamar was on a showdown slate his projected ownership lofted close to 86%) and so while I expect Mayfield to be popular, I doubt it will be anything close to Jackson and that makes Baker a nice pivot. He also threw his most yardage of the season (week 13) and his third most yardage of the season (week 12) in back to back weeks and has thrown for 6 touchdowns in 2 games. By the way – that is without OBJ unless you have been living under a rock. Additionally on DK he saves you $1,800 from Lamar and on a slate like this, savings will be key.

I also like looking at receivers on DK at Captain. As evidenced last night, even if the Quarterback is having a middle of the road performance a receiver can ball out and make a difference. (See Stefon Diggs vs Josh Allen DK scores through the 3rd quarter last night as evidence). Starting with the Browns, I think the natural choice will be Jarvis Landry, for Captain I actually like looking at Rashard Higgins or Donovan Peoples-Jones (DPJ for short). A couple reasons. First ownership will swing Landry’s way for obvious reasons and I think utilizing one of the secondary receivers will give you a contrarian play to pair with the chalkier Baker and/or Landry in the flex. Second the Ravens Defense will be wise to try and clog up Landry off the line and Baker himself could be looking for his secondary options as I will be in my lineups. And plus – I just plain like these guys. Higgins is coming off the second best game of his season totaling 95 yards on 9 targets and a touchdown and DPJ only needed 2 catches to accumulate 92 yards and a score last week. While Higgins should see around 15-20% ownership, I think DPJ will see under 10% and the other reason to look at DPJ is salary savings. He is only $4,800 on DK as a Flex which puts his Captan price tag under $10k.

I don’t mind rostering a Running Back on DK at Captain, but I much prefer to do it on FanDuel at MVP. Either way, Nick Chubb should see significant ownership tonight as you would expect and so I’m looking at Kareem Hunt more in the MVP (or Captain on DK). Hunt has been coming off of a series of down games Scoring under 10 Fantasy Points in each of his last 3 games. Season Long Hunt owners know this pain. But tonight with the Ravens favored by 3.5, there is definitely a scenario that I can see where Hunt sees the field early and often as a pass catcher and I actually think that people will look at his game logs and see the down games and move on which could suppress his ownership. On FanDuel salary don’t matter as much but on DK, Hunt at Captain also saves you $3,000 vs using Chubb and again, salary savings will be necessary.

While I do have some interest in Baker at Captain on DK, my interests with Lamar Jackson are more keeping him as a Flex Play in my lineups. I don’t blame you if you want to use him at Captain but for me his cost is very prohibitive (he is the most expensive player on the slate) as well as his ownership (which is projected to be the highest owned player on the slate) where I believe many players will have him at Captain which will make their ability to create any sort of unique lineup, limited.

For Ravens Captains, I’m looking at Willie Snead and Mark Andrews mostly. Yes Hollywood Brown has come off of his two best games of the season but his ownership will be huge and so for me Snead is an ownership pivot at Captain. Snead hasn’t taken the field for over two weeks due to Covid and I think Lamar has certainly missed him. I could see a sizable target share shift going to Snead tonight to welcome him back. And Mark Andrews missed last game due to Covid and as we all know, Andrews is Lamar’s favorite target. I will be interested to see if Marquise Brown’s target share and production takes a hit now that Andrews is back on the field. For what it’s worth too – the Browns have been awful against Tight Ends dating back to 2019.

It may seem like I am glossing over my two top Raven’s targets a bit, but in reality since the Ravens have played several prime time games I don’t know if you really need a ton of stats to back up why I like Snead and Andrews. However you may be surprised to hear the running back that I like tonight at MVP on FanDuel and I will have at least a share of on DK at Captain. Gus Edwards. JK Dobbins will see a lot of ownership tonight and I can also see Mark Ingram getting a decent star as well. But Gus has been the Bus this season and what I mean is, it has been Gus setting the table more often than not for Dobbins to explode from. In 5 of the last 6 games, Gus has had 7 or more attempts and just last week he only needed 7 to go for over 100 yards. Moreover if we are to believe that the Ravens will be in the lead, it will be Gus grinding out the clock for them in the second half. Again Salary savings on DK is another reason I like Gus as well as surpassed ownership on FanDuel with both Dobbins and Ingram healthy and playing.

Flex, Flex, Flex it up

For the Browns if I am using a secondary receiver at Captain I am rostering Baker and Landry in the flex. Austin Hooper will miss this game so David Njoku should definitely be in your player pool as well. Draft Kings likes Harrison Bryant to be the starting Tight End so I wouldn’t ignore him either, but for me I prefer Njoku largely because of his price of $1k on Draft Kings. I don’t mind the 4 man with Higgins (or Peoples-Jones) plus Baker and a running back or Njoku or Bryant. I also think Kickers may be in play here, especially for the Browns. So Cody Parkey should also be in your player pool – however in a stack I’d prefer using him with Baker and his pass catchers than in a lineup with Chubb and Hunt. Speaking of even though I like Hunt as a captain doesn’t mean I don’t like Nick Chubb in the flex. I don’t even mind rolling out a lineup with Hunt, Chubb and Baker on it or at least Hunt and Chubb together on one lineup. Lastly, because this is 2020 – I don’t mind taking a few shots with the Cleveland Defense in the flex. I’d mainly use them in a four man with a running back, Baker and a pass catcher.

For run backs on Cleveland stacks, if you can afford Lamar go for it and I’d try and use Mark Andrews as a mini stack. Or Hollywood Brown. I also don’t mind using two Ravens running backs as run backs to lineups that have Baker and two pass catchers as the theory may be that the Ravens are controlling the tempo and Baker is playing catchup and throwing a lot.

For the Ravens, I like Snead or Andrews at Captain paired with Lamar in the flex. I will likely limit my Ravens pass catchers to two paired with Lamar because I just don’t know if there will be enough volume to go around for more than two to ‘get there’ so Snead, Andrews and of course Hollywood Brown are all in play there. I do think with Snead and Andrews back, likely Myles Boykin moves back to obscurity but I don’t mind taking a shot with him in a lineup on the off chance that Lamar liked what he offered last week. I think your value contrarian play thought is Devin Duvernay who has been coming on as a Wide Receiver 3 lately. I really like the play of using Duvernay with the Ravens Defense too as if he returns a kick, you get to double down on those points.

I also don’t mind using Lamar in stacks with the running backs. If I have Gus at Captain/MVP, I think using Lamar and Dobbins (the pass catching back) + another pass catcher could be a very smart approach. I also don’t mind the stack of Gus and the Ravens Defense either as the game theory is that the Defense shuts down the Browns and Gus pounds the rock. I always have Justin Tucker in my player pool when I am building Ravens teams as well. He is just too much of a sure thing when he gets his opportunities. And I think you would be wise to have at least one or two Mark Ingram lineups as you never know, he could turn the clock back one time and it could cost you. I’m not saying I’ll have Ingram at Captain or MVP, but in the flex on at least one lineup – yeah, I’ll go there.

For run backs on Ravens teams, I really don’t mind using Baker and Landry or Baker and NJoku but I have a lot of interest in using Baker and Kareem Hunt together. I think not many will go that way. I also like Baker and Higgins as run back options or just using one Brown – be it Landry or Higgins or Hunt in Ravens Onslaught Stacks.

As always, I don’t mind using the Ravens Defense on lineups that have Baker or a Browns pass catcher. The Ravens defense will be popular tonight so building around them with Browns will be a contrarian play. I also encourage you to trust your gut and if you are happy with your lineup build, go with it even if money is left on the table. Always remember most players will be scared of leaving money on the table and they will cram plays in just to make sure all $50k or $60k (FanDuel) is spent. It is a contrarian move alone to leave cash on the table and I am ok leaving up to $1,000 on the table on a slate like this one.

Update at 7:53. Ownership has been updated and there shouldn’t be any shocks who is the highest owned or the top 8 really. However some notable low ownerships I think you can take advantage of.

Willie Snead 17% ownership

Rashard Higgins 11% ownership

Cody Parkey 8% ownership

Gus Edwards 1.5% Ownership

Kareem Hunt 15% Ownership

Harrison Bryant 12% Ownership

David Njoku 1.5% Ownership

Myles Boykin 7.7% ownership (FD)

Donovan Peoples Jones 5% Ownership

Plug these guys into your lineups and gain some leverage and be different be contrarian!

Good Luck in your Contests!

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