Every week, I’ll be writing a comprehensive primer on every NFL matchup and all of the relevant players, matchups, pace and playcalling notes, and injuries. It covers everything you need to know when setting your lineups. But since that article is massive and requires a full pot of coffee, we’re also going to offer these more focused matchup overviews to help you prepare for Thursday Night Football: Bengals vs. Ravens.
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Thursday Night Football Primer & Start/Sit Advice
- BAL -3.5, O/U 46
- Bengals vs. Ravens Player Prop Bets via BettingPros
Pace and playcalling notes
- Since Week 5 the Bengals have been stuck in the mud while remaining pass-happy. They have had the second-slowest neutral pace and the third-highest neutral passing rate.
- The pace of this game will crawl. Over their last six games Baltimore has had the fifth-slowest neutral pace with the 12th-highest neutral rushing rate.
Joe Burrow: Since returning to full health, Burrow has been incredible. Since Week 5, he has been tenth in yards per attempt, fifth in CPOE, and the QB4 in fantasy points per game. Over his last five games, he is third in passing yards per game and passing touchdowns. Over the same span, Baltimore has remained a quarterback-smothering pass defense. They have held quarterbacks to the lowest passer rating, the second-fewest passing touchdowns (tied), and the seventh-lowest yards per attempt. In his last four meetings against Baltimore, Burrow has not surpassed 225 passing yards in any game and has only one contest with multiple passing scores. Week 11 Positional Value: Low-end QB1
Lamar Jackson: While Jackson’s fantasy output has been disappointing lately, that doesn’t mean that he is playing badly. Actually, it’s quite far from it. Jackson is enjoying arguably his best season as a passer, ranking fifth in yards per attempt, seventh in adjusted completion rate, and sixth in hero throw rate. Jackson has five weeks as the QB9 or better this season. Since Week 5, the Bengals’ pass defense has still been among the league’s best, but they have allowed a ton of yardage to quarterbacks. Over their last five games, they have given up the third-highest yards per attempt and sixth-highest passing yards per game while also forcing the second-most interceptions with the ninth-lowest passer rating allowed. Since Week 5, the Bengals are 18th in fantasy points allowed via passing. Jackson might not walk away from Week 11 with a monster game, but he can still squeak out a QB1 week. Week 11 Positional Value: QB1
Joe Mixon: Mixon remains the Bengals’ workhorse, averaging 18.1 touches and 77 total yards while playing at least 70% of the snaps in every game since Week 2. Mixon’s tackle-breaking metrics have rebounded nicely this season, as he was near the bottom of the league in every category last season. Among 46 qualifying backs, he is 20th in missed tackles forced per attempt and 21st in yards after contact per attempt. He remains a goal-line hammer, ranking tenth in carries inside the five-yard line. The Bengals should feed Mixon this week and lean on their ground game. Since Week 5, Baltimore has been a team that you can run the ball against. They have given up the 12th-highest explosive run rate, the seventh-highest missed tackles per attempt, and the 11th-highest yards after contact per attempt. Over their last six games, they have allowed the third-highest yards per carry to gap runs (Mixon 52.6% gap). Week 11 Positional Value: RB1
|Player||Rushing Attempts||Targets||Routes||Red zone opportunities|
Gus Edwards: The blowout game in Week 9 muddies up the usage numbers, but this backfield has been split in three ways over the last two weeks. Overall, Edwards has averaged 12.8 touches and 61.3 total yards. Edwards continues to surprise me in elusiveness metrics, ranking 21st in explosive run rate and 24th in yards after contact per attempt. Baltimore should lean on their ground game this week. Cincinnati is another team that has been gashed by the run. Since Week 5, they have allowed the 12th-highest rushing yards per game, the eighth-highest explosive run rate, and the fourth-highest missed tackles per attempt. Edwards disappointed me last week in a good matchup, but he will come through this week. Week 11 Positional Value: RB2/3
Justice Hill: Hill has been a flex-worthy player this season, averaging 8.4 touches and 36.1 total yards. He has five weeks as an RB3 or better this season. My worry with Hill has nothing to do with Hill but the explosive plays that Keaton Mitchell continues to stack anytime he gets the ball. Hill has been productive with his touches, ranking 26th in explosive run rate and 14th in missed tackles forced per attempt. Hill is a dicey flex despite the good matchup this week, as Mitchell could eat into his work. The Bengals have allowed the 12th-most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns this season. Week 11 Positional Value: Shaky flex play
Keaton Mitchell: Mitchell has been lightning in a bottle the last two weeks, turning his 14 touches into 200 total yards. Mitchell’s numbers have been ridiculous. Madden on easy mode type of numbers. With his 12 rushing attempts, he has 12 missed tackles forced and 12.0 yards after contact per attempt. The problem is he has played only 27 snaps across the last two games, but Baltimore can ignore this type of playmaking for only so long. If he gets a bump in playing time, he will destroy the Bengals this week. Since Week 5, they have allowed the 12th-highest rushing yards per game, the eighth-highest explosive run rate, and the fourth-highest missed tackles per attempt. Week 11 Positional Value: Moonshot flex play
Ja’Marr Chase: Chase is the WR8 in fantasy points per game, commanding a 27.8% target share (tenth), a 39.7% air-yard share (15th), and a 35.2% first-read share (ninth) with 2.30 yards per route run (YPRR). Since Week 5, the Ravens have played two high at the eighth-highest rate (52.5%). Against two-high, Chase’s air-yard share has increased to 41.4%, and his YPRR has jumped to 3.14. Chase will have his work cut out for him against a secondary that has allowed the lowest PPR points per target and only two receiving touchdowns to perimeter wide receivers. Week 11 Positional Value: WR1
Tee Higgins: Higgins has been ruled out (hamstring).
Tyler Boyd: Last week, with Chase not 100% and Higgins out, Boyd led the team with a 30% target share while also racking up a 30% air-yard share, 2.79 YPRR, and a 36.7% first-read share. It was a huge game from Boyd. It’s been a while since we have seen a spike week from Boyd, regardless of the situation. That was Boyd’s first 100-yard receiving game since Week 7 of last season and his first game with double-digit targets since Week 4 of the 2021 season. Overall, Boyd has seen a 16.9% target share, a 19.2% air-yard share, and a 19.8% first-read share with 1.30 YPRR. Prior to last week, he had seen three red zone targets in his last four games, so his high-leverage usage was quietly increasing. Since Week 5, the Ravens have played two high at the eighth-highest rate (52.5%). Boyd is third on the team in end zone targets against two-high (three). Boyd will run about 88% of his routes against Kyle Hamilton (57.1% catch rate and 78.1 passer rating). Since Week 5, the Ravens have allowed the ninth-lowest PPR points per target to slot receivers. Week 11 Positional Value: WR3/4
Trenton Irwin: In Irwin’s two games as a starter for the Bengals, he has had a 71.4% route run rate, 16.3% target share, 27.7% air-yard share, 1.63 YPRR, and an 18.0% first read share. Irwin has one end zone target in those games while finishing with at least 54 receiving yards in each game. There are plenty of flexes that you could do worse by playing this week, but the tough matchup probably halts his hot streak as a starter. Week 11 Positional Value: WR4/5
Zay Flowers: Flowers has a 23.6% target share, a 25.8% air-yard share, 1.78 YPRR, and a 26.2% first-read share. Sadly, he has only one end zone target this season, but he is second on the team in red zone targets, behind only Mark Andrews. Since Week 5, the Bengals have the eighth-highest rate of single-high (59.9%). Against single-high, Flowers has seen increases in usage and productivity across the board with a 25.5% target share, a 28.1% air-yard share, 2.07 YPRR, and a 26.9% first-read share. Flowers will run about 70% of his routes against Cam Taylor-Britt (55.3% catch rate and 60.1 passer rating) and D.J. Turner (45.8% catch rate and 76.4 passer rating). This could be a sneaky spot for a big game from Flowers. Since Week 5, the Bengals have allowed the seventh-highest PPR points per target to outside wide receivers. Week 11 Positional Value: WR3
Rashod Bateman: Last week, Bateman assumed a starting workload for the first time this season with a 76.7% route run rate, a 17.4% target share, and a 22.2% first-read share. I’m not rushing to start Bateman, but if you have a dire flex situation, Bateman could fit the bill. The matchup is there for him to surprise. Since Week 5, the Bengals have allowed the seventh-highest PPR points per target to outside wide receivers. Bateman will run about 85% of his routes against Cam Taylor-Britt (55.3% catch rate and 60.1 passer rating) and D.J. Turner (45.8% catch rate and 76.4 passer rating). Week 11 Positional Value: WR5/6
Odell Beckham Jr.: Beckham Jr. is droppable at this point. Last week, he only saw a 36.7% route run rate and a 4.3% target share. He’s been a part-time player in this offense all season. It’s time to cut bait.
Mark Andrews: Andrews is the TE3 in fantasy points per game. Among 51 qualifying tight ends, he is third in target share (22.1%), fifth in YPRR (2.05), second in end zone targets (six), and fourth in first-read share (23.6%). Andrews should crush this week against a Bengals defense that has allowed the fourth-highest fantasy points per game and the third-most receiving yards to tight ends. Week 11 Positional Value: TE1
*All data utilized in this article courtesy of FantasyPros, PFF, SharpFootball Stats, Football Outsiders, FTN, Rotoviz, and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.*