NFL FANTASY: Going stark Raven mad in Baltimore – Toronto Sun

Author of the article:

Dan Bilicki

Baltimore Ravens running back Ty'Son Williams eludes a Carolina Panthers defender.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ty’Son Williams eludes a Carolina Panthers defender. USA Today Sports

You absolutely hate to see it: The Ravens losing two key starters for the season on back-to-back plays at practice.


After already losing rising star RB J.K. Dobbins for the season due to a torn ACL earlier in the pre-season, his replacement, Gus Edwards suffered the same fate on Thursday. To make matters worse, starting CB Marcus Peters went down for the count as well.

Edwards had been primed for a dominant fantasy season after putting up incredibly efficient numbers in his committee role the past few years. His 5.2 YPC average since 2018 is among the league’s best over that period.

The big winner in this awful situation looks to be Ty’Son Williams, who seemingly inherits the featured role in the Ravens incredibly run-heavy offence. The rookie should be added in your league immediately and wouldn’t be a bad starting option against the Raiders on Monday.


Baltimore made some additions of their own, signing no fewer than four RBs over the past few days. Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Trent Cannon and Latavius Murray have all reportedly been signed by the Ravens. Of that group, the best bet to fill a role behind Williams would be Murray, who was released by the Saints last week after declining to rework his contract – but more on that situation later.

Of course, the most important man in the Ravens’ backfield remains QB Lamar Jackson. He’ll likely be the team’s leading rusher for the third straight year. Another fun fact: In terms of fantasy points from rushes only, Jackson outscored Ezekiel Elliott last year 142.5-133.9.


The season opener between Dallas and Tampa Bay sure provided a lot of for fantasy managers to ponder.


Dak Prescott proved he’s back from his season-ending broken ankle, putting up 403 passing yards against a very solid defence. His top two WRs, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, put had excellent showing and are set up for massive seasons if their target shares are anything like in Week 1. In fact, Cooper has been outstanding in Prescott’s past five fully healthy games, scoring 24.8 points per game.

Michael Gallup suffered an ankle injury and is slated to miss three to five weeks. That should keep Cooper and Lamb among the top WRs in fantasy.

Let’s not get too worried about Ezekiel Elliott after his poor showing in Tampa, either. He was facing an elite run defence and the game script was incredibly pass heavy. This was his toughest matchup of the season, so buy low if you can.


On the Bucs side of things, Tom Brady, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski all put up some great numbers against a Dallas defence ripe for the picking. The big exception is Mike Evans, who was nullified by second-year corner Trevon Diggs – who bears watching for matchups going forward. Evans also had the lowest target share among the WR trio at 13%.

Another thing to watch is the usage rates in the Bucs’ backfield. Leonard Fournette led the way after Ronald Jones II got benched for fumbling. Giovani Bernard was nearly as involved in the passing game as anticipated, either.


We haven’t even really gotten rolling in the regular season, but we already have our first ‘questionable’ headache.

Chargers star Austin Ekeler, who was being drafted in the late first or early second rounds of drafts, has missed some practice this week with a hamstring injury, though he will reportedly be fine for Sunday’s game at Washington.


The issue is reportedly “nothing to worry about,” it should be noted that Ekeler missed six games last year with hamstring problems. If he doesn’t in fact play, Justin Jackson would be the primary back against one of the league’s best front sevens.


Start Trevor Lawrence, QB, JAC at HOU

Not only does 2021’s top draft pick get his debut against a team likely to be the league’s worst, they’re also trading away their top CB.

Sit Justin Herbert, QB, LAC at WAS

Washington gave up the third-fewest points to QBs last season and should put pressure on Herbert all game.

Start Raheem Mostert, RB, SF at DET

When he’s healthy, he can be dynamite and we expect a lot of running against this Lions defence.

Sit Josh Jacobs, RB, LV vs. BAL


Looking at a tough time against the Ravens on the ground and has Kenyan Drake stealing touches in the receiving game.

Start Brandin Cooks, WR, HOU vs. JAC

Hard to argue he’s the top weapon on the Texans offence and should be their focal point against the weak Jags.

Sit Allen Robinson II, WR, CHI at LAR

Getting matched up against Jalen Ramsey in prime time should lead to a disappointing season debut for Robinson.

Start Tyler Higbee, TE, LAR vs. CHI

He’s the top guy for the Rams now and matches up with a Bears defence that allowed the second most points to TEs.


If there’s one underrated WR that starts out strong, it’s Sammy Watkins. Now with the Ravens, Watkins has averaged 30 points per game in his past two season debuts.



Tevin Coleman, RB, NYJ

With most of the hype around the Jets backfield focusing on rookie Michael Carter, it’s most likely to be the former 49er that gets the start and leads the backfield early on this season.


Irv Smith Jr., TE, MIN

This is more due to a failure on Yahoo’s side of things. The Vikings TE is likely out for the season and is on IR, but was still ranked high enough that many autodrafters ended up with him in their lineup.


Carolina Panthers

Didn’t score one of the top defences in your draft? Well the Panthers are actually projected to come out as the top unit in Week 1. A decent Carolina squad hosts a Jets team that gave up the most fantasy points to opposing DEFs last year and is starting a rookie QB.

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