In the first game of the season, the Ravens absolutely crushed the Browns by a score of 38-6 and appeared to be on their way toward another season as one of the AFC’s top teams. Meanwhile, the Browns looked like they were set to produce yet another losing season. Three months later, everything has changed. The Browns are 9-3 and just a 1.5 games back of the Steelers for first place in the AFC North. As for the Ravens, they’re fighting for the seventh seed in the conference. As the two teams jockey for playoff position, NFL DFS players have to be excited about this game, as it will be hard fought and competitive. Despite that, our FanDuel Single-game lineup is still favoring one side that has a clear matchup edge in this contest.
Our lineup consists of four Ravens and one Brown this week. Though the opener was so long ago, the Ravens proved in that contest that when they’re fully healthy, they have the personnel needed to stretch the Browns thin on both sides of the ball. After battling a COVID outbreak, the Ravens finally are healthy and they’ll have a chance to get back on track in this game and make a playoff push. Our money was, for the most part, evenly distributed throughout this group with one caveat: We are spending up to play the top-priced QB on this slate as our MVP.
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FanDuel Single-Game Picks: Browns vs. Ravens
MVP (1.5x points): Lamar Jackson, Ravens ($17,000)
Most of the time when Jackson plays, he is a must-havein single-game lineups. His rushing upside (60.4 yards per game on the ground this season) always gives him a high floor and helps him meet his lofty price. It’s no different in this matchup. The Browns have allowed the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to QBs this season, and through 12 outings, they have surrendered 25 passing TDs. That puts them on pace to surrender about two tonight against the Ravens. If Jackson can log a couple of TDs and continue to run well, he will have a big day. As much as his running ability lifts his floor, his passing potential gives him a high ceiling, so even though he’ll be the most popular MVP on this slate, we feel the need to go with him, as few, if any, players will produce more fantasy points than him in this matchup.
FLEX: JK Dobbins, Ravens ($11,500)
In each of his past two games, Dobbins has run for at least 70 yards and a TD. He is still splitting time in the Ravens backfield with Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram, and Justice Hill, but Dobbins is the clear leader and is the most explosive playmaker of the group. It’s also worth noting that Dobbins had two TDs on seven carries against the Browns in the opener, and while he only had 22 rushing yards, the TDs are what matter most. Dobbins should continue to see his role grow in the Ravens offense, and if he can catch some passes and extend his TD streak to three games, he will be a top play. Plus, having him and Jackson in this lineup will give us almost all of the Ravens’ rushing offense depending on what Edwards and Ingram can do in what looks like a difficult matchup for them.
FLEX: Kareem Hunt, Browns ($11,000)
Going with Hunt instead of Chubb is where we’ll try to gain a little bit of lineup differentiation. Many will be focused on Chubb, who has at least 11.4 FanDuel points in his past four games and is averaging 116 rushing yards per game in that span, as the Browns back to own. However, Hunt may be the better play depending on the game script. If the Ravens get up by double digits, the Browns will have to throw more to try to get back in this game. That would be more Hunt-friendly. The last time these two teams met, Hunt out-touched Chubb 17-11 and outgained him 81-66. That could happen once again, so given that Hunt is $3,500 cheaper than Chubb and is still averaging 15.8 touches over his past four games, we’ll take a chance on him as the lone Browns player in this lineup.
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FLEX: Mark Andrews, Ravens ($10,500)
Andrews has missed the last two Ravens games after a positive COVID test, but it seems that he will be back in action against the Browns. In his two games before that, Andrews had averaged eight targets, six catches, and 78.5 yards over his previous two games while logging one TD. He was starting to heat up and re-develop some chemistry with Jackson, and he could rekindle that against the Browns. Cleveland has allowed the second-most FanDuel points per game to TEs this season and that includes a five-catch, 58-yard, two-TD performances allowed to Andrews in Week 1. Andrews is a bit underpriced here, and by stacking him with Jackson, we have a great chance at double points.
FLEX: Marquise Brown, Ravens ($10,000)
Speaking of players that are starting to heat up, how about Hollywood Brown? In his past two games, Brown has been targeted 16 times (eight in each game) and has averaged 4.5 catches, 62 yards, and a TD per contest. He is a big-time deep threat and with Cleveland’s best cornerback, Denzel Ward, out on Monday night, Brown could have a chance to rip off another long play. Brown is a boom-or-bust option, but the boom potential is worth it in this lineup. If you’d rather target a lower-budget option to earn more lineup differentiation, Willie Snead ($7,500) and Rashard Higgins ($9,500) stand out, but Brown is the best of the mid-level options on this slate.