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Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown: Week 4 Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Football Team

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Washington looks like a mess once again, and the Ravens need to get back on track after getting trounced by the champs at home on Monday night. Can Lamar Jackson get the Ravens back in the air after a tough Week 3? For the 2020 NFL season, Matt Savoca will be providing his weekly NFL Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown column, going through every single game and offensive and defensive matchup, every week of the season. For your viewing convenience, we have broken up the matchups breakdown into several single columns, each one covering a single game. You can find links to every game right here. We have 12 games on tap for Week 4 NFL DFS and NFL Fantasy Football matchups, so let’s dive in. The entire matchups article will be available in podcast form, every Friday afternoon on the Awesemo Podcast Network. Let’s get into the Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Football Team for your NFL DFS lineups.

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Baltimore Ravens (30) at Washington Football Team (17) – 1 p.m. ET

Washington Passing Game

Washington’s season has returned to the pits after a surprise Week 1 upset against the similarly struggling Eagles. Multiple Dwayne Haskins turnovers forced Washington into a hole early, and by halftime Cleveland had over an 80% win probability (via nflfastR’s win probability model). Haskins has been dreadful, ranking 34th among 2020 quarterbacks in quarterback composite efficiency rating. He ranks 32nd in expected points added per play and 33rd in pass success rate. His completion percentage versus expectation (CPOE) ranks 35th. There are unfortunately few indicators that Haskins is an NFL level quarterback. Week 3 didn’t show us much to change update our prior notions on Haskins, as the Cleveland defense overwhelmed Washington en route to seven hurries, three sacks and three interceptions. If things continue in this direction, it will be of no surprise if Ron Rivera decides to see more from backup quarterback Kyle Allen following Week 4.

Haskins’ Weeks 1-3 targets have been distributed as follows: Terry McLaurin 25, Logan Thomas 24, Dontrelle Inman 16, J.D. McKissic 9, Steven Sims 8, Antonio Gibson 7, Antonio Gandy-Golden 3. McLaurin continues to command elite opportunities, ranking 11th among WRs in targets, 15th in true air yards share and 12th in true weighted opportunity. But he ranks just 53rd in receiver air conversion ratio due to Haskins’ inability to deliver the ball accurately, ranking 34th ranked clean pocket completion percentage. Prior to Patrick Mahomes outburst on Monday night, Baltimore has been so-so with No. 1 receiving options, first holding Odell Beckham to three catches on 10 targets for just 22 yards, but then surrendering five catch for 95 yards to Houston’s Brandin Cooks in Week 2. Tyreek Hill had his way with the Ravens Monday, hauling in five of six passes for 77 yards and a score, the 11th-highest fantasy score of the week. McLaurin remains an elite talent with a chance to shine weekly, severely limited in upside by the abysmal quarterback play. His salary ranks 21st among wide receivers on DraftKings, and his median projection on Awesemo ranks over a dozen spots lower.

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Thomas appears to be suffering the same fate. He ranks third at his position in total targets, second in target share and sixth in air yards share, but 18th in total fantasy points. On any other team, we’d likely be celebrating the next athletic tight end breakout in Thomas, but instead, fantasy gamers will have to hold out until better quarterback days. Dontrelle Inman scored twice Sunday against Cleveland but can’t be trusted for anything but tournaments, as he ranks 64th overall in true target share and 53rd in weighted opportunity. Priced at WR77 on DraftKings, he’s a low-priced dart throw option that will likely need a score or two (again) to help your roster.

Inman can be considered for tournaments or game stacks. He had two scores last Sunday, ranks 51st among wide receivers in true weighted opportunity share and 40th in targets. He presents somewhat of a value as the 77th-highes- priced receiver on DraftKings.

Washington Running Game

J.D. McKissic led the three-man platoon in snaps in Week 3, also nearly doubling Antonio Gibson‘s routes 25 to 14. But it was Gibson who led the team in carries (with a measly nine) and tied McKissic with three receptions. With three straight weeks outpacing the five-year historical trends in avoided tackles per touch, and ranking 10th among running backs in PFF’s elusive rating, Gibson remains the most intriguing upside in a low-ceiling backfield. Peyton Barber continues to mix in on short yardage, but there are not as many screen chances coming out of the backfield, so this seems like an easy stay-away situation on Sunday, particularly because Washington ranks bottom seven in PFF’s overall net advantage against Baltimore this week.


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Baltimore Passing Game

Lamar Jackson has certainly had better nights than he did Monday against the Chiefs. The Chiefs were able to bottle up the speedster in the pocket, sacking Jackson more times (four) than he scrambled past the line of scrimmage (three). His 97 passing yards were by far the worst total since the beginning of 2019, as was his 3.5 yards per attempt. His 54% completion rate was second worst since he last faced Kansas City last season. The Chiefs have Jackson’s number right now. And Washington’s defense isn’t nearly the cakewalk for opponents that their offense has been so far this season. Through three weeks the Washington defensive unit ranks best in the league in defensive expected points subtracted per play (EPA allowed) despite ranking fourth worst in defensive expected points per drive, an indicator that strong opponent field position (due to the Washington offense’s putrid play) helps improves the average expected points of their opponents’ drives. If things move in that direction, the Baltimore offense will be content to deemphasize the passing attack (they now rank 31st in dropbacks per game) and stick with their typically punishing ground attack. Nonetheless, the high implied team total and high probability of Jackson leading the Ravens to multiple touchdowns is too great to ignore this low-volume pass attack.

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Despite the run-oriented approach, Jackson is still eighth among quarterbacks in red zone pass attempts, so the touchdown probability, particularly in this matchup, remains fantastic for Jackson’s receiving options. Marquise Brown had a quiet three-catch evening against the Chiefs. He now ranks 36th in targets among wideouts. Most encouraging, though, he’s top 10 at the position in true air yards share, though the Ravens are only 20th in completed air yards per game. He’ll certainly have plenty of boom potential, but Brown’s median projection doesn’t warrant his WR14 price on DraftKings this weekend.

Mark Andrews has been a bit disappointing from a raw numbers standpoint. He ranks just 13th in targets among tight ends. In fact, he hasn’t had more than five receptions in a game since week 10 of last season, but his No. 1 true air yards share and No. 2 true weighted opportunity rating among tight ends bode well for future production in spite of ranking a paltry 20th in fantasy points per game. Washington has been somewhat vulnerable to tight ends, giving up touchdowns to Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert in Week 1 and Harrison Bryant in Week 3.

No other receiver ranks in the top 80 for the Ravens, so Miles Boykin and Devin Duvernay are off fantasy gamers’ radars for now. Nick Boyle (40th among tight ends in targets) is priced fairly as the 34th-highest-salary tight end on the main slate.

Baltimore Rushing Game

The Ravens’ backfield opportunity counts Weeks 1-3: Mark Ingram 30, Jackson 24, Gus Edwards 18, J.K. Dobbins 15. Last week, Ingram led the backfield with seven carries. The volume is incredibly tough to trust right now for anyone other than Jackson, who has 30% of the Ravens’ rushes through three weeks. The rushing floor is enough to at least consider him in DFS this weekend, even as the highest-priced quarterback. Both Ingram and Dobbins are projected below their salary based expectations on Awesemo this week. Edwards is the forgotten player in this backfield, at least among casual fantasy gamers. His 1.56 rush expected points added per game leads the team. He presents a clear value with significant touchdown upside as the 55th-highest-priced running back on the slate.

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Prediction: Ravens 34, Washington 24


Editor’s Note:

Think the Washington Football team can keep it close, like Matt Predicts? Through odds shopping you can find the best line for your bet and improve you return on investment. One book gives Washington an extra half point.  Click on the image below to start odds shopping!

 

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A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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