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*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
It’s hard to read a bunch into this game because it was another rainy, slop-fest involving the Ravens…it feels like Baltimore just plays in the rain every week. It steady rained all game, and there were a ton of drops, etc., but the edge went to the team used to running the college spread with straight ahead running plays – advantage Ravens.
Tampa, as they do, put up a fight but fell short once again – the story of their season. So close to being a playoff team…but, instead, a franchise house cleaning is coming.
The Ravens are in the 8-6 AFC wild card cluster…with Indy and Tennessee. They’re also hoping the 8-5-1 Steelers lose to NO this week…opening up the Ravens winning out and taking the division. The Ravens have lots of playoff options, but they could all blow up if they go to LAC and lose this week. Lose this week and Baltimore may be a 9-7 team bounced from the playoff scene at the very end for the second year in a row.
We project the Ravens either lose to LAC or CLE then next two weeks and fall out of the playoffs, but it’s not a strong projection either way. The Ravens have chances…but one slip up and done.
The Bucs drop to 5-9; the lost season continues. They might win another game to end up 6-10. Our computer models still believe the Bucs are a good ‘bad’ team – and that they might go knock off Dallas this week.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The QBs struggled passing because of the conditions, but just to note some trends…
Jameis Winston (13-25 for 157 yards, 0 TDs/1 INT) has thrown for less than 250 yards in a game in four of his last 5 games…and below it in each of his last three games.
But note he’s running more – last three games rushing, 48-47-0 yards…the zero in the rainy soup conditions.
I couldn’t trust him vs. Dallas this week because his numbers are sliding.
Lamar Jackson (14-23 for 131 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 18-95-0) you can trust to run. His five starts of rushing yardage: 119-71-75-67-95 (85.4 yards per game). Two rushing TDs in his 5 starts.
4 TDs/3 INTs passing in 5 games. Obviously, he’s much more viable in 4pts per passing TD leagues.
-- More of the same for Gus Edwards (19-104-1) taking spread formation hand-offs and running straight, but he’s so powerful he bounces off tackles enough to get solid/good results…and the occasional TD.
Kenneth Dixon (11-48-0, 1-2-0/1) looks more dynamic doing the same work but on a sloppy field…the powerful, straight-ahead guy was the way to go.
This is an RBBC/RB-duo for sure. Both will see 10+ touches each game and which RB it tilts to depends upon the scoreboard.
-- What your DT can do, for IDP, in a game against the run-up-the-middle Ravens? Rookie DT Vita Vea had a career high 9 tackles in this game. He had 12 tackles all season until this game.
Antwaun Woods for Dallas Week 16?
-- If the whole concept of the Pro Bowl wasn’t stupid enough…from the voting to the game itself and everything in-between…Justin Tucker (2/2 FG, 2/2 XP) did not make the Pro Bowl.
The greatest kicker in the history of football having another top year…a guy who is one of the top 10 assets to own in the NFL among the non-QB options – he doesn’t make the Pro Bowl. Unreal. He only missed two FGs this year…because they were blocked.
For fantasy, Tucker is sitting #5 among fantasy kickers for scoring per game (FantasyPros scoring). A chance to finish top 3 by seasons end. He likely won’t catch #1 – Greg Zuerlein.
Tucker is always worth the price/value/draft pick that I push him as every preseason.
-- The Bucs-DST the past 4 weeks…
Held a decent 49ers offense to 9 points in a convincing win.
Held Carolina to 17 points in a must win for both teams.
Held the Saints to 3 points at the half, gave up 25 points second half – a blocked punt and a pick set up the Saints for some easy 2nd-half scores. For about 2.5 quarters it looked like the Bucs had them.
Held the Ravens to 20 points in the rain here.
18.5 PPG allowed over 4 games. Two wins, two and half controlled the game events. 10 turnovers created…and only had 6 turnovers created the entire 10 games of the season before that.
Not saying they’ll crush the Cowboys, but the Bucs have a lot of young defenders playing hard right now.
-- Week 16 Outlook…
TB at Dallas…we think TB gives them a run. It’s not great for the TB related weapons, nor where you would use their DST with confidence…but looking for deep sleepers the Bucs have them. Looking for great upside hope…probably nothing Bucs related.
Ravens at Chargers…The Chargers should’ve lost their last 3 games, instead they won them all and are the toast of the town. You can run on LAC, but tougher to pass on…but the Ravens are an all-run team, so LJax and Gus might be just fine. Ravens-D may shock LAC a little, but not a high confidence play.
Snap Counts of Interest:
39 = Dixon
33 = Edwards
32 = Barber
13 = Jacquizz
04 = Ron Jones