Dr. Roto: Week 2 Thursday Night Football Preview

Dr. Roto

Daily Dr. Roto—September 13, 2018

Thursday Night Preview


Joe Flacco—Flacco looked great last week but there’s a caveat—it was against the horrid Buffalo Bills. Will Flacco perform at a high level again against a division rival? I tend to doubt it. Look for Flacco to throw for about 240 yards and 1 TD.

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Andy Dalton—Big Red started out slowly in the first half against the Colts but picked it up in the second half and lead the Bengals to an easy victory. The Bengals OL played well last week, but Indy’s pass rush is nothing like the swarming Ravens. Look for Dalton to have much less time to throw. It wouldn’t shock me to see him get sacked about 4-5 times on Thursday night. Dalton is always hard to project since he can be very good or very bad, but I have him down for 220 yards passing and 1 TD.

Running Backs

Joe Mixon—Bengals OC Bill Lazor finally gave the ball to Joe Mixon last week and the results were exciting. Mixon looked great both running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. Marvin Lewis mentioned that he wants to get Mixon 20-25 touches each week and if that happens I can easily see Mixon getting 100+ total yards from scrimmage against the Ravens.

Gio Bernard—The Ravens have an attacking front seven, so I can easily see Dalton dumping the ball off short to Bernard out of the backfield. I don’t see much room for him to run, but he certainly could go 5 for 50 on Thursday night.

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Alex Collins—I expect a big game from Collins for multiple reasons. One, the Bengals are missing two of their top LBs (Preston Brown and Vonte Burfict) with injuries. This should leave them soft in the middle. Next, backup RB Kenneth Dixon is injured and will miss the game, and finally, Collins barely played last week so he is fresh and should be able to dominate the touches in this game. Look for him to rush for over 100 yards and a TD.

Buck Allen—Allen usually plays on obvious passing downs and short yardage situations. With Kenneth Dixon out, Allen is the sole backup to Collins and should be the beneficiary of a lot of snaps. Look for Allen to get about 14 Fantasy points.

Wide Receivers

Michael Crabtree—I am looking forward to watching this game to see how Flacco uses Crabtree. Last week against Buffalo, Crabtree was gently used only getting three receptions on six targets. Flacco should need to use Crabtree more, so it will be interesting to see if Crabtree can get off the line and get separation against the slower Bengals CBs. Look for Crabtree to have about 14-16 Fantasy points in a solid outing.

Aug 9, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) catches a pass n front of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill (32) during the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

John Brown—Brown looks like a completely different receiver this season and he is in total sync with Flacco right now. Look for Flacco to use Brown especially in the red zone where Brown always has a knack for making a big play. If the Ravens are going to win this week, I would think that John Brown will be a big part of that reason.

Willie Snead—Don’t be mislead by last week’s statistics—Snead is still just a backup receiver on a team that normally struggles when it comes to throwing the football. Snead’s success last week was more due to the Bills ineptitude than his return to form.

A.J. Green—Jimmy Smith’s absence in the secondary is a huge advantage for the Bengals. With this being the case, Andy Dalton will have to find A.J. Green all over the field and give him as many targets as he can handle. My guess is that either Tony Jefferson and/or Eric Weddle will shade over and help double cover Green, but Green’s speed might be a big difference here and I think he can get 90 receiving yards and a TD.

John Ross—The Ravens have a smart veteran secondary and I cannot imagine that they will let Ross beat them deep in this matchup. For Ross to be successful they will have to use him on bubble screens and other short passing plays. I would only start Ross if you have no other options.

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Tight Ends

Tyler Eifert—Eifert was on the field for 22 snaps in Week 1 and I would expect him to have a similar snap count this week. If you watch the game against the Colts closely, it looked like Eifert was laboring pretty badly as he tried to run down the field. While it’s possible that Eifert scores a TD this week, I also think it is possible that he puts up a goose egg. Therefore, I will not start him in any of my lineups.

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Nick Boyle/Maxx Williams/Mark Andrews—The Ravens use a lot of two tight end sets so they often rotate their guys in and out to keep them fresh. None of them are particularly great starts this week, but if I had to choose one I like Andrews who has the best receiving hands out of the bunch.

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