Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens
Details of the Script
- TNF – 8:15 p.m. @ M&T Bank Stadium
- Weather – Clear Evening
- What Vegas is saying – Line (BAL -3.5) & Over/Under 45.5
Identifying the Game Script
The Bengals and the Ravens are in for their second of two divisional games of 2023. Last time, the Ravens would win on the road over the Bengals. They have averaged 46.6 total points per game in their previous five meetings. The Bengals are coming off a high-scoring loss to the Houston Texans. The Ravens would blow a lead and lose to the division foe Cleveland Browns. They are a tough team to throw on, so the Bengals will need to get their run game going. The Ravens should be able to use their star player, Mark Andrews, to get one of the worst teams at covering tight ends. This should be an exciting divisional game on TNF.
Joe Burrow has been continuing his recent success since the week seven bye. Burrow has three straight games over 20 fantasy points. Even with injuries at his receiver spot, he has thrown for over 300 yards in back-to-back games. The Ravens have been a team that has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to the quarterback position. They have allowed just one quarterback to throw over 250 passing yards. Burrow was one of two quarterbacks to throw two touchdowns against this secondary this season. He is on a hot streak in fantasy right now, and playing for a short week may be helpful for the offense. Burrow has always done well against the Ravens over his career. He should be a QB1 in week 11.
Lamar Jackson has been in a slump for fantasy. He has one game over the last six with 20-plus fantasy points. Jackson is dealing with turnover issues, with more turnovers than passing touchdowns. The Bengals are a team that leads the league in interceptions this season with 13. Surprisingly, Jackson was the only quarterback this season who didn’t throw a pick against the Bengals secondary. Over the last four weeks, the Bengals have allowed three opposing quarterbacks over 300 passing yards. In that span, they allow only three passing touchdowns. The one weakness Jackson should be able to thrive on is the rushing floor the Bengals give up. The Bengals have allowed four quarterbacks to rush over 40 yards this season. While Jackson is dealing with a slump, his upside in fantasy makes him too hard to sit. He is still a QB1 in week 11.
For the Bengals backfield, Joe Mixon continues to succeed in fantasy with three straight games over ten fantasy points. Mixon continues to be a running back who sees most offensive work in the offense. The Ravens’ weakness has been being able to stop the run game. They have allowed a 70-yard rusher in four of the last five games. They also have given up three rushing touchdowns in that span after not giving up any in the first five weeks. Mixon has averaged at least 50 rushing yards in the last three games against the Ravens. You should be able to continue starting Mixon in lineups for this game, as he finishes as a borderline RB1 in week 11.
The Ravens backfield has been a great spot for fantasy over the last month. Gus Edwards has seven rushing touchdowns in the previous four games and 318 total yards. Rookie Keaton Mitchell has been electric the last two weeks, 200 yards and back-to-back touchdowns. Of course, Justice Hill is there and handles the third-down role.
The Bengals run defense has been a decent matchup for opposing backfields. Their run defense has given up a 60-yard rusher in five of nine games. Last week, we saw Devin Singletary dominate with 150 rushing yards. They gave up a rushing touchdown in five of the previous six games. Edwards is still the lead guy, but Mitchell seems to be taking a few of his early carries, which could limit him even more. Edwards has a solid shot to score a touchdown in the game, but his usage could be a concern. He should be a high-end RB3, which is a good flex option.
Mitchell is supposed to get more work in this game. He had six carries last week in the first quarter compared to Edwards’ nine. Mitchell was coming off a hamstring that kept him limited at practice all week, which could be why he saw minimal work on the offense. I expect him to see more; he could be an exciting low-end RB3 in week 11. Justice Hill saw his fewest snaps since week four, which could be a sign his role in the offense is decreasing. Hill is probably now outside the top 50 running backs in this game.
For the Bengals pass catchers, it seems Tee Higgins will miss this game as he is still dealing with an injury. JaMarr Chase looks ready to go, as he is not on the injury report this week. Without Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Trenton Irwin stepped up and had great fantasy days. The Bengals will also likely swap out rookies as Andrei Iosivas has a knee injury, and Charlie Jones is returning from IR this week.
The Bengals have a difficult matchup as the Ravens allow the second most fantasy points per game to receivers. Mostly, the Ravens have been great at stopping production to receivers. In the last four weeks, only three receivers topped over 50 yards. They are a team that isn’t going to give up a ton of yards or many touchdown opportunities. Marlon Humphrey was hurt in week 10, so there is a chance he will miss, which would be a big blow to this game.
Ja’Marr Chase has done well this season when Higgins has been off the field and when he plays the Ravens. He has 80 yards or more in three of five games. He should be, without question, a WR1 in week 11. With Higgins out, Tyler Boyd has seen seven-plus targets in most of his games this year but hasn’t done much until week ten. Boyd was mostly disappointed when called up to be the second guy on the team. He is a high-end WR4 that could be a little risky of a flex option in week 11. Trenton Irwin has benefited in two games as Higgins’ replacement. He has ten receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown in two games without Higgins. He has a high-end WR5 in this game.
The tight-end position has been using three players to fill in as starters. Tanner Hudson has stepped up in the last two weeks with 12 targets. The Ravens are a tough matchup, so he is still probably outside the top 24 tight ends.
The Ravens pass catchers outside of Mark Andrews have been mediocre this season. Rookie Zay Flowers is having a promising rookie season but not amazing in fantasy. Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off back-to-back solid fantasy outings despite seeing his lowest offensive snaps of the season. Rashod Bateman saw a season-high 70% snap count in week ten but continues to do a little in fantasy. The Bengals’ secondary has been lenient to fantasy receivers, allowing 85 or more yards to at least one receiver in the last four weeks. Touchdowns don’t come often, but a receiver can score on the Bengals. Flowers didn’t do well against them last time, but he should be at least a low-end WR3 here.
Beckham’s decreased snap count is concerning, but he produces on those limited touches. He should be a high-end WR5 in this matchup. Bateman sits outside the top 60 since he has been under eight fantasy points in each game. The Bengals allow the fourth most fantasy points per game for the tight end position. They have given up three straight games over 70 yards to a tight end. Andrews had 45 yards and a touchdown last time. Mark Andrews should see six-plus targets in this game and finish as a TE1.
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