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Week 12 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Last week's entree of fantasy choices was supposed to be a filet mignon which turned into a Salisbury Steak. Let’s hope this week doesn’t provide us with the same disappointment.

With Baltimore traveling across the country to face the struggling Los Angeles Rams, it looks like another good week for the Lamar Jackson MVP campaign. But who else is a good start in this game? Well, not many actually.

Sure, each team has a few guys to consider. But based on the perception of these offenses, it is less than you might think. That said, those players who are going to be in your starting lineup could pay off in a big way.

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Baltimore Ravens vs Los Angeles Rams

Game Time: Monday, November 25, 2019 @ 8:15 pm
Game Line: Baltimore Ravens -3.5 O/U 46.5
Team Records:
Baltimore Ravens 8-2
Los Angeles Rams 6-4
Baltimore Offensive Ranks: Pass 20th, Run 1st
Baltimore Defensive Ranks: Pass 18th, Run 7th
L.A. Rams Offensive Ranks: Pass 8th, Run 20th
L.A. Rams Defensive Ranks: Pass 15th, Run 5th



Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL) - To quote the cinematic masterpiece A Knight’s Tale, “How would you beat him? With a stick while he slept. But on a horse? That man is unbeatable.”

This may not be a jousting ring. But it is still a field of play and right now, Jackson is unbeatable. He has taken his team and the league by storm this season. Something which should only continue against a struggling Rams team on Monday night in the Coliseum. There is not much more to say which has not already been said about Jackson. You start him and smile with the results.

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR) - Disappointed so far this season? Yes. But he is still Todd Gurley. This doesn’t have the prestige as it did, but he is still a top-10 back in the league and this means you cannot sit him.

Since acquiring Marcus Peters from, ahem, the Rams, the Baltimore pass defense has been a machine. This means if Los Angeles wants to get anything done, it will be done on the ground. So, start Gurley and hope he performs.

Mark Ingram (RB, BAL) - He did not have all the yardage last week. But he did have two rushing touchdowns and this makes up for a lot. The clear leader of the number one rushing attack in the NFL, Ingram needs to be in your lineup regardless of matchup. The ability Lamar Jackson has as a runner only increases the ability of Ingram to make plays. The threat of Jackson allows the big back to go almost unnoticed until it is too late to stop him. This means another touchdown should be in store behind what is quickly becoming one of the top offensive lines in the league.

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR) - Despite last week's goose egg, this is the Rams wide receiver you want to start. He has come back from his ACL injury and dominated the league in most weeks. Coming off a zero-line last week, he will be determined to show it was a fluke. With Woods, Reynolds or Cooks likely to see Peters in coverage, Kupp in the slot will have double-digit targets and maybe 10+ catches in this game. He will have a real chance to finish yet another week as the WR1 for fantasy.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL) - One of the true off-season darlings to work out for fantasy owners, Andrews should be in your lineup every week and this week is no different. After two more touchdowns last week against Houston, it will be good to see how he follows it up in a plus matchup this week.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAR) - We know one thing about struggling quarterbacks - they check down to the tight end a lot. After barely throwing to the tight end a year ago, Everett has become that checkdown target for Jared Goff in 2019. With the Ravens secondary playing improved ball over the last month, it will come down to the short passing game of Everett and Kupp in this one.

The tight end is a pretty weak position for fantasy this season like in recent years. If you have anyone of value at the position, it is hard not to start them. This is where Gerald Everett comes in. While he may not get you 10/100/1, he could easily get you five catches for 50 and maybe a score. Just beware his negative home split that is oddly in contrast to Jared Goff's success at home.


Consider Sitting

Brandin Cooks (WR, LAR) - He has been a great receiver in the past. But coming off a multiple-week absence due to a concussion, this may not be the game you want to start him. With concerns heightening around the league about concussions, it will only take one questionable hit and he will be out again. Or he might have a last-minute complication such as what happened with Sterling Shepard two weeks ago. This is not a player or a matchup you want to take a risk with. He should be sitting this one on your bench. Hopefully, he makes it back fully healthy. If so, plug him in next week.


Potential Sleepers

Jared Goff (QB, LAR) - With Brandin Cooks presumably coming back, there should be another weapon for Goff to use along with Cooper Kupp. But the Baltimore pass defense, ranked 18th on the season, is playing far better in the past month. With Marcus Peters and Earl Thomas, this secondary has been great. Meanwhile, Goff has been anything but this season with only 11 touchdowns through 10 games.

It seems like whatever magic was found in Goff’s game the past two seasons has faded quickly. But if you have someone on bye this week like Patrick Mahomes or Kirk Cousins, you might be forced to start him. If this is the case, don’t expect a fantasy QB1 week from him. Instead, expect him to land in the QB15-20 range and pray the rest of your team is good enough to compensate.

Gus Edwards (RB, BAL) - Edwards had a great game last week against the Texans. On only eight carries, he gained 112 yards and scored a touchdown. This shows his big-play potential. But he did so on only 38% of the snaps. This shows in close games, he is not the lead guy on the field. In most games this season, he has been below 25% snap count and there have been multiple games of single digits.

He is a big-play threat but if you are counting on him for a floor play, he is not the right guy. In this game he is a deep sleeper at best. He could reward you with a touchdown run but he will just as easily make you weep with a zero line.

Marquise Brown (WR, BAL) - If he were fully healthy, he would be a must-start. Because of the injury concern limiting his snaps, he is
firmly in the sleeper category. We have seen, even on limited targets that Hollywood can be a boom player in the mold of DeSean Jackson. Much like Gus
Edwards, if you need a Monday night miracle, Brown could be a good shot. If not, he probably belongs on the bench.

Josh Reynolds (WR, LAR) - If Brandin Cooks is unable to perform in his first game back or if Robert Woods misses another week, Reynolds will be the man to fill in. This doesn’t mean he is a great play as he might find Marcus Peters in coverage if these scenarios play out. But he might be your only option if you are planning on one of the others to play. If both Woods and Cooks are active, Reynolds is not a play. But if one or both end up missing? He could be started as a flex in your lineup.

Robert Woods (WR, LAR) - He missed the last game with a still undisclosed personal matter. If he comes back this week, he is in your lineup, no questions asked although the concerns surrounding his somewhat disappointing season won't completely disappear.

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