Monday Night Football Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Ravens vs Raiders Week 1
The Baltimore Ravens go on the road to take on the Las Vegas Raiders at 8:20 p.m. EST during the first Monday Night Football showdown of the season. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Ravens as 4.5-point road favorites, meaning this one could come down to the wire.
If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this AFC Week 1 clash.
Lamar Jackson Fantasy
Start Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens: Quarterback Lamar Jackson could see even more rushing attempts than usual on Monday night given how much the Ravens' backfield has been decimated by injuries. That makes him an automatic start across fantasy football formats. The former NFL MVP averaged 67.0 rushing yards on 10.6 carries per game last season. Jackson draws a great matchup in Week 1, facing a Raiders' defense that gave up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing QBs in 2020. In a game that is projected to be relatively close, look for head coach John Harbaugh to lean on his star quarterback to get the job done.
Kenyan Drake Fantasy
Start Kenyan Drake, RB, Las Vegas Raiders: An intriguing name to watch heading into this Week 1 battle is running back Kenyan Drake. Starter Josh Jacobs was downgraded to questionable for this game due to an illness. It's possible he sees a lessened workload or even doesn't suit up at all. That benefits Drake from a fantasy football perspective. Going up against a stout Ravens' run defense is no easy task, but they were susceptible to receiving RBs last year. Drake averages 7.4 yards per catch in his career and now gets to face a team that allowed the 13th-most receptions to the position in 2020 (81). He has FLEX appeal in Week 1.
Sammy Watkins Fantasy
Sit Sammy Watkins, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore's passing attack has not been a strength for the team over the last few seasons. In fact, the Ravens ranked dead last in the NFL averaging just 171.9 passing yards per game. It's hard to imagine Sammy Watkins making an immediate impact in his first game with the team. Las Vegas isn't a bad matchup on paper by any means, but this comes down to that fact that Watkins has posted over 60 receiving yards just twice in his last 10 games played. The veteran pass-catcher could become a viable streaming option down the road. However, it's best to wait until his role in Baltimore is more clearly defined.
Derek Carr Fantasy
Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders: Derek Carr is going to be a popular streaming candidate throughout the 2021 season. He simply draws a nightmare matchup in Week 1, though. The Ravens' defense is no joke and finished the 2020 season with the ninth-best DVOA rating in the NFL. Baltimore also forced 22 turnovers last season (T-No. 10 in NFL) and gave up the ninth-least amount of fantasy points to opposing signal-callers. With a spread of just 4.5 points, it wouldn't be surprising to see Las Vegas attempt to slow the game down by running the football and using screen plays. This is not the week to slide Carr into a starting slot.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.