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Fantasy Football Picks: Ravens vs. Browns DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Julian Edlow preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET NFL contest between the Ravens and Browns with game-script analysis and DraftKings Captain’s Picks.

The Ravens and Browns meet in a significant MNF game, with both teams battling for playoff position in the AFC. Let’s breakdown some DFS angles for the showdown slate.

Set your DraftKings Showdown lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (BAL vs CLE)

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Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens ended a three-game losing streak on Tuesday night football, earning a convincing victory over Dallas, in large part thanks to getting nearly a quarter of the roster back from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Lamar Jackson ($11,800) was one of those key names welcomed back, and he put up his usual numbers. While the passing yards haven’t seemed to be there all season, Jackson threw a pair of touchdowns and put up big numbers on the ground — 13-94-1 (26.68 DKFP). The Browns are a better defense, but Jackson has torched them throughout his career. Going back to Week 1, Lamar put up 27.5 DKFP, and that was with just 45 rushing yards and no scores on the ground. Jackson has to come up big for Baltimore in this spot.

Baltimore has been dealing with extremely limited pass-catching options the past couple of weeks, but should finally be close to full strength. After missing the last two games, Jackson’s go-to-guy, Mark Andrews ($8,800) is set to return to the gridiron. Andrews finished with a 5-96-1 line (20.6 DKFP) in his last outing in Week 11, and had his best game of the season against the Browns — 5-58-2 (22.8 DKFP). Cleveland ranks just 29th in DKFP allowed to TE.

After a terrible month of down games, it appears Baltimore has gotten back to making sure Marquise Brown ($7,400) is getting his looks. With more targets coming back, we’ll need to be careful of putting too much trust in the speedster, but it also sets up as a strong fantasy matchup. Hollywood has been targeted eight times in consecutive games, finding the end zone in each — even in a game playing with the backup QBs against a talented Pittsburgh defense. Brown’s lone 100-yard game of the season came against this Cleveland secondary, which ranks just 24th in DKFP allowed to WR.

Willie Snead IV ($5,800) is a tough play to figure out. On one hand, his salary is still inflated from a season-high 23.4 DKFP against the Patriots, and that game was all the way back in Week 10. We just haven’t seen Snead either of the last two games, so his salary hasn’t gone back down. On the other hand, the big game against the Pats was his second game with over 18 DKFP in his last four, and he also topped 18 DKFP in his first matchup against the Browns. Snead is a decent pay-down option off Brown, but you probably aren’t playing both.

Punt considerations are Miles Boykin ($2,200) and Devin Duvernay ($1,600). After Dez Bryant (COVID-19) was ruled out on Tuesday, Boykin stepped up and did produce a 38-yard touchdown — but remember, Andrews and Snead weren’t on the field.

Baltimore is having a tough time fully handing the backfield over to J.K. Dobbins ($8,200), but he’s obviously the best play of the bunch. Dobbins missed the Pittsburgh game while on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but has been heavily involved in each of the last two games he’s played. He racked up 17 touches for 85 yards and a score (18.5 DKFP) against Tennessee, and while he was explosive against Dallas, he finished with just 11 touches (13.1 DKFP).

While Dobbins is the safer fantasy play, Gus Edwards ($5,200) is still in the mix. Gus the Bus ripped off a 100-yard game on just seven carries against Dallas. He played a role early in the game and didn’t pile this up in garbage time. Mark Ingram ($2,800) is the easy fade of the RB group at this stage.

Ravens DST ($4,400) and Justin Tucker ($3,800) are both worth considering, especially with limited value on the Baltimore side of the slate.

Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield ($10,000) is just not in a spot where I can justify paying up for him. He was on fire last week against the Titans, airing it out for four first-half touchdowns, finishing with 33.46 DKFP. If people want to chase that success, be my guest. Baker scored 10.86 DKFP in this matchup in Week 1, and he’s shown a very low floor all season. In Weeks 6-11, Mayfield scored 8.06 DKFP or fewer in four games! Hard pass!

If you want exposure to the Browns’ passing game, I’d probably roster Jarvis Landry ($9,400) over Mayfield, but you’re paying the same premium here. If anything, Landry should see volume, with 21 targets over the last two games. But he’s also gone off for over 25 DKFP per game during that span, shooting his salary up $2,000. Rashard Higgins ($6,200) and Donovan Peoples-Jones ($4,800) are also near their highest price points. That makes it really difficult to invest in this passing game.

If there is a spot to buy in, it’s probably at TE. Baltimore ranks 20th in DKFP allowed to the position, and Austin Hooper (neck) is not expected to play. Harrison Bryant ($4,200) and David Njoku ($1,000) have been pretty brutal lately, but this is where I’d look for a punt play on the Cleveland side.

If you do like the Browns in this game, we know how they want to control the game. Nick Chubb ($10,200) is averaging 20 touches in the four games since returning from injury, rushing for 116 yards per game. He has as safe a floor as any play in this contest. Despite getting 10 or more touches in each game since Chubb returned, Kareem Hunt ($7,200) is a bit too pricey. He hasn’t scored double-digit DKFP since a layup matchup against Houston in Week 10.


I can’t look at the Cleveland side for a captain in this one. Baltimore’s backfield is also a little too crowded to go there, and the matchup in the air is just too good. That leaves us on Jackson, Andrews and Brown. By using Tucker or a Browns’ TE in our lineup, I think getting to Lamar Jackson ($17,700 CPT) is a reasonable play.

Final Score: Baltimore 27, Cleveland 20

Set your DraftKings Showdown lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (BAL vs CLE)

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