Sunday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Chargers vs. Ravens

Sunday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Chargers vs. Ravens

This article is part of our Showdown/Single Game DFS Breakdown series.

The Week 12 matchup for Sunday Night Football could be a good one, if only because it features two of the best quarterbacks in the league in Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson. The Chargers (4-6) are not in the midst of a successful season, but so long as they have Herbert they remain dangerous. The Chargers also benefit from homefield advantage here, resulting in lengthy travel for the Ravens (8-3). Baltimore is also reeling from the likely season-ending injury suffered by tight end Mark Andrews last week, casting some question over whether the Ravens will look like the Ravens we saw in the first 11 weeks. Andrews has been the leading receiver over Jackson's career, so the Ravens have a lot to figure out as they travel the long distance. The over/under is 48.5 and the Ravens are favored by three points.

QUARTERBACK

The spotlight and bull's eye both are on Lamar Jackson ($12000 DK, $17500 FD), who makes the long trip without his career-leading receiver and his two leading remaining receivers (Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham) listed as questionable. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is also listed as questionable. While all three are expected to play, if any one of them is less than 100 percent then it might chip away at Baltimore's margin of error than they can afford. With that said, the Chargers defense has no obvious strengths aside from its pass rush. As much as it's easier said than done, Jackson and the Ravens

The Week 12 matchup for Sunday Night Football could be a good one, if only because it features two of the best quarterbacks in the league in Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson. The Chargers (4-6) are not in the midst of a successful season, but so long as they have Herbert they remain dangerous. The Chargers also benefit from homefield advantage here, resulting in lengthy travel for the Ravens (8-3). Baltimore is also reeling from the likely season-ending injury suffered by tight end Mark Andrews last week, casting some question over whether the Ravens will look like the Ravens we saw in the first 11 weeks. Andrews has been the leading receiver over Jackson's career, so the Ravens have a lot to figure out as they travel the long distance. The over/under is 48.5 and the Ravens are favored by three points.

QUARTERBACK

The spotlight and bull's eye both are on Lamar Jackson ($12000 DK, $17500 FD), who makes the long trip without his career-leading receiver and his two leading remaining receivers (Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham) listed as questionable. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is also listed as questionable. While all three are expected to play, if any one of them is less than 100 percent then it might chip away at Baltimore's margin of error than they can afford. With that said, the Chargers defense has no obvious strengths aside from its pass rush. As much as it's easier said than done, Jackson and the Ravens offense should be fine as long as they don't let that pass rush get out of control.

Perhaps Jackson's supporting cast is somewhat shorthanded, but Justin Herbert ($11000 DK, $16500 FD) has less help yet on the other side. Aside from his workhorse teammates Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen, the Chargers just don't have a whole lot to utilize on offense. The Baltimore run defense and running back coverage are both strong, as is Baltimore's coverage in the parts of the field where Allen functions most. Herbert tends to throw the ball 40 or more times per game, which helps offset any concerns about his efficiency, but hopefully he'll be able to have both the efficiency and the volume in this otherwise challenging matchup.

RUNNING BACK

At times Austin Ekeler ($10000 DK, $14500 FD) hasn't looked completely recovered from his early-season high-ankle sprain, but the Chargers have no choice but to feed him given that no one other than Allen regularly contributes in the offense otherwise. Ekeler is the WR2 of this offense since Mike Williams is out for the year, and at times this offense quite simply can't do anything but feed Ekeler and Allen. Such high usage eases any concerns about the matchup, though Baltimore has defended well against running backs in 2023. Joshua Kelley ($3400 DK, $6400 FD) is the second running back and sometimes lays claim to valuable carries, including in short yardage.

Gus Edwards ($8600 DK, $12500 FD) might not be a household name but he's quietly up to 10 rushing touchdowns on just 133 carries, making him a strong bet for touchdown production in every game going forward. Edwards doesn't usually make noticeable impacts as a pass catcher, but as a pure runner he's very good and the Ravens need him to produce here. Keaton Mitchell ($6800 DK, $8000 FD) is a unique big-play threat off the bench behind Edwards, and it will be interesting to see if the Ravens try to cook up more pass-catching opportunities for the rookie. Until then, it seems Justice Hill ($1600 DK, $6500 FD) is Baltimore's preferring passing-down back, though his role has dwindled since Mitchell's recent emergence.

WIDE RECEIVER + TIGHT END

Keenan Allen ($11200 DK, $15000 FD) draws a tough matchup against the Baltimore defense, but the Chargers quite simply have nowhere else to throw the ball. If Herbert throws for as many as 200 yards it's nearly impossible to budget that outcome without at least 80 yards to Allen. Even if Allen struggles to the tune of 6.0 yards per target, he could see as many as 14 targets to offset that concern. Quentin Johnston ($3000 DK, $8500 FD) and Jalen Guyton ($2400 DK, $8000 FD) are supposed to be the second and third receivers, but Johnston's struggles and Guyton's limitations make it difficult to project much production there. If there's an angle for either it lies in the fact that Baltimore won't be able to pay much attention to either player with Allen and Ekeler drawing so much usage. Gerald Everett ($4800 DK, $7000 FD) is questionable, but if he's out or limited then it should mean more opportunity for Donald Parham ($4400 DK, $7000 FD) and to a lesser extent Stone Smartt ($1200 DK, $5000 FD) at tight end. Derius Davis ($1000 DK, $6000 FD) is a touchdown threat as a punt returner.

Odell Beckham ($6200 DK, $10000 FD) is likely the best Ravens receiver on a per-play basis, but durability has troubled him all year and tends to limit his snap count to 30 reps or less. Zay Flowers ($8000 DK, $11000 FD) is the one who always leads the Ravens in snaps at receiver, and he should have a good matchup here especially if Beckham can start to draw away some defensive attention. Rashod Bateman ($4000 DK, $6500 FD) is the WR3, but he's dealing with a foot injury and it's unclear how effective he can be. If Bateman's playing time is limited then Nelson Agholor ($2200 DK, $7500 FD) would be up next.

Isaiah Likely ($5200 DK, $7500 FD) is the expected replacement for Mark Andrews, and with that there should be a substantial level of opportunity for Likely. The Chargers have really struggled to defend tight ends in 2023, allowing 8.3 tight end targets per game while conceding a 78.3 percent completion rate at 8.1 YPT. Charlie Kolar ($600 DK, $5000 FD) might also chip in if active.

KICKER

Justin Tucker ($5400 DK, $9000 FD) is probably still regarded as the best kicker in the NFL, but it's been fascinating to watch how well fellow former Longhorn Cameron Dicker ($5000 DK, $8500 FD) has kicked for the Chargers this year.

Dicker was always known as extremely accurate but with a lack of kicking power, yet in a year where Tucker has gone 1 of 5 from beyond 50 yards, Dicker of all people has made 4 of 5 field goals from beyond 50. Although Dicker's range maxes out at about 57 yards, his extreme accuracy within that range has established him as one of the top kickers in the NFL now. This game should have plenty of opportunity for both kickers.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Although it's harrowing to consider a fantasy defense against two of the league's best quarterbacks, both Jackson and Herbert are capable of having a bad game now and then, especially when they're subjected to conditions like these. Both pass rushes are lively, and neither quarterback has a healthy supporting cast on hand.

The Ravens ($4200 DK, $9500 FD) are projected to hold the advantage even on the road, but they definitely lose something when they leave Baltimore and Herbert doesn't turn the ball over much at all (five interceptions in 10 games in 2023). It would require an uncharacteristically poor game from Herbert to make the Ravens defensive investors happy, just as it would require an unusually poor game from Lamar Jackson for the Chargers ($3800 DK, $9000 FD) DST to come through for its investors.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NFL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NFL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
ADP Analysis: Late-Round Values & Stacks for 2024 Best Ball
ADP Analysis: Late-Round Values & Stacks for 2024 Best Ball
ADP Analysis: Middle-Round Values & Stacks for 2024 NFL Best Ball
ADP Analysis: Middle-Round Values & Stacks for 2024 NFL Best Ball
RotoWire Joke Strap League Recap: Greg Wilson Gets and Gives the Glory
RotoWire Joke Strap League Recap: Greg Wilson Gets and Gives the Glory
NFL Reactions: Key 2023 Statistics Bound to Regress in 2024
NFL Reactions: Key 2023 Statistics Bound to Regress in 2024