It’s easy to overlook a matchup between the 4-4 Baltimore Ravens and 0-9 Cleveland Browns, but believe it or not, there could be fantasy football implications in Week 10’s “Thursday Night Football” game.
The Browns’ horrendous defense makes a few Ravens players worth considering in your Week 10 lineup, while Cleveland’s side could benefit from some garbage-time numbers.
Here’s who we recommend starting and sitting on both clubs in this AFC North tilt.
Quarterback: Yes, head coach Hue Jackson is sticking with Cody Kessler in Week 10. No, you should not start Kessler.
Running Back: This is a brutal matchup on paper, as the Ravens are allowing 76.1 rushing yards per game this season. Yet Browns starter Isaiah Crowell did torch Baltimore for a season-high 133 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week 2, so he could be worth a gamble if you’re thin at the position. Duke Johnson Jr. only should be considered in deep PPR formats.
Wide Receiver: Terrelle Pryor Sr. is the only Browns player actually worth starting. Baltimore held him to 32 yards on three catches in Week 2, but he’s racked up 11 catches, 148 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks and could see plenty of targets if Cleveland falls behind early. Corey Coleman could be a sleeper play in his second week back from injury, but only in deeper leagues.
Tight End: It could be tough sledding for Gary Barnidge, who hasn’t found the end zone all season and faces a Ravens defense that hasn’t allowed a touchdown to opposing tight ends this year.
Defense: Please do not start the Browns’ defense. That is all.
Quarterback: The matchup is juicy for Joe Flacco against a Browns defense that’s allowed 22 passing touchdowns in nine games. But Flacco’s ceiling isn’t especially high — he’s topped 20 fantasy points just once in standard-scoring leagues — and he probably won’t have to throw too much in this one. He’s a middle-of-the-pack QB this week, and chances are you have a better option.
Running Back: Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon both could cash in against Cleveland’s porous run D, which has allowed five rushing touchdowns in its last two games. Yet West is Baltimore’s clear No. 1 back and should see a majority of the touches, making him a solid RB2 in what could be a run-heavy approach. Dixon is a desperation play given his light workload.
Wide Receiver: Mike Wallace still is a solid play after his 124-yard performance in Week 9, but Steve Smith’s return from injury undercuts his value a bit. Both are viable WR3 plays given the Browns’ shoddy secondary, but temper your expectations a bit.
Tight End: There’s hope for underwhelmed Dennis Pitta owners, as the veteran tight end’s best game came against the Browns in Week 2 (nine catches for 102 yards). That said, his usage saw a steep drop-off in Week 9, when he had two catches on just three targets, so he’s a dicey play at best.
Defense: Baltimore’s D has tallied double-digit fantasy points in two consecutive games, and Cleveland is a disaster on offense. This is a solid streaming option if you need one.
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