Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season is in the books, which means it’s time for the first real “Thursday Night Football” game of the season.
Yes, the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons duked it out to open the season last Thursday, but this will be the first game of the season that pits two teams coming off limited rest against one another.
And the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals are the unlucky contestants.
Baltimore hammered the hapless Buffalo Bills in Week 1, while the Bengals overcame the Andrew Luck-led Indianapolis Colts to improve to 1-0. Despite both teams’ quality showings last Sunday, Paul Brown Stadium likely will be the site of the normal sloppy affair we’re sued to seeing on Thursday night.
Here’s who you should start and sit in your fantasy lineup for Bengals vs. Ravens.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
Could this game get ugly? Probably. But Green has spent most of his career making Andy Dalton look competent and he’ll likely have a big play or two in store against the Ravens. He’s a must start.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Ravens
The veteran wide receiver had a slow start to his Ravens debut — three catches for 38 yards — but salvaged his day with a touchdown. The Bengals’ secondary looked suspect against the Colts, so expect Crabtree to put up decent numbers in Week 2.
While the Bengals’ offense looked potent in Week 1, the Ravens should be up to the task. This figures to be a low-scoring game, and with Dalton’s affection for turning the ball over it could be a good night for Baltimore’s D.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals
The second-year running back ran wild over the Colts in Week 1, tallying 95 yards and a score in the Bengals’ win. Mixon will face a tougher task against the Ravens, but he’s still worthy of a start in what could be a low-scoring slugfest.
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
If you have another option you might want to look there, but Flacco threw three touchdown passes in Week 1 and the Bengals’ secondary isn’t anything special. Couple that with Baltimore’s mediocre running game and the veteran quarterback should get plenty of chances to air it out. He could be a good one-week option if you have a shaky QB situation.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals
You shouldn’t own Dalton, but if you do, he better be on the bench.
Alex Collins, RB, Ravens
As mentioned above, the Ravens’ running game leaves a lot to be desired. Collins managed just 13 yards on seven carries in Week 1, and while he added a touchdown, he ranked third on the team in touches behind Javorious Allen and Kenneth Dixon.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals
Bernard was supposed to get a share of the passing-down work in Week 1, but Mixon played the majority of snaps. The North Carolina product simply has no fantasy upside right now.
Nick Boyle, TE, Ravens
Baltimore split the reps between its trio of tight ends in Week 1. Boyle made the best of it, catching three passes for 40 yards, but he’s certainly not worthy of a start.
John Ross, WR, Bengals
The speedster still hasn’t found his place in the Bengals’ offense. While his talent is undeniable, it’s best to bench Ross until he has a more defined role.
Thumbnail photo via Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports Images