The answer is a pretty complicated one as this Cincinnati offense is very different than years past, and this is the first time we will see how Baltimore will approach it.
Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Ravens: Jackson has been consistently one of the best quarterbacks in fantasy this season. The Bengals have tried to construct their defense to contain him as best as possible, but it is still hard to imagine this team containing him well enough that he still doesn’t put up the numbers you would expect out of one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
Tyler Boyd, wide receiver, Bengals: The Ravens have a great secondary, but it is obvious that Boyd is Joe Burrow’s safety blanket. He has had at least seven catches in the past three weeks. With guys like Marlon Humphrey taking away A.J. Green and Tee Higgins on the outside, we should expect plenty of passes to go Boyd’s way this week as well. The only chance Boyd doesn’t have a big game is if Baltimore has Humphrey shadow him in the slot, but it is far more likely they have him play Green.
Mark Andrews, tight end, Ravens: Andrews has dominated the Bengals, and he has looked just as good this season. He has four touchdowns on the season, and he is the second most targeted receiver so far this season. The prediction here is that the young linebackers will be so focused on containing Jackson that Andrews will be able to sneak behind them for some big plays and probably at least one score.
Joe Mixon, running back, Bengals: Mixon is questionable with a shin injury, but after having his best game of the season following a hospital visit last week, we shouldn’t doubt that he will play this week. It is hard to imagine that he will have as big if a game this week, but Burrow has showed he has figured out how much of a threat Mixon is in the passing game, and the offensive line showed some signs of life last week. We probably see a performance that is in the middle of his complete disappointments and last weeks breakout when he gets to face Baltimore this week.
Ravens defense: If there was a defense so far this season that could cause Burrow problems, it is Baltimore’s. They will be blitzing a ton, and that could be a serious problem for this offensive line that didn’t face much pressure last week. The Ravens have also have a very talented secondary that is able to take advantage of the slightest rookie mistake. At the end of the day this should be a high sack day at the very least with plenty of room for more if Burrow turns the ball over.
Good but not great
A.J. Green and Tee Higgins: These guys will likely draw Humphrey and Marcus Peters in coverage. That isn’t ideal at all especially for Green who has struggled to have a fantasy worthy game so far this season. Higgins has been a pretty worthy play the past couple weeks after becoming the starter, and if I had to choose one of these two to play it’d be Higgins. He may get the second most targets behind Boyd this week, but it is a matter of how many contested catches he can bring in this week.
The Ravens running backs: Usually the running back playing the Bengals is a pretty safe bet to play. However, Baltimore has a very crowded backfield. Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins each have gotten in each others way of being consistently fantasy relevant. Each has popped of at least one week but disappeared in others. Not to mention Jackson also dips into the carries and redzone attempts for these running backs. Don’t consider any more than a flex option.
Drew Sample, tight end, Bengals: Fans will focus on Sample’s two drops in the end zone, which isn’t great. However, he was still targeted twice in the end zone, and he still had three catches for 47 yards on the day. With tough matchups on the outside, Burrow could be more likely to try and take advantage of Sample over the middle.
Marquise Brown, wide receiver, Ravens: Brown is the top receiver for Baltimore, and he has made some huge plays. That doesn’t mean he is a strong fantasy option. The Ravens run the ball a ton, and Brown has only topped 80 yards twice this season. He also has yet to score a touchdown this season. That being said, he seems like he is due for a big play, and just one of those makes his day.
Joe Burrow, quarterback, Bengals: Burrow has had 300 passing yards for three weeks in a row. This isn’t an ideal matchup though. He is still a decent look as a streaming option if you have to pick up a quarterback for a week, but you shouldn’t be picking him up to play over your starter.
Just sit them
Bengals defense: Please don’t be that guy. There are just better options on the waiver wire. This defense could have a unexpectedly good day, but even playing their best it is hard to expect them to score any less than in the 30’s.