The first week of the 2021 NFL season is almost over. There is one more game left to be played tonight between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders. This means there is one more opportunity to win money by setting a DFS lineup for tonight’s game. There is a lot of great value plays during this game to exploit in this matchup. Here is the best DraftKings lineup to set for the game tonight between the Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders.
Captain: QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
DraftKings Value: $18,600
There should be little to no debate on who should be in the captain slot in daily fantasy lineups for this game. The highest-scoring fantasy player in this game should be Lamar Jackson and it shouldn’t be close. Jackson has a high ceiling on any given week because of his rushing. There are no skill position players with the fantasy points floor that Jackson could score this week. The former league MVP will be facing a defense that has been near the bottom of the league in every category for the past three seasons. Despite the additions they made on that side of the ball it is unlikely they are much better. Last season Las Vegas gave up the seventh-most points to quarterbacks with 22.1 points per game when applying DraftKings scoring rules.
The Raiders not only have a weak secondary but are weak against the run. So Jackson should be able to beat them in all areas of his game. Now especially with the question marks in the backfield after the Gus Edwards injury, Jackson could see more planned rushes, especially near the goal line. Putting Jackson into the captain slot where he will earn 1.5 times his point total feels like a must considering how likely he will score the most fantasy points during this game.
Flex: TE Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
DraftKings Value: $9,000
Since Lamar Jackson has been the starter for the Baltimore Ravens, his favorite target has been tight-end Mark Andrews. He has been the most consistent pass catcher on this offense and could potentially have a top-10 finish at the position this week. Las Vegas was middle of the pack last season in tight-end scoring last season.
Right before the preseason ended the Raiders added two new linebackers in Denzel Perryman and K.J. Wright. This means they are not super confident in their other linebackers Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, and 2021 third-round pick Divine Deablo. Andrews could be the biggest benefactor of a poor linebacker group because he does most of his work over the middle of the field.
In an offense that is expected to be more pass-heavy after the injuries to their running backs, Andrews could see a lot more targets than we’ve seen him get in the past. On top of that Andrews could see an uptick in targets because both 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman and Myles Boykin are starting the year on IR. Andrews feels like the safest skill position player to have in the DFS lineups for tonight’s game.
Flex: WR Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas Raiders
DraftKings Value: $5,600
There is some risk in playing Raiders receivers in DFS because there is still not a clear number two target in this offense behind Darren Waller. Last year veteran Nelson Agholor emerged as the Raiders’ number two receiver. Now that Agholor is off the team Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, and Hunter Renfrow are competing for targets behind Waller.
The Raiders released John Brown because they were comfortable making Bryan Edwards a starter. Edwards will likely be the primary X receiver which is usually the number one receiver in most offenses. Many from Raiders camp have raved about Edwards including their head coach who compared him to Hall of Famer Terrell Owens. It wasn’t too long ago that Edwards was considered a top receiver prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, a season-ending injury had him land in Las Vegas in the third round.
On paper the Baltimore Ravens feel like a scary matchup for Vegas’ receivers, however, it may be better than it appears. On Thursday the Ravens lost former Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters for the season to a torn ACL. They still have Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey as their number one corner. But Baltimore has Humphrey follow Darren Waller around the field since he is versatile to lineup both inside and outside. This would leave either Anthony Averett or Jimmy Smith to cover Edwards which is a lot less intimidating a matchup.
Edwards is considered a potential breakout candidate this season and discretely this may be the matchup to do it. At his price, it is worth the risk to put Edwards into DFS lineups. At a minimum, he should have a solid contribution in tonight’s game.
Flex: WR Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders
DraftKings Value: $5,000
Last offseason there was a lot of hype around Henry Ruggs and what his role could be in the Raiders offense. There was speculation that he would fill the role that Antonio Brown was supposed to have in this offense when he was on the team. Instead, it ended up being Nelson Agholor who filled that role, while Ruggs was treated like a big-play receiver. It is fair to say that last season was a disappointment for Ruggs posting only 26 receptions for 452 yards and two touchdowns. Expectations were high for Ruggs considering he was the first receiver taken in an elite 2020 wide receiver class.
Now that Agholor is off the team, Ruggs figures to fill the void many thought he would have the season before. When he was drafted he was a perfect fit for the Raiders offense. Jon Gruden loves speed and compared to the rest of the league Ruggs’ speed is near the elite territory. Similar to his teammate Bryan Edwards, Ruggs is a sneaky play because of the Ravens’ shorthanded secondary. On top of that Ruggs should be the favorite to be second on the team in targets considered he was a first-round pick. Surprisingly Ruggs is cheaper than Edwards because he could have a higher ceiling and floor than him. Ruggs is a big play waiting to happen and one long touchdown could make it worth it to have in DFS lineups.
Flex: K Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
DraftKings Value: 4,000
It is risky to have a kicker in DFS lineups. They usually do not have the highest ceilings as far as points they can score in a given week. But not all kickers are Justin Tucker. For almost a decade Justin Tucker has been widely regarded as the best kicker in the NFL. Tonight he has a great matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders who are accustom to having a lot of points scored on them. On top of that, the Ravens’ offense may struggle to finish drives because of their injuries to their running backs. This may result in Baltimore being forced to kick more field goals. More field goal attempts mean more opportunities for the most accurate kicker in NFL history to put points on the board. Tucker could have a great game at the expense of the Raiders’ poor defense making him a solid option to have in DFS lineups.
Flex: RB Ty’Son Williams, Baltimore Ravens
DraftKings Value: $6,800
Before two weeks ago not many outside of Baltimore knew about Ty’Son Williams. After J.K. Dobbins’s injury, Williams became a popular name in standard fantasy radars. Then shortly afterward when Justice Hill and Gus Edwards got hurt, Williams became an extremely popular add-in standard fantasy leagues. The reason why the former undrafted free agent became roster in a majority of standard fantasy leagues is that he just became the lead running back for the run-heaviest team over the last two seasons. Baltimore has brought in veterans Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, Trenton Cannon, and Latavius Murray to help replenish their running back room. But since it is unlikely that any of them know the offense that well, Williams should be the team’s lead back for at least this week.
This is a great week for Williams to be the lead back in Baltimore because Las Vegas gave up the fourth-most points to running backs last season with 27.9 points according to DraftKings scoring settings. They brought in new veterans to this defense but the expectation is that the Raiders defense will not be much better than last season. Baltimore won’t likely change their offense too much and will run the ball a ton. This means plenty of opportunities for Williams to show why he should retain the starting job against a weak run defense. Williams also adds some value as a pass-catcher so he won’t have to lead the field on third downs. It is safe to say that whoever is starting at running back for the Ravens against the Raiders is a great play in the DFS lineups.
Players to avoid when setting lineups
QB Derek Carr (DraftKings Value: $14,700)
Since Derek Carr is a quarterback he has one of the highest ceilings of any player in this matchup. But going against Baltimore is a tough matchup, even without Marcus Peters. The Ravens defense is very tough and being that this is Carr’s first matchup with his new offensive line that appears less talented than last year it is hard to trust him at his price when he has to deal with a stout Baltimore pass rush. There are better ways to spend that salary than adding Carr to DFS lineups.
TE Darren Waller (DraftKings Value: $16,200)
Many may be tempted to put Darren Waller, the elite tight end, in their lineups for tonight. However, this is a brutal matchup for the Pro Bowler. Waller could be lining up opposite former All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey all game. Baltimore has a smart coaching staff and could take advantage of the fact that their best cornerback is more than capable of lining up in the slot to cover the Raiders’ best offensive weapon. When he’s not dealing with Humphrey he could deal with the athletic second-year linebacker Patrick Queen. It would be a great story for Waller to have an outstanding game against the team who drafted him, but it is possible that he has a solid or below-average game against this tough defense.
RB Josh Jacobs (DraftKings Value: $12,600)
Yesterday Josh Jacobs was downgraded to questionable due to an illness. This could be the reason why he missed practice last week. On top of that Baltimore is a tough matchup for running backs giving up the 11th fewest points to running backs a season ago. The reason why Jacobs was a fade for most people going into the season is the addition of Kenyan Drake to this backfield and the lack of clarity with either role. At that price point, it is hard to trust Jacobs to produce to that level this week.
RB Kenyan Drake (DraftKings Value: $10,800)
After being the primary back in Arizona the past two years, Kenyan Drake signed a two-year deal to split carries with Josh Jacobs. Transactions over the last few seasons have pointed to the Raiders looking to add a pass-catching back to compliment Jacobs. However, it is unclear how often Drake will see the field and cut into Jacobs’s time. Drake joins a long list of pass catchers fighting for targets behind Darren Waller. Drake may be better off not being in DFS lineups with so much uncertainty around his role in a tough matchup. Even if Josh Jacob’s illness were to hold him out of this content it would be hard to trust Drake to produce to the point to make his price worth it.
WR Marquise Brown (DraftKings Value: $11,400)
This is a great matchup for Ravens pass catchers. Las Vegas’ secondary has not been great over the last few years. However Brown has been extremely unreliable in fantasy. Brown’s fantasy production has been extremely inconsistent. Baltimore also has shown disappointment in the production in their pass catchers when they went after multiple pass catchers in free agency and decided to draft two wide receivers in this past draft including Rashod Bateman in the first round. The Ravens may not feel that Brown is capable of being a number one wide receiver. At that price it is hard to trust a player who could completely flop despite the good matchup.
WR Sammy Watkins (DraftKings Value: $7,800)
The veteran wide receiver who decided to sign with the Ravens was the former fourth overall pick, Sammy Watkins. It is great to see the veteran land with another team after contemplating retirement not too long ago. From a fantasy standpoint, it is hard to trust Sammy Watkins. Even though injuries have helped Watkins close in on the second starting receiver position, he is not a great fantasy play. During his time in the league’s most explosive offense in Kansas City Watkins could not be relied upon to have fantasy production regardless of who they were facing. Now he is joining the run-heaviest team in the league as their potential third or fourth option. There are cheaper players that could shine in this game that have higher floors than Watkins.