MNF Showdown | IND at BAL | Picks and Matchup Preview | NFL DFS

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Good morning Playmaker Fam! @AlexKrallDFS here to preview matchups and my favorite players to target ahead of an AFC Showdown on DraftKings and FanDuel between the visiting Indianapolis Colts and the host Baltimore Ravens. For this article, I’m going to be applying a data driven approach to help highlight the best matchups, odds, and stats to consider when making your tournament lineups tonight. Once we’ve concluded with detailing some important data, you’ll also find my favorite Captain, Contrarian Captains, and FLEX plays listed below.

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Now that that’s over with, let’s talk some Monday Night Football!

Indianapolis Colts (1-3) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Colts Team Total: 19.25

Ravens Team Total: 26.75

Line: Baltimore (-7.5) | O/U: 46

Baltimore Ravens

Defensive Matchups

BAL ranks 14th against the Pass, 11th in DvP vs QBs, and 14th in FPPG allowed to QBs (17.38 FPPG allowed)

BAL ranks 10th against the Run, 26th in DvP vs RBs, and 20th in FPPG allowed to RBs (26.03 FPPG allowed)

BAL ranks 6th in DvP vs WRs, and 8th against WRs (30.8 FPPG allowed)

BAL ranks 32nd in DvP vs TEs, and 31st in FPPG allowed to TEs (20.68 FPPG allowed)

Indianapolis’ Best Positions to Target by Matchup: RB, TE

Best Odds to Score

Lamar Jackson (+100), Latavius Murray (+120), Marquise Brown (+120), Mark Andrews (+130), Sammy Watkins (+240),

Best WR Matchup: Marquise Brown vs Isaiah Rodgers (PFF Grade: 49.7)

Notable Offensive Stats

  • Lamar Jackson has scored no less than 20 DKP in any game (while averaging 25 DKP/game), while averaging 70 rushing yards/game
  • Latavius Murray has gained a stronghold on the BAL backfield, playing 62% of the snaps last week against Denver. Murray had no role in the passing game, but did rush the ball 18 times for 59 yards in Week 4.
  • Marquise Brown ranks 12th in Air Yards/Game (111.8) while Sammy Watkins ranks 24th (99.3)
  • Marquise Brown has scored 19+ DKP in 3 of 4 outings this year, has 3 receiving TDs, averaging 7 targets/game
  • Mark Andrews ranks 3rd amongst TEs with 64.8 Air Yards per game, and 8th in targets (25) and receptions (18)

CAPTAIN

Lamar Jackson – The obvious best play on the slate. Jackson brings uncapped upside to the table against a team that has had trouble limiting opposing QB fantasy output.

Marquise Brown – Brown has the best WR/CB matchup for the Ravens and has regularly exhibited big play ability. The Colts are good against RBs and TEs but struggle against QBs and WRs.

CONTRARIAN CAPTAINS

Mark Andrews – Andrews is my favorite “cheap” captain play as we’ve seen him display upside in the past as a dominant red zone receiving threat.

Sammy Watkins – While ranking top 25 in air yards this season, Watkins has posted 7+ targets in every game this season. He is due for a long TD and it could come here against IND’s vulnerable secondary.

FLEX

Ravens DST – After giving up 62 points through their first two games, the Baltimore defense has rebounded only giving up 7 and 17 points over their last two weeks while generating 7 total sacks over that time span. Not only that, but the Colts will be without two of their best OL as All-Pro Guard Quenton Nelson and RT Braden Smith are set to miss this game, freeing up more opportunities for the Ravens to blitz shaky immobile QB Carson Wentz. The Ravens DST is a sneaky play here tonight, expected to only be owned around 15% of the time in the FLEX.

Latavius Murray – Murray saw almost 20 carries last week, and looks to be a solid FLEX piece to target as the Ravens are very much a run-first team. Makes a lot of sense to pair Murray with Jackson and the Ravens DST if you decide to pull the trigger in this spot. The Colts have only surrendered one rushing TD to opposing running backs this season.

Justin Tucker – Tucker is the highest scoring kicker in fantasy this season, and probably the most consistent option. 4k is a bargain, and he is easily the best value play in <4k range.

Le’Veon Bell – I hate having to write up Bell, but he did play 27% of the snaps last week in his first game as a Raven and is very cheap at $1.8k. Would probably prefer him if the Colts were favored as he could rack up some points in negative game script, but he still makes for an intriguing cheap value play.

Rashod Bateman – Only $200 for the Ravens 2021 1st round pick who looks to be in line to make his Pro debut tonight.

Indianapolis Colts

Defensive Matchups

IND ranks 26th against the Pass, 20th in DvP vs QBs, and 19th in FPPG allowed to QBs (20.13 FPPG allowed)

IND ranks 5th against the Run, 8th in DvP vs RBs, and 6th in FPPG allowed to RBs (18.20 FPPG allowed)

IND ranks 21st in DvP vs WRs, and 19th in FPPG allowed to WRs (38.68 FPPG allowed)

IND ranks 15th in DvP vs TEs, and 16th in FPPG allowed to TEs (11.63 FPPG allowed)

Baltimore’s Best Positions to Target by Matchup: QB, WR

Best WR Matchup: Zach Pascal / Michael Pittman Jr. vs Tavon Young (PFF Grade: 50.2)

Best Odds to Score

Jonathan Taylor (+120), Michael Pittman Jr, (+210), Nyheim Hines (+260), Zach Pascal (+300)

Notable Offensive Stats

  • Carson Wentz has yet to exceed 19 DKP in any game this season, currently averaging 15.9 DK PPG in a run first offense
  • Jonathan Taylor has played no more than 55% of the snaps in any game this season, and Nyheim Hines is the natural pivot in negative game script. Taylor has not exceeded 19 touches since Week 1. Hines has seen 6+ targets in two of his last 3 games.
  • Michael Pittman and Zach Pascal are playing 80% of the snaps week to week.
  • Michael Pittman ranks 15th in total targets (36), 13th in Target Share (26.5%), and 26th in Air Yards/Game (96 YPG)
  • Zach Pascal leads the NFL in Red Zone Targets T-Cooper Kupp for (9), and ranks 5th in RZ Target Share % at (40.9%)
  • Mo-Alie Cox played a season high 69% of the snaps in Week 4 against Miami, catching 2 TDs in that game

CAPTAIN

Jonathan Taylor – Likely brings the best upside to the table for a run first Colts team. Eclipsed 100 rushing yards and scored a TD last week against Miami. Baltimore brings a similar matchup on the ground as they surrendered 6.5 yards per carry to Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams last week after giving up TDs to both Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift in Week 3, and 2 TDs to Josh Jacobs in Week 1. I bet Taylor scores again tonight.

Michael Pittman Jr. – Pittman has been the most targeted receiver in the Colts offense this year, and the 2nd year stud is poised to be very active again if the Colts find themselves in negative game script. Pittman has been targeted 5 times inside the 10 yard line this year and has yet to score, so positive regression could be in the cards for him soon.

CONTRARIAN CAPTAINS

Zach Pascal – The veteran receiver’s red zone role really surprised me as I found out he ranks #1 in the NFL in RZ targets. That information is valuable on 1 game slates as he is likely to see looks inside the 20 and is the cheapest option in the Colts offense that will see 80% or more of their snaps.

Nyheim Hines – This game script sets up perfectly for a guy like Hines given that the Colts will likely be in negative game script. If deploying Lamar Captain lines he also makes a lot of sense as a FLEX run back option. The Ravens are surrendering the 5th most receiving yards and the 7th most receptions to opposing RBs.

FLEX

Rodrigo Blankenship – Averaging 11 DKP over each of his last 3 starts which isn’t bad for $3.6k. Given that the Colts often sputter and halt drives, Blankenship could see more work than usual tonight.

Colts DST – The Colts defense presents a very interesting GPP option as they are averaging 2 turnovers and 2 sacks per game. Given that they faceoff against a mobile QB, there will be more opportunities for sacks than usual against BAL. If captaining Jonathan Taylor, I like the Colts as a stacking partner in the FLEX as they are very cheap and averaging 7.5 DKP per game. Likely to be vastly under owned.

Mo-Alie Cox – I’m anticipating ownership to be off of him as his price is up to 5k after scoring twice on just 5 targets last week. Having said that, the Ravens have been terrible at guarding the TE position this year, setting up well for guys like Cox and Doyle here on MNF.

Carson Wentz – Pretty expensive for a mediocre QB in my opinion. We haven’t seen any ceiling out of Wentz in awhile, so I’m not crazy about playing him at increased ownership unless pairing with someone like Pittman or Pascal at CPT.

Honorable Mentions: Jack Doyle, Parris Campbell

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