Game Overview...

It’s been a few days since I watched this live, and re-watching it for scouting just now...I forgot that it was 10-10 at the half, it was a game...and that Houston missed a makeable field goal right before half, or they would’ve had a halftime lead. It probably wouldn’t have mattered...the Ravens stormed out in the 2nd-half, scoring 24 unanswered points and smacking the Texans down.

Baltimore ends up winning fairly easily...the Texans never scored an offensive TD in the game, just a punt return TD. The weather worked against Houston...and their inexperience did as well but credit the Ravens for just being the better team...all season and in this game. The Ravens draw a wobbly Chiefs team in the AFC title game...a game they should win, but KC seems to find ways to win in the playoffs...and the Ravens tend to find ways to botch playoff opportunities.

Houston has a bright future, but they went as far as they could for the 2023 was so much, so far, so fast with a rookie QB and head coach. The Texans will be a ‘football power’ in the future/now...this was a nice jump start for that future.


*Note any fractional numbers in parentheses (4/2) or (2/3), etc., are a 'split' stat on our definition of a 'quality start' (or not) marker on a player -- using 14 PPR points in a game for RB-WR-TE and 21 for a QB ...point levels that are good/productive/well above average starts for a Fantasy week. Trying to identify trends, consistency (or not) in players we might not normally realize.

A (3/2), for example, means: 3 times the player hit at/above the QUALITY mark, and 2 times they did not (this current season).



Player Dynasty/Fantasy Notes...

 -- Credit Lamar Jackson (16-22 for 152 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT, 11-100-2)...he took this game over and ran and threw comfortably and accounted for 4 TDs.

I was looking through Lamar’s season to see how he did against tougher defenses, with KC coming to town this week, but he really didn’t play many top defenses...which made me stop and think/re-remember – there really are no tough defenses anymore...good QBs can do what they want, so I assume Lamar will be fine against KC this week.

The only time the Ravens have stumbled this season is against opponents who tried to slow everything down by running the ball and keeping the Ravens out of sync...and I worry that KC won’t do that...that Mahomes/Reid cannot help themselves to throw-throw-throw...and if it gets into a back-and-forth battle of QBs, in 2023 season -- the edge goes to the Ravens offense/Lamar.


 -- Zay Flowers (4-41-0/5) led all Ravens WRs in targets, catches, and yards...and as you can see by his totals...that didn’t mean much output-wise. The Ravens/Lamar do not lean on any one WR...kinda like the Packers didn’t...and kinda like the wave of the future coming where ‘#1 WRs’ who get all the targets are a thing of the past. So many talented WRs are flooding into the league from college and the offenses turning into giant 7-on-7 affairs...Fantasy Football is going to take a radical turn in philosophy and strategy over the next 1-2 seasons because of the talent glut supplying the NFL.

In a game the Ravens scored 34 points, Rashod Bateman (3-39-0/3) had his typical (for 2023) low-key game and Odell Beckham (1-12-0/1) was his usual 2023 ‘ghost’.


 -- Running back committees were the forerunner of what’s going to happen to WR touches in FF ahead. The Ravens are committed to a committee approach. This game, as we prop bet on, it was Justice Hill (13-66-0, 2-11-0/2) leading the way.

Dalvin Cook (8-23-0) entered the game and took a decent number of touches here too.

It will likely be a 3-way split against KC...a hot hand approach...and if the Ravens get too cute with Dalvin memories of the past, they may get themselves beat with too much Cook shoehorned in for no reason.


 -- C.J. Stroud (19-33 for 175 yards, 0 TDs/0 INT) had a terrible setup to go try and win this game...or to put up numbers in it.

The Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league + the weather was messy (it’s way better for the Stroud’s of the world to work in a stable environment) + Noah Brown was gone, and Tank Dell was gone weeks ago. You’re only going to get so far with dying Robert Woods (1-6-0/4) and Xavier Hutchinson (2-0-0/2) in 2023.


 -- Next season, Tank Dell (Stroud’s #1) will be back to pair with Nico Collins (5-68-0/10)...a sweet 1-2 punch for Stroud. Then, either Noah Brown or John Metchie should be the #3 WR...or both splitting time/situations with Xavier Hutchinson as a #4-5 rotational/depth WR.

Dell and Nico had nice 2023 seasons with rookie Stroud...imagine the future with a gaining experience Stroud if/with a bolstered O-Line.


 -- Devin Singletary (9-22-0, 5-48-0/6) now hits free agency...Houston might bring him back; I would assume the Texans would be the favorites to sign him for 2024.

Dameon Pierce (0-0-0) was a disaster in 2023...began as the starter, and did little/nothing, then lost the job and was relegated to kick returner by season’s end.

We don’t know if they will bring Singletary back, but I’m pretty sure that Pierce will not be set up/relied upon to be the full Week 1 starter. Houston will either bring back Singletary or sign some other cheap veteran or two and/or add a day two/three RB draft pick to enter the fray.



Snap Counts of Interest:


56 = Zay Flowers

44 = Bateman

32 = Agholor


39 = J Hill

23 = Gus

09 = D Cook


42 = Nico

35 = Metchie

32 = Woods

18 = X Hutch

04 = Sims