Cleveland Browns (6-5, 5-6 ATS) at Baltimore Ravens (7-3, 4-6), 8:20 p.m., SNF
Brolley’s Browns Stats and Trends
Cleveland’s offense has scored 17 or fewer in five of their last six games, and they’re 2-5 ATS over their last seven contests.
The Browns have played over the total in their last four games as an underdog.
The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this series.
Baker Mayfield continues to struggle through his shoulder and knee injuries, completing 15/29 passes for 176 yards (6.1 YPA), one TD, and two INTs against the Lions last week. He’s finished with fewer than 10 FP in three of his last four games. Andy Dalton completed 11/23 passes for 201 yards and two TDs in less than two quarters of action against the Ravens last week.
Jarvis Landry has been playing through a knee injury, and he’s managed just 11/63 receiving on 18 targets in the last three games. Donovan Peoples-Jones has also been dealing with a groin injury for multiple weeks, which left Rashard Higgins (25) and Ja’Marcus Bradley (24) to lead the team in routes last week. The Ravens are giving up the 16th-most FPG (35.2) to WRs this season after Darnell Mooney and Marquise Goodwin combined for 9/225/2 receiving against them last week.
Austin Hooper is one player who has stepped up a bit in recent weeks with Cleveland’s WR corps disappointing. He has 4+ catches and 5+ targets in three of his last four games after posting 4/53 receiving on seven targets in a victory over the Lions in Week 11. Hooper is averaging just 9.3 YPR with two TDs, and he’s running just 18.0 routes per game. The Ravens are giving up the fourth-most FPG (16.4) and the fifth-most catches per game (5.9) to TEs.
Nick Chubb posted 100+ rushing yards for the fourth time in his last five appearances, which dates back to Week 4. He handled a season-high 24 carries but he’s yet to see more than 57% of the snaps in a game. That won’t change this weekend with Kareem Hunt eyeing a return after missing the last five games with a calf injury. He averaged 14.8/88.8 scrimmage per game with five touchdowns in his first six games before the injury. Chubb averaged 19.0/111.6 scrimmage per game with four TDs in five games with Hunt in the lineup earlier this season. Chubb managed 27/142/2 rushing and 3/27 receiving in two games against the Ravens last season, while Hunt had a combined 19/105/1 rushing and 10/86/1 receiving in those two contests.
Brolley’s Ravens Stats and Trends
Baltimore won and covered in both meetings with Cleveland last season.
The Ravens are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite.
Baltimore has played over the total in eight of its last 10 home games.
Lamar Jackson had one of the more shocking absences of the season as he never could get over a mid-week non-COVID, non-flu illness to play in Week 11. It’s a bit of a disturbing larger trend for Jackson who has now missed six practices and a game for three different illnesses this season. Lamar is the QB2 with 24.8 FPG when he’s been on the field this season thanks to seven performances with 19+ FP in nine tries this season. Lamar posted a combined 438/4 passing and 169/2 rushing in two matchups against the Browns last season.
Marquise Brown couldn’t get healthy enough to play in Week 11 even with a 10-day break between games — the Ravens played on TNF in Week 10. He’s back to practice this week and trending toward playing. Hollywood has quietly been the WR7 with 17.8 FPG through the first 11 weeks of the season. He’s averaging 9.1 targets and 5.8 catches per game to go along with his career-high 13.8 YPR through nine games. Hollywood posted a combined 7/151/1 receiving in two games against the Browns last season.
Rashod Bateman managed just 3/29 receiving on six targets playing with Tyler Huntley and without Hollywood against the Browns last week. He at least ran more routes than Sammy Watkins back in Week 10 (32 to 16), which was Watkins’ first game back from his hamstring injury. Bateman had strung together three straight games with double-digit FP playing with Lamar in Weeks 7-10.
Mark Andrews was the favorite target for Huntley last week, seeing 10 targets and turning them into 6/73 receiving. It’s his eighth game with 5+ catches and his seventh performance with 55+ receiving yards in 10 tries this season. T.J. Hockenson managed 6/51 receiving in this matchup playing with Tim Boyle last week, and Andrews recorded a combined 10/136/2 receiving in two matchups against the Browns last season.
Devonta Freeman is coming off his best fantasy performance last week, posting 16/49/1 rushing and 6/31 receiving for 20 FP against the Bears. He’s seen a 58% snap share in three consecutive games, and the Ravens were down to a two-man backfield after cutting Le’Veon Bell before Week 11 — Latavius Murray managing just 12/33 scrimmage on a 37% share. The Browns have given up 21+ FP to individual RBs in four straight games after D’Andre Swift ripped them for 14/136/1 rushing last week.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 29.7 (27th)
Plays per game: 65.1 (21st)
Pass: 56.2% (26th) | Run: 43.8% (7th)
Pace: 30.6 (29th)
Plays per game: 78.3 (1st)
Pass: 59.9% (18th) | Run: 40.1% (15th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
While I’m certainly excited for Lamar Jackson to get back and in primetime no less, this game has some red flags for fantasy. First and foremost, Browns-Ravens is the worst matchup – by a mile – in adjusted combined pace between the sixth-slowest (Cleveland) and fourth-slowest (Baltimore) offenses. The Ravens have been an over team all year long and I’m pretty confident that they’ll be able to pick up where they left off before Lamar missed last week, but we need the Browns to score points to keep Lamar’s foot on the gas offensively. Cleveland has scored 17 or fewer points in five of their last 6 games, so their 41-point outing back in Week 9 against the Bengals is standing out as a massive outlier. Not only is the pace bad in this game, the Browns offensive struggles are a huge concern.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
The guy from this matchup that I’ll be on in all game types is Mark Andrews. The Browns have sanctioned the 11th-most FP/CS this season on play action. That’s money in the bank when MANdrews is on the field. No other TE comes close to the 6.46 FPG that he draws on play action. That’s 43% of his overall average. In addition, Cleveland has also permitted the seventh-highest rate of deep receptions on play action. And Andrews is averaging the second-most air yards/game (78.4) and fifth-most AY/Tgt (10.3).
Dolan’s Vantage Points
What even is there to say about the Browns? Not only is QB Baker Mayfield’s body held together by Scotch tape at this point, but so is the Browns’ roster.
At least Baker seems to be taking the Browns fans’ unrest in stride.
#Browns Baker Mayfield on the boos:— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) November 22, 2021
"Those are probably the same fans who won't be quiet when we are on offense trying to operate, so don't really care." 😅
Believe it or not, Baker has topped 300 yards passing in four of his six career games against Baltimore (under 200 in the other two), but it just feels like it’s going to be so hard for him to hit that mark in this game. The Browns opened this season, ostensibly, with Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Donovan Peoples-Jones as their top three receivers. One of them is gone, and one might be unavailable for this game. Landry aggravated his knee injury last week but will play this week, DPJ missed with a groin injury (questionable this week), and even rookie WR Anthony Schwartz is dealing with a concussion.
Here’s Graham from Stat-Pack on the Browns’ thin-as-paper offense:
Nick Chubb is averaging 121.9 scrimmage yards per game in 11 career starts without Kareem Hunt.
With Donovan Peoples-Jones out, Anthony Schwartz out, and Jarvis Landry (knee) banged up – the Browns elevated practice squadder Ja’Marcus Bradley and he led them in routes with Rashard Higgins (29).
So with RB Kareem Hunt’s window to play being activated this week (calf — IR), it’s possible Hunt has to play some receiver in this game. With Hunt and RT Jack Conklin (elbow) angling to return to the lineup, that’s good news for the Browns’ run game, and Hunt (as a FLEX) and Nick Chubb (as an RB1) are the only two Browns I can even come close to considering for fantasy.
The man with the worst immune system in the NFL, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, is expected to return from a non-COVID illness and play on Sunday night.
Lamar Jackson said he feels fully back from illness and will start Sunday night against the Browns.— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 24, 2021
He joked that he’s 120%.
I was very impressed by what backup QB Tyler Huntley did last week for the Ravens on short notice, especially late in the game to orchestrate their game-winning drive against the Bears. And keep in mind that he did so without WR Marquise Brown, who was out with a thigh injury. Brown is expected back this week, which sets up a battle with CB Denzel Ward. Brown is on the WR2 radar, and he pushes Rashod Bateman to WR3 status.
Last week, after the Ravens cut Le’Veon Bell, they rotated Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray. Freeman (58% snap share | 24 touches) led the way followed by Murray (37% snaps | 11 touches). Frankly, it seems like the Ravens are finally content just letting Freeman be their lead back. Over the last three weeks, he’s averaged 13 carries and 3.7 receptions per game. He’s a high-end FLEX option.