NFL Fantasy Preview, Week 2: Arizona Cardinals vs Baltimore Ravens
The Arizona Cardinals are coming off of a nail-biting tie and the Baltimore Ravens are coming off a trouncing of the lowly Miami Dolphins. Both teams had an eventful Week 1, with plenty of fantasy takeaways. Arizona and their rookie quarterback, making only his second start, are traveling to Baltimore to square off against last year's number one defense in yards allowed.
On the flip side, the Ravens have been accused of one weakness heading into the 2019 season, throwing the football. They came out of the gate in week one on a mission to show the world that Lamar Jackson can throw a football with the best of them. Let's take a look at a positional breakdown from a fantasy perspective.
Kyler Murray - Murray's first start was absolutely not going as he had hoped for three quarters. In the first three-quarters, Murray was 9-25 for 70 yards and one INT. Yikes! In the fourth quarter and overtime, he morphed into a different player going 20-29 with 238 yards and two TDs. I have high hopes for Murray's career, as many do, but it may not be wise starting him in his second career start against the Ravens, in Baltimore.
Lamar Jackson - After hearing coach Harbaugh discuss revolutionizing the NFL this off-season, most people assumed he was implying Lamar Jackson would have 1200+ rushing yards as a quarterback. It was the total opposite. Lamar Jackson came out firing. Jackson became the youngest player in the history of the game to achieve a perfect passer rating. He unleashed 20 passes and completed 17 of them for 354 yards and five TDs.
If there was one disappointment from this game it was the fact that he only ran for six yards. Jackson is a must-start this week. The appeal he presented prior to the season was the high floor his rushing would give you. High floor and low ceiling was the narrative and now that narrative is out the window. The ceiling has been blown off the house! The running lanes are going to be open for what could be the league's best running quarterback. Jackson is a must-start.
Ravens - Although the Ravens passed the ball well last week, they ran it even better. They are currently the league's leading rushing offense, and that was with almost no production from their quarterback who is known for his rushing ability. This was all on Mark Ingram and Gust Edwards. Ingram already had two touchdowns at halftime. The beat down was on and the Ravens were able to give Edwards and even Justice Hill some runs. Ingram is the lead back on the league's second-best rushing attack from last season. He is a must-start.
Cardinals - David Johnson is always a must-start, especially with the price you have to pay to get him in your draft. This is not a good match-up. If the Ravens' offense has a fraction of the efficiency they displayed last week, the Cardinals may not have much of a chance to establish the run game. Your must hope that Johnson stays active in the passing game and adds a touchdown.
Ravens - Marquise Brown is the only WR on the Ravens you may want to consider starting this week. If you have better options, it may be smart not to fall for the huge game he had on just four catches. It appears the true number one on this team is the TE, Mark Andrews. You shouldn’t expect another surprising outburst through the air, although it’s not outside of the realm of possibility. Brown appeared to be the primary target for Jackson’s shots down the field.
Cardinals - The match-up is awful, and you have a rookie quarterback that went 9-25 in his first three quarters. This is a good week to plant any Cardinals receivers you have on your bench and see how they fare against one of the league’s best defenses.
Mark Andrews lived up to the hype in his first game. Andrews was the target eight times and caught all eight passes. He ended up with 108 yards and a touchdown. He already appears to be a favorite of Jackson’s. Andrews should be in your lineup this week.