Monday Night Football
Houston @ Baltimore
Team Totals: Ravens 22.5, Texans 15.5
The Texans have given up four straight top-ten quarterback finishes to Russell Wilson (QB1), Jacoby Brissett (QB8), Jared Goff (QB3), and Blaine Gabbert (QB9), yet Joe Flacco is still tough to support beyond two-quarterback leagues with top-16 results in 1-of-10 starts on the year. Flacco hasn’t thrown for 270 yards in a game since Week 14 of 2016. … Despite Danny Woodhead’s Week 11 return, Alex Collins established season highs in touches (24), targets (7), and snaps (64%) in Baltimore’s win over Green Bay. Woodhead (six touches, 22% snaps) and Buck Allen (four touches, 17%) shared passing-down-back work, rendering both fantasy irrelevant until one steps forward. None of the Ravens’ backs have a favorable Week 12 matchup against a Texans defense allowing the NFL’s fewest fantasy points to running backs, including 3.46 yards per carry and the fourth-fewest receiving yards (342) to the position. With that said, Collins is clearly the premier play of the multi-back corps based on Week 11 usage.
Flacco’s post-bye target distribution: Collins 7; Woodhead 6; Jeremy Maclin 5; Mike Wallace 4; Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams 2; Allen and Ben Watson 1; Chris Moore 0. … The Texans got creamed by Cardinals slot man Larry Fitzgerald (9/91/1) in Week 11 after giving up six catches to Rams slot man Cooper Kupp in Week 10. This all bodes well for Jeremy Maclin, who runs 60% of his routes in the slot. … T.Y. Hilton (5/175/2), Robert Woods (8/171/2), Paul Richardson (6/105/2), Tyler Lockett (6/121/0), and Sammy Watkins (2/41/1) have all shown recently that Houston is similarly vulnerable to speedy outside receivers. Wallace returned from Baltimore’s Week 10 bye with a bang (4/56/1) in Green Bay and draws another favorable matchup. … Now sharing time with Boyle and Williams, Watson logged a year-low 44% of Baltimore’s post-bye snaps at Lambeau. This is a three-way TE rotation to avoid.
All Texans skill players enter tough Week 12 spots against a Ravens defense that has yielded an average of 13.75 points in its last eight games at M&T Bank Stadium. Fire up the Ravens’ D/ST. … Baltimore has resumed playing shutdown run defense, holding enemy running backs to a combined 57/146/2.56/1 rushing line in its last three games. Although Lamar Miller’s usage will rise in D’Onta Foreman’s wake, volume is all we have left to hang our hats on for a road-dog back in a bad Week 12 matchup. … DeAndre Hopkins has drawn nine-plus targets in five of Tom Savage’s six career starts and should be safe to employ in leagues of all sizes despite facing a Ravens defense that has yielded the NFL’s second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, ahead of only Jacksonville. … All Texans ancillary passing-game pieces look especially risky in a game where Savage appears unlikely generate many yards. Only the Jaguars (162.0) have allowed fewer passing yards per game than the Ravens (185.2). Explosive slot man Bruce Ellington does have the best matchup of the bunch against Ravens slot CB Maurice Canady, a second-year corner who has played only 43 career defensive snaps.
Score Prediction: Ravens 23, Texans 13