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Ravens vs. Raiders Monday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown and NFL DFS Picks

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NFL DFS Picks Week 1 DraftKings Monday Night Football FanDUel showdown single game Ravens Raiders optimal lineup optimizer projections rankings best picks plays

Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 1 Monday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 1 Ravens vs. Raiders Monday Night Football matchup.

Week 1 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks

Baltimore Ravens (27.5) at Las Vegas Raiders (23)

The Raiders host the Ravens to finish out Week 1, and it is the first time that live fans will be watching the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium. Baltimore has had a difficult offseason, particularly with injuries at skill positions. Baltimore heads into this season with none of the running backs they relied upon a season ago. Luckily for the Ravens, they still have Lamar Jackson at the helm, and he should be utilized plenty. The Raiders started strong in 2020 but faltered down the stretch, going 2-5 in their final seven games after beginning the season 6-3. Las Vegas returns all of its key offensive starters from a season ago, save for receiver Nelson Agholor, as they look to improve upon their second-place finish in 2021. The Ravens, even at far less than 100%, will be a tough test.

Lock In Lamar Jackson

Jackson is projected for the largest raw score on the slate by over 6 fantasy points. Since FanDuel does not require extra salary for a player in the MVP spot, it is going to be hard to move away from Jackson as a Captain pick. His ability as a rusher provides a massive boost to both his floor and ceiling.

Pivot to Derek Carr for a Massive Salary Boost

Awesemo’s proprietary value metric grades Carr as a high-quality pivot from Jackson. Though the projection is lower, and the probability of Carr having a ceiling game in this spot is somewhat low, Carr’s salary is $2,600 less on DraftKings and $3,000 on FanDuel. Particularly in tournaments on DraftKings, Carr makes sense as a pivot play.

Darren Waller, Undisputed King of the Raiders’ Passing Attack

Waller is expected to lead the Raiders in both target share and air yards once again this season. Waller was one of three tight ends in 2020 to earn 25% of team targets and 25% of the air yards, and Awesemo projects Waller will double the next-closest Raiders receiver in receptions.

Get to Know Baltimore’s Ty’Son Williams

Williams is expected to lead the Ravens backfield in touches and carries, and he has a salary of $12,000 on FanDuel. Williams has the most familiarity with the Ravens’ offensive system of all the Baltimore running backs, and while the new running back additions are still getting acclimated, Williams could have an inflated workload in one of the league’s most efficient running games. He is the best value play of any skill position player in this contest.

Josh Jacobs has a High Floor and Low Ceiling

Jacobs has the highest floor of any Raiders skill position player. But since he is not expected to be used in the passing game, the only way for him to hit his ceiling is by scoring multiple times. At $8,400 on DraftKings, the third-highest salary of any non-quarterback, gamers can pass over Jacobs in builds, particularly in large-field tournaments.

Raiders Auxiliary Options are Thin Plays at Best

Edwards is the best value play at the receiver position, and he should see 4 to 6 targets and has a salary of $5,600 on DraftKings and $7,000 on FanDuel. He is projected for slightly less production than Henry Ruggs, but the salary difference makes Edwards the more appealing value play.

Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown will be Involved

Players in large-field tournaments should consider rostering one of Brown and Andrews, as they are both projected for more than any of the Raiders pass catchers aside form Waller. Andrews has similar touchdown upside to Waller while having a significantly lower salary on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The Awesemo props page predicts between four and five catches for both players.

The Bottom Line

Expect the Ravens to continue their run-heavy offensive philosophy despite the team’s injuries in the backfield. Baltimore should still operate an option-heavy game plan that utilizes Jackson’s high-quality decision making and game-breaking speed. It is hard to imagine a scenario where Jackson is not the most productive player on the field, which makes him by far the safest play in this game. The Raiders will likely attempt to keep the ball out of Jackson’s hand, opting for a run-heavy approach themselves in order to drain clock, but Carr will take his shots downfield, particularly off of play action. Look for Carr to look for Ruggs early while still giving a large majority of the targets to Waller. The Las Vegas running backs’ opportunity will shift based on game environment, with Jacobs getting plenty of work in a close game (or if they take the lead) and Kenyan Drake being the primary receiving back. Those who believe the Raiders will play most of this game from behind should give Drake more of a look.

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Week 1 Monday Night Football Prediction: Ravens 27, Raiders 24


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If you’re interested in other DFS NFL for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL DFS rankings, and NFL DFS stacking. Take a look at our NFL lineups, depth charts for NFL games and NFL inactives.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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