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Fantasy Football Picks: Ravens vs. Buccaneers DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Thursday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Ravens and the Buccaneers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

While it’s an admittedly low bar, this is the best Thursday Night Football matchup we’ve had in weeks, as the Baltimore Ravens travel south to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Still, it’s not as if these two teams don’t have their issues. The Ravens have several key players listed as questionable heading into Week 8, while the Buccaneers are on the heels of an embarrassing loss to the Panthers.

How will that impact the Showdown slate? Let’s dig in.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (BAL vs TB)


Captain’s Picks

Lamar Jackson ($17,700 CP) - Here’s the crazy thing about Jackson’s DFS upside: Despite only throwing for three total touchdowns since Week 4, the former first-round pick still leads all qualified QBs in DKFP per drop back (0.76). He doesn’t even have a rushing touchdown within that span, either. It’s truly incredible stuff. Though I am somewhat worried about the Ravens’ overall offensive potential with Mark Andrews ($9,200; knee) clearly hobbled and Rashod Bateman ($7,000; foot) also not at 100%, not all of Baltimore’s injuries have a negative impact on Jackson. For instance, the pivot might be a more active runner around the goal line if Gus Edwards ($7,600; knee) is unable to suit up. In any case, I’ll always been draw in by Jackson’s ceiling, a trait he’s already showcased in 2022 with a pair of 40-plus DKFP performances.

Leonard Fournette ($13,200 CP) - Fournette’s in an interesting spot. He’s coming off by far his worst game of the season — he registered just 4.6 DKFP against the Panthers — yet he remains in one of the best situations in all of football. Fournette is the last of a dying breed. A true “bell cow” back. In fact, Fournette is one of only four running backs that currently owns an offensive snap share above 70%, joining the likes of Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon and Josh Jacobs. He’s third among RBs in targets (39), fourth in total touches (167) and he’s gone for over 600 scrimmage yards in seven games. There’s a case to be made that an asset like Mike Evans ($11,000) has a higher ceiling, but given the price disparity between the two teammates, I think Fournette has more value. This is price is simply too low for his role.

FLEX Plays

Cade Otton ($5,000) - With Cameron Brate (neck) again sidelined due to injury, Otton should have a massive role on Thursday evening. When Brate was missing in Week 5 and Week 7, Otton saw shape shares of 93.7% and 80.6%, while he ran a route on 91% and 71% of Tom Brady’s ($10,000) drop backs in those games, respectively. The raw result of those contests was just 10 catches for 107 yards, yet when factoring in Otton’s red zone looks, the potential for more is obvious. The sheer volume of Tampa Bay’s passing attack doesn’t hurt Otton’s upside, either. Since the beginning of Week 3, no quarterback has attempted as many passes as Brady (235). Otton isn’t going to ever be the No. 1 option, but he doesn’t have to be if Brady’s dropping back 50 times.

Isaiah Likely ($1,600) - Likely’s viability is completely tied to Andrews’ availability. The rookie TE — and human meme — does have five receptions over the Ravens’ past three games, but Likely has virtually no floor if Andrews is active and logging a snap rate around 90%. Still, there’s some writing on the wall that Andrews might just have to sit this one out. On top of looking noticeably ineffective against the Browns and this being a short week, Andrews was unable to even log a limited practice in the lead up to Thursday. Across the past four games, Andrews’ target share of 33% is double that of any other Baltimore skill-position player. If the TE is ruled out, it opens up so much opportunity for Likely and others.


Gus Edwards ($7,600) - Edwards’ return to the field was amazing last weekend, but I have my doubts that it’s sustainable. Few RBs are as touchdown dependant as Edwards, as the 27-year-old has managed just 18 career receptions to go along with 430 carries. Part of that is skill-set and another part is the result of Baltimore’s offensive scheme. Greg Roman’s system has never emphasized running backs in the passing attack, and through seven weeks, the Ravens have targeted the position on just 12.8% of throws — the lowest mark among all AFC teams. Yes, Buccaneers D/ST ($3,400) was eaten alive by Carolina’s ground game this past Sunday, yet the unit has consistently been strong against the run in years past. Tampa is also allowing just 0.6 opponent rushing scores per contest in 2022.


I’m leaning with the Ravens in this spot. Injuries do have a chance to bring the team down, but I put stock into how dominant Baltimore’s been for a majority of the season — even if they haven’t won all the games they probably should have. Plus, the Buccaneers are 0-5 ATS in their past five games and 0-4 ATS in their last four contests in Tampa Bay. It’s pretty bleak at the moment.

Final Score: Baltimore 27, Tampa Bay 24

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (BAL vs TB)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.