The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 5 Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon game on October 6, 2019 at 1 pm ET.
24Implied Total20.5
2523Points All./Gm2213
56.22Opp. Plays/Gm6931
34.2%8Opp. Rush %43.8%24
65.8%25Opp. Pass %56.2%9
  • The Ravens are 1-7 against the spread in their past eight divisional games and 0-3 ATS with Lamar Jackson under center.
  • The Steelers are 11-1-1 against AFC North opponents since 2017, the best record in division over that span. 
  • Baltimore is 4-1 under John Harbaugh against Pittsburgh without Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Baltimore is averaging 51.0 fantasy yards per drive, the most in the league.
  • Lamar Jackson is averaging 2.9 fantasy points per possession, the most in the league.
  • The Ravens are allowing 14.4 yards per completion, the highest rate in the league.
  • The 289 rushing yards by the Steelers are their third-fewest through four games of a season in franchise history. 
  • Mason Rudolph’s 3.0-yard average depth of target in Week 4 was the lowest for a quarterback in a game this season. 

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Lamar Jackson: The ultimate best of all worlds fantasy option. Even in back-to-back games where he hasn’t been the best real-life quarterback, he’s still been the QB10 (21.3 points) and QB3 (24.5 points). Jackson is the only quarterback in the league to have at least 20 fantasy points in all four weeks to start the season and has yet to score fewer than 15.7 points in any of his 11 career starts.

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Mark Ingram: In his two games reaching the end zone, Ingram has been the RB11 and RB2. In his other two games, he’s been the RB30 and RB39. That’s what you’re working with from a ceiling to floor disparity and touchdown reliance. The Steelers were solid against the run last week against the Bengals, but has previously allowed 165 yards rushing to San Francisco backs and 143 yards to Seattle backs over their previous two games. 
  • James Conner: He had a season-high 18 touches last week, but it was under potentially unique circumstances. The Steelers used Conner alongside Jaylen Samuels (who also had 18 touches) in a game plan centered around pre-snap movement and Samuels’s versatility. We have no idea if that will be sticky or not, but as far as Conner’s snap share (64.4%) and touch rate per snap (47.4%), they still lined up with season averages entering last week. He did suffer an ankle injury in the game and is expected to be limited in practice this week, but if he’s practicing in any capacity, that’s a good sing that he will be play on Sunday. The Ravens have been shredded by opposing backfields the past two weeks, allowing 197 total yards and two touchdowns to the Chiefs backfield in Week 3 and 237 yards and four touchdowns to the Browns backs last week. 
  • Marquise Brown: Brown was a disappointment last week against a depleted Cleveland secondary, but what was even more disappointing was his usage. Brown had just a 5.9-yard average depth of target on seven looks after his aDOT was at 17.3 yards through three weeks. The Steelers are fourth in the league in points allowed to opposing RWR options (where Brown runs 49% of his routes), but are also 32nd in points allowed to slot wideouts, where Brown runs 40% of his routes.
  • Mark Andrews: A late touchdown saved his day last week. After 108 and 112 yards the first two weeks, Andrews has notched just 15 and 31 yards the past two weeks. Despite the depressed yardage, Andrews still has had 15 targets (19.5%) come his way, which is tied for fourth among all tight ends over those weeks. 
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster: In the past two weeks with Rudolph starting, Smith-Schuster is behind Diontae Johnson in targets, air yards, receiving yards, and touchdowns. He has six catches for 96 yards, but 75 of them and the touchdown came on a catch and run. Baltimore does rank 25th in points allowed to slot receivers to keep the lights on for one more week, but Smith-Schuster’s volume and upside under Rudolph is a major question. If he’s regularly getting WR3 levels of opportunity, we should no longer be surprised if the results match the opportunity. 

If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play) 

  • Jaylen Samuels: He was an afterthought in the offense for three weeks. In fact, he didn’t even have a touch on 14 snaps in Week 3. When the Steelers hired Eddie Faulkner — Samuels’s tight ends/fullbacks coach at NC State — we were expecting more creativity in Samuels’s usage as he was a jack of all trades H-Back/tight end/running back in college. We finally got it on Monday night when Samuels played a season-high 27 snaps (45.8%) and had usage on 77.8% of those snaps. Samuels carried the ball 10 times, caught eight passes and even completed three “passes” on jet motion pop passes. We have no true idea if that was one-off usage or not, but as mentioned with Conner, the Ravens have been toasted by backfields in back-to-back weeks. Tack on that Conner is working through an ankle issue, and Samuels shouldn’t revert back to being a complete zero.
  • Mason Rudolph: He has multiple touchdown passes in each of his three games, but the Steelers completely hid him on Monday night. Against a horrible defense, no less. Can the Steelers operate in the same capacity two weeks in a row or was that a one-time game plan? The Ravens have been one of those bad defenses against the pass so far, allowing 349, 374, and 342 passing yards to quarterbacks the past three weeks.
  • Vance McDonald: On schedule to return this week from a shoulder injury, McDonald has caught eight passes for 48 yards from Rudolph this season, but has two touchdowns. With Rudolph under center, we have to question the floor all Pittsburgh passing-game options in the event they fail to score a touchdown. The Ravens allowed lines of 4-100-1 to Browns tight ends and 8-90-0 to Chiefs tight ends the past two weeks.
  • Diontae Johnson: So much for the college connection between Rudolph and James Washington. Johnson has led the Steelers wideouts in targets (12), receptions (nine), yardage (129) and touchdowns (two) over Rudolph’s two starts. Johnson has largely lived on the strength of 39 and 43-yard touchdowns the past two weeks, which falls into the same unknown floor mentioned above when he fails to find the end zone.
  • Willie Snead: The overall target volume for Snead has been largely down, with three or fewer targets in every game but one, but he does have two touchdowns and is averaging a career-high 19.3 yards per reception. The Steelers righted the ship for one week in allowing just 3-33 to Tyler Boyd, but even with that performance, rank dead last in fantasy points allowed to opposing slot wideouts.

More Week 5 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

LAR at SEA | CHI at OAK | BAL at PIT | NE at WAS | NYJ at PHI | ARI at CIN | JAX at CAR | TB at NO | ATL at HOU | BUF at TEN | MIN at NYG | DEN at LAC | GB at DAL | IND at KC | CLE at SF