NFL Week 1 Texans at Ravens: DFS & Fantasy Preview

A detailed look at this week's NFL action

Lamar Jackson

NFL Week 1 Texans at Ravens: DFS & Fantasy Preview

Betting Line: Ravens – 9.5

Over/Under: 44.0

Baltimore has a primo matchup for their offense in Week 1, and Lamar Jackson has a much better receiving corps heading into 2023. Zay Flower has been getting plenty of hype in training camp for his speed and quickness, and Rashod Bateman looks ready to shine out of the gate. The Ravens have a stud tight end (Mark Andrews) with plenty of firepower at the position off the bench. Baltimore will run the ball a lot against Houston’s run defense, which ranked poorly in 2022.

The Texans stroll into this matchup with a high-upside rookie quarterback (C.J. Stroud). They upgraded their tight end position in the offseason by signing Dalton Schultz. Houston has a young group of wideouts – Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and John Metchie that will give defenses fits as the season progresses. With Baltimore expected to have success scoring, the Texans will have to air the ball out to stay in the game.

Note: The fantasy points per $1,000 are based on the early projections for Week 1.

The above grid shows the top players excepted to contribute in Week 1 in the fantasy games. I listed each player’s salary at DraftKings and FanDuel, plus their fantasy points expected per $1,000 of salary invested. In GPP (grand prize pools) events, the goal is to find players with a chance to score four times their salary at DraftKings ($50,000 salary cap and three times at FanDuel ($60,000 salary cap). 

Houston Texans

C.J. Stroud

  • Stroud makes his first start in the NFL vs. Ravens defense that ranked 26th in passing yards allowed while minimizing the damage in passing TDs (20). Baltimore did get after the quarterback (48 sacks) in 2022.
  • Over his final 25 starts at Ohio State, Stroud threw 85 touchdown passes with only 12 interceptions. He offered minimal value in the run game.
  • Houston has some intriguing young wide receivers that should help move the chains. Baltimore had a top-tier run defense last year, pointing to the Texans needing to finish drives with passing touchdowns in the red zone.
  • I don’t see a difference-maker gain by Stroud. He needs about 250 passing yards and three scores to pay off. I expect him to be on a low percentage of rosters, making him worth a dart or two.

Dameon Pierce

  • Pierce played well in his rookie season (220/939/4 with 30 catches for 165 yards and one touchdown), but he was worthless in the fantasy market after Week 10 (55/167/1 with eight catches for 39 yards) while missing the final four games with an ankle injury.
  • His pass-protecting skills are below par, pointing to Pierce standing on the sideline on passing downs.
  • Houston will rotate in a second back, limiting the ceiling of Pierce.
  • A top run defense should limit his scoring upside.
  • Pierce almost needs 100 yards rushing and two scores to pay off. I have him in my fade column in the DFS market in Week 1

Devin Singletary

  • Most Dameon Pierce supporters don’t respect Singletary. He’s gained over 1,000 combined yards in back-to-back seasons with the high-scoring Bills. 
  • Singletary averaged 38.7 catches over the past three seasons with some value in scoring (14 combined touchdowns in 2021 and 2022).
  • Game flow may favor him in this matchup.
  • He scored over 18.00 fantasy points in PPR formats twice last season. 

Nice Collins

  • In the early draft season, Collins ranked 54th at wide receiver, translating to just over 7.00 fantasy points in PPR leagues last year. 
  • He has three career scores over his 24 games with Houston while averaging 2.9 catches for 39 yards. 
  • Last year, Collins scored more than 15.00 fantasy points in one game (5/49/1).
  • His size (6’4” and 215 lbs.) gives Stroud a big target at the goal line, and Collins worked more as a big play receiver (17.8 yards per catch) in college.
  • He needs the best game of his career to be winning play. I’ll pass due to Houston expected to rotate in four wideouts plus service Dalton Schultz with targets at tight end.

Robert Woods

  • Veteran wide receiver with an excellent three-year run with the Rams from 2018 to 2020 (86/1,219/6, 90/1,134/2, and 90/936/6). Wood also had success rushing the ball (266/3,289/14) over this span.
  • A torn ACL cost him eight games in 2021, followed by a quiet year with the Titans (53/527/2).
  • At age 31, his best days are behind him. Woods has the resume and experience to post a 5/50/1 game that works for his Week 1 salary. More of a gamble than a winning play in the DFS market.

John Metchie

  • The Texans drafted Metchie in the second round in 2022, but he missed all of last season with a battle with promyelocytic leukemia. The year off did help him recover from a torn ACL with Alabama.
  • In his best season in college, Metchie caught 96 balls for 1,142 yards and eight scores on 133 targets. 
  • His stock should rise as the second moves on, but without a starting job, he would only be a flier in the DFS market.

Tank Dell

  • Dell was a beast over his final two seasons (90/1,329/12 and 109/1,398/17) at Houston. 
  • His skill set and quickness point to a slot role with the Texans in his rookie year. Dell is undersized (5’8” and 165 lbs.), but he looks ready to handle the next step in his career.
  • Dell had a 5/65/1 game in the preseason before being limited with a slight hamstring issue.
  • For someone looking for a $3,000 salary savior at DraftKings, he should have the opportunity to be a winning play based on game flow.

Dalton Schultz

  • Schultz blossomed into a top-12 tight end over the past three seasons at Dallas (63/615/4, 78/808/8, and 57/577/5).
  • The Texans’ tight ends had 77 catches for 959 yards and eight touchdowns on 130 targets in 2022.
  • Schultz scored 19.00 fantasy points or more in three (19.10, 24.60, and 28.50) of his final nine starts last season.
  • Tight ends had 72 catches for 648 yards and six touchdowns on 102 targets vs. Baltimore in 2022.

Here are some notes from my preseason write-up for the Baltimore Ravens Defense.

  • The strength of this defense is their linebackers
  • If Baltimore can’t shorten the passing window, the Texans may have the depth to test this secondary.
  • The Ravens have one top cornerback (Marlon Humphrey), but he is expected to miss the start of the season after having foot surgery in mid-August

Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson

  • Last year, Jackson played his best over the first three games (992 combined yards with 12 touchdowns), highlighted by two impact games (45.80 and 42.60 fantasy points). 
  • His overall receiving corps could be the best of his career if Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman reach their expected ceilings.
  • The Texans had massive issues defending the run in 2022 (573/2,894/25), but they did minimize the damage vs. running quarterbacks (85/296/2).
  • Jackson’s high value in the run game helps his floor, and he has the tools to add two or more passing scores in this matchup.
  • With three touchdowns (one rushing and two passing) and 60 yards rushing, Jackson needs about 250 passing yards to offer a winning investment in Week 1.
  • I like him paired with Zay Flowers and Mark Andrews the best at DraftKings ($18,200 in salary), which requires about 73 fantasy points to pay off.

J.K. Dobbins

  • Dobbins wasn’t healthy last year after tearing his ACL in 2021. He scored more than 20.00 fantasy points in two matchups (22.30 and 20.50 fantasy points) in PPR formats while gaining more than 100 yards rushing in two contests (15/120/1 and 13/125). 
  • After being limited this summer, Dobbins looks poised to start in a favorable matchup against Houston.
  • Based on his salary at DraftKings and FanDuel, he needs 23.00 and 20.00 fantasy points to be in the mix in Week 1. I expect at least one touchdown with about 90 yards and two catches, putting him just shy of a winning play. If Dobbins hits on a long run or gains over 100 yards rushing, he will overflow his salary bucket.

Gus Edwards

  • Edwards offers almost no value in the passing game, forcing him to earn his fantasy keep by scoring late in blowout games to be viable.
  • He missed eight games last year due to a slow recovery from a torn ACL.
  • Edwards needs about 15.00 fantasy points in PPR formats to be in play. I’ll take the under.

Rashod Bateman

  • Despite success in Week 1 (2/59/1) and Week 2 (4/108/2), Bateman only had 22 targets over his first four starts in 2022.
  • He’s missed 16 games over his first two seasons after getting drafted 27th overall in 2021.
  • Bateman was limited over the summer with his recovery from his foot injury. He says he’s almost 100% healthy now.
  • I can’t dismiss him in a hookup with Lamar Jackson, and his salary isn’t that far out of line at DraftKings.

Odell Beckham

  • With only 67 catches for 856 yards and eight touchdowns on 125 targets over his last 21 games, Beckham is more of a name than good play in the fantasy market. His last great season came in 2016 (101/1,367/10). 
  • He missed all of 2022 with a torn ACL, and Beckham will turn 31 in early November. 
  • Could he catch five passes for 50 yards and a score? Yes, but that seems like a lot to ask based on the depth of receiving options in Baltimore and the expected high number of runs.

Zay Flowers

  • There is no doubt Flowers has been the buzz guy in Ravens’ camp this year. He’ll work the short areas of the field with the speed to beat a defense with his legs. 
  • In his final season at Boston College, Flowers caught 78 of 130 targets for 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns.
  • His salary is much more favorable at DraftKings ($4,000).

Mark Andrews

  • After ranking first at tight end in 2021 (107/1,361/9), Andrews had a step back in play last year (73/847/5). In 2021, he had a beast finish to the year over five games (43/550/4) with Lamar Jackson injured. Last year, Andrews limped home over his final six matchups (25/296) while playing again with backup quarterbacks.
  • The improved depth at wide receiver on the Ravens’ roster could lower his targets in 2023.
  • The Ravens’ tight ends had 127 catches for 1,418 yards and 10 touchdowns on a league-high 204 targets last season.
  • Houston gave up 76 catches for 828 yards and six touchdowns on 114 targets to tight ends in 2022.
  • I have Andrews rated as the second-best tight end this week, but it doesn’t support his extremely high salary at FanDuel ($8,000).

Here are some notes from my preseason write-up for the Houston Texans Defense:

  • Houston ranked last against the run (2,894/25), with ball carriers gaining 5.0 yards per rush on 33.7 attempts per game.
  • Their defense finished better than expected against the pass (11th – 3,558 yards and 16 touchdowns), helped by facing only 522 pass attempts (sixth lowest total in the league).
  • CB Derek Stingley should be able to handle Rashad Bateman.
  • The Texans have a weakness at linebacker, inviting Baltimore to attack that part of their defense.

More Week 1 Previews

Panthers at Falcons


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About Shawn Childs 944 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros. As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.