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NFL Game Previews: Ravens-Saints Matchup

Baltimore at New Orleans (+2.5), o/u 48 – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EDT

The Ravens made their intentions clear by trading for Roquan Smith rather than adding receiving help for Lamar Jackson. They're going to try to win on defense, and whatever points the offense can scrape together is just a bonus. That decision looked a lot iffier when Rashod Bateman got ruled out for the season two days after the trade deadline, but hey, there's always Odell Beckham. Baltimore's climbed to the top of the AFC North by winning three of its last four, and like a lot of Giants' opponents this season, the coaching staff's probably still scratching its head trying to figure out how they lost the fourth one. Smith joins a defense that's been getting healthier and stingier on the back end, and while the front seven features a lot of past-their-prime veterans like Justin Houston and Calais Campbell, Roquan could be exactly the kind of linebacker who can tie it all together and take the unit to elite status after a Week 10 bye.

The Saints are far from out of it in the NFC South at 3-5, but the team still doesn't seem quite right. Maybe it's the fact that Andy Dalton appears to be their best option at QB, or all the injuries to the wideout group, or even a defense that went from allowing 30-plus points in three consecutive games to shutting out the Raiders. (I'm going to pin that last one on Vegas more anything New Orleans did differently.) Whatever area of the roster you choose to focus on, it's impossible to get a read on it. The exception of course is the backfield, where Alvin Kamara is back to doing Kamara things now that he's healthy. He's got 581 scrimmage yards in the last four games, and last week he finally got into the end zone for the first time this season — then liked it so much, he did it twice more. The star running back gives New Orleans a weapon Baltimore simply doesn't have, but I don't trust the Saints' defense to contain Lamar either, leaving me with no choice but to expect some wild offensive shenanigans Monday night.

The Skinny

BAL injuries: RB J.K. Dobbins (IR, knee), RB Gus Edwards (questionable, hamstring), WR Bateman (IR, foot), WR Demarcus Robinson (questionable, groin), TE Mark Andrews (questionable, shoulder), CB Marcus Peters (questionable, quadriceps), CB Kyle Fuller (IR, knee), S Marcus Williams (IR, wrist) NO injuries: RB Mark Ingram (doubtful, knee), WR Jarvis Landry (questionable, ankle), WR Michael Thomas (IR, toe), LT Trevor Penning (IR, toe), C Erik McCoy (questionable, shoulder), CB Marshon Lattimore (questionable, abdomen), CB Bradley Roby (IR, ankle)

BAL DFS targets: James Proche $3,800 DK / $5,000 FD (NO 29th in DVOA vs. WR3), Ravens DST $4,800 DK / $9,500 FD (third in takeaways, NO t-31st in giveaways) NO DFS targets: none

BAL DFS fades: Andrews $9,600 DK / $13,500 FD and Isaiah Likely $5,800 DK / $7,500 FD (NO first in DVOA vs. TE) NO DFS fades: none Key stat: NO eighth in red-zone conversions at 64.3 percent; BAL 23rd in red-zone defense at 61.3 percent The Scoop: Kenyan Drake leads the BAL backfield with 90 combined yards and a TD. Jackson throws for 240 yards and a touchdown to Proche while running for 50 yards and a score of his own. Kamara erupts for 130 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, while Taysom Hill vultures a red-zone score. Dalton throws for 260 yards and two TDs, hitting Chris Olave and Tre'Quan Smith. Baltimore 31-30

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