Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens 12/29/19: Analysis, Daily Fantasy

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The Steelers are heading to Baltimore to take on the Ravens this Sunday. The Steelers had been looking quite good as of late but were taken out by the Jets in a tough defensive game. Hodges turned the ball over twice continuing his trend from their previous game, where he threw four interceptions. The Ravens continued their 11-game winning streak last week against the Browns. Ingram was injured in this game but is confident he’ll be ready for the playoffs. This game would be a pretty great one, except for one thing: the Ravens are likely not going to play their starters. I think it’s still going to be a good, close game, but I think I actually favor the Steelers in this one considering the Ravens will not be playing their starters and the Steelers are still fighting for a chance at the playoffs. Click here for more details and betting information on the Steelers @ Ravens matchup.

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, December 29, 2019
Time: 1:25 PM PST
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Coverage: CBS

Injury Report

Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey (Q), James Conner (Q), Joe Haden (Q), Ramon Foster (Q)
Ravens: Mark Andrews (Q), Mark Ingram II (Q), Earl Thomas III (Q), Brandon Williams (Q), Chris Wormley (Q)

Pittsburgh Steelers Analysis

Pittsburgh SteelersThe Steelers faced a tough loss to the Jets last Sunday which put a twist in their path to the playoffs. Despite a couple of promising performances in the beginning, Devlin Hodges has had some tough games as of late. Against the Jets he completed 11 of 17 passes for 84 yards and 2 interceptions. He was taken out of the game and replaced by Mason Rudolph but came back in after Rudolph left with an injury. Rudolph was put on injured reserve, so Hodges is going to be their starter this game and needs to get his team the win. The Steelers clearest shot at the playoffs requires a win; if they beat Baltimore and the Titans lose to the Texans, they’re in. There are a couple of other scenarios but this is the most direct route for them. A win in this game is very important, and I think they might be able to get it done.

The Steelers defense has been their game winner. While they lost last week, they still held Darnold to under 200 yards. They also still lead the league in takeaways, but have fallen into second place with their 51 sacks coming up short to the Panthers’ 52. They have a great defensive lien and especially considering the Ravens are going to be sitting a lot of their starters I think the Steelers could have a lot of fun on defense both in the secondary and on the line. I think the Steelers are going to see some takeaways in this matchup and I think that could be the key to them winning this game and getting one step closer to the playoffs. The Ravens are still a powerful offense with a lot of depth so it won’t be an easy win but I think it will be more doable than if the Ravens were starting all of their first string players.

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

QB: Devlin Hodges
RB1: James Conner
RB2: Benny Snell
WR1: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR2: Dionte Johnson
WR3: James Washington
TE: Vance McDonald

Baltimore Ravens Analysis

Baltimore RavensThe Ravens have been one of the best offenses this season. They rush for an average 204.9 yards per game, the most in the league by far. They also score an average 33.5 points per game, the most in the league. Lamar Jackson has 1,206 rushing yards on the season, the 9th most in the league, and their running back Mark Ingram II has 1,018, the 14th most in the league. All this to say they’re an incredibly strong offense. However, they’re going to be sitting a lot of their starters this weekend and therefore will obviously take a hit to their efficiency. Robert Griffin III will be the starting quarterback in this game. He’s thrown for 129 yards, one touchdown, and one interception this year for a quarterback rating of 68.9. The Steelers have a tough pass defense so it’ll be a tough defense to start against. Gus Edwards will be the starting back. Edwards has 112 carries fir 581 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and two touchdowns on the year. He’s been a pretty effective back and will be a solid starter, but again, is going up against a tough defense. I think they’re going to have a tougher time than usual against the Steelers defense.

The Ravens defense has also been pretty strong this year. They allow an average 309.4 yards per game, the 5th fewest in the league. Again, it’s hard to know how effective their defense will be considering they might sit some of their starters. However, the Steelers offense under Devlin Hodges has been pretty turnover-prone. He’s thrown 6 interceptions over his past 2 games, so the Steelers will probably focus more on running the ball which is good for the Ravens who allow an average 93.5 rushing yards per game, the 4th fewest in the league.

Baltimore Ravens Depth Chart

QB: Robert Griffin III
RB1: Gus Edwards
RB2: Justice Hill
WR1: Miles Boykin
WR2: Willie Snead
WR3: Marquise Brown
TE: Mark Andrews

Daily Fantasy

There could be quite a few waiver wire pickups in this game considering the Ravens are sitting some of their starters. Gus Edwards is only rostered in around 11.3% of leagues, and he will likely be the starting back for the Ravens in this game. They’re going up against a tough Steelers defense and sitting some starters so their offense might not be as productive, which could make them a bad target for fantasy picks. I think Edwards is a good pick regardless considering the Ravens are a running team and therefore he’s very likely to get a large number of carries. Diontae Johnson on the Steelers might be a good waiver pickup too, considering they’ll be throwing against a Ravens defense that is likely going to be missing some starters. He’s had two 20+ PPR games over the past three weeks. He’s rostered in only around 12% of leagues so it’s pretty likely that he’s still available in your league.

I'm a student at UC Santa Barbara studying English. I've been watching football for almost my entire life. A couple of years ago, I started to really get into statistics and became a lot more interested in the NFL and have been really excited about it ever since.

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