Jax vs. Bal: Best Start at Each Position Photo credit: Getty Images

Fantasy Jax vs. Bal: Best Start at Each Position

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens – Week 10

Another week, another great matchup for fantasy owners on both sides. The Ravens and Jaguars head into Sunday’s matchup with the 16th and 24th ranked defenses in the NFL respectively, according to numberFire’s metrics.

If you look at all of the numbers, the two teams aren’t much different. The Ravens come in with a below average defense that can stop the run. The Jaguars sport an even worse defense that can stop the run even better. Both teams have high pass-to-run ratios, and both have a 2-6 record.

Folks, this is a matchup of two average, but pass-heavy offenses against two bad pass defenses. It should be a fun one.

Quarterback – BAL Joe Flacco

Football: Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (5) calling signals during game vs Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore, MD 12/14/2014

Photo by Simon Bruty /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Blake Bortles has been a better fantasy quarterback this season than Joe Flacco, but he hasn’t been as effective from an efficiency standpoint. Passing Net Expected Points per pass is a metric used by number to determine the value that a player adds for each pass he throws. Blake Bortles has a NEP per pass of .05, which is almost half of what Joe Flacco has produced this year (.09). Against a pass defense that is – believe it or not – worse than the Ravens and a rush defense that is better than advertised, Flacco could be a surprisingly good start.

Running Back – BAL Justin Forsett

Running back Justin Forsett #29 of the Baltimore Ravens rushes against the defense of outside linebacker Telvin Smith #50 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America

While the Jaguars’ defense has allowed the 9th most points to fantasy running backs, it hasn’t been they have been running for a bunch of yards. They allow the 8th fewest yards per game on the ground. Where they haven’t been as successful is defending them in the passing game. They allow the 8th most yards to running backs in the passing games. Forsett could see an increased usage in the passing game this week in the absence of Steve Smith, so expect The Sheriff to rack up some yardage in the passing game.

Wide Receiver – JAX Allen Hurns

After a pass from Blake Bortles at 7:02 in the 4th quarter, Jaguars WR Allen Hurns gets away from the tackle of Colts S Mike Adams (29) and Darius Butler (20) and turns it into a 63-yard catch run for a TD chased by Colts D'Qwell Jackson (52) and Adams (29).

Photo credit: Jacksonville.com

The Jaguars rely heavily on their wide receivers in the passing department. Both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are in the top 10 in fantasy points among wide receivers. Allen Robinson has flirted with a top 5 ranking all season, but he sits just outside of it right now. Robinson is still a good start, but Allen Hurns will have a better game this week. The Ravens are tied for the most touchdowns allowed to wide receivers this season, and Hurns is on a touchdown tear.

Obviously, if Hurns misses this game – he didn’t practice on Wednesday – Robinson is the best option. Keep an eye on it if you’re a Hurns owner, but don’t hesitate to start him if he plays.

Tight End – BAL Crockett Gillmore

The Julius Thomas signing has produced nothing for the Jaguars. Part of that may be due to injuries with which he’s struggled all season. A more likely reason for his lack of production is that he’s simply not as good as he looked in Denver with Peyton Manning.

Crockett Gillmore doesn’t have a great matchup against a middling tight end defending team in the Jaguars, but he is easily the best option on either side Sunday. The last time he played, he salvaged a manageable fantasy performance by scoring a touchdown, but he hasn’t stood out since his breakout performance in Oakland.

If you have to, start Gillmore, but temper expectations.

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About Tyler Lombardi

Tyler has followed Baltimore sports his entire life. His favorite player growing up was Steve McNair, so he was ecstatic when he became a Raven in 2006. When he's in front of the TV watching the game, it's best to avoid non-football discussion. It's quite likely he isn't listening anyway, as his girlfriend can attest to. More from Tyler Lombardi

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