Week 8 TNF Showdown: Ravens at Buccaneers

by Matt Babich · Betting & Props

The Week 8 TNF Showdown features the Ravens at the Buccaneers. I’ll be guiding you through the important aspects to watch in each Thursday night matchup. Without further ado, let’s see what Baltimore and Tampa Bay have in store for us in what I expect to be the most thrilling Thursday night matchup so far this season.

Advanced stats and analytics will be utilized to identify favorable matchups and players to avoid. The purpose of this article is to paint a picture of how the teams play and match up with one another in less than 1,000 words.

As the season continues, less emphasis will be put on last season and early season’s stats. Vegas trends will also be implemented to help predict the game flow. I’ll conclude the article with a Cliff Notes section and give the readers my prediction for the game.

Vegas Trends

  • Baltimore are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 matchups.
  • Baltimore are 2-1 ATS in their last 3 matchups on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Baltimore’s last 7 games.
  • Tampa Bay are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • Tampa Bay are 0-3 ATS in their last 3 home games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 7 games.

Notable Injuries


Tampa Bay

The Baltimore Ravens

After a scorching start to the season, Lamar Jackson‘s production took a nosedive. To put his poor performance into the appropriate context, Jackson has averaged fewer Fantasy Points per Game than Marcus Mariota since Week 4 (14.68 to 14.80 FPPG, respectively). Talk about a spooky season. The advanced metrics will tell you he’s playing well, and he is, but the Raven’s offense has been uncharacteristically sluggish. After losing their second straight game, this team needs a spark, and they’ll find it tonight. Tampa Bay wields a near league-worst red zone defense, which will give Jackson ample opportunity to find the endzone.

Back from maintenance, the Gus Bus is up-and-running once again. Gus Edwards returned to action and immediately was crowned the lead back, with J.K. Dobbins headed to IR. In a sloppy game against a run-funnel defense, Edwards ran for 66 yards and two scores with a team-high 16 carries. The danger within the hype is that he was on the field for only 34.9-percent of snaps. Kenyan Drake and Justice Hill rounded out the three back committee. With the projected level of opportunity, going against a stout defense that desperately needs a bounce back, Edwards is a low-end RB2/flex option this week. Leave Hill and Drake off your rosters.

Gus Edwards Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Rashod Bateman returned to action following a two-game absence but was clearly not at 100-percent. While he earned a stomach-able five targets, those targets came at an average depth of 6.6 yards. Overall, Bateman has been disappointing fantasy managers as he’s barely outproducing teammate Devin Duvernay. This isn’t for lack of efficiency or talent, but a lack of opportunity. Despite a 22.1-percent (No. 30) Target Share, Jackson is looking Bateman’s way less than six times per game. With Bateman not working as the main deep threat or red zone target, the ceiling becomes a top-24 receiver if he scores a touchdown.

TNF Showdown Guest Prop: Josh Oliver Any Time Touchdown Scorer – Ahaan Rungta

There’s not much about Baltimore’s WR2 that sticks out when looking at the analytics besides his surreal efficiency in scoring fantasy points. The speedster from Texas has become the Ravens’ premiere deep threat and has found frequent success whenever Lamar looks his way. Unfortunately, he’s only reached four targets once this season while Rashod Bateman has been active. He’s good at real football, but not so good at fantasy football. He offers a high upside as a desperation play in deep leagues if you must.

Mark Andrews played decoy rather than remaining sidelined with his injured knee. Last week, he drew zero receptions on two targets. Andrews has yet to practice this week which is a similar trend to last week. I imagine if Andrews was good enough to go last week, he’ll see the field this week. He didn’t take any hits and was able to make it through the game. It’s incredibly difficult to speculate, but I would expect low (albeit increased) usage for Andrews even without logging a practice. If he enters without an injury designation, it’s wheels up.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This is what Tom Brady gave up his wife and kids for? Brady is currently averaging his lowest Fantasy Points per Game since 2006, at 15.2 (No. 22) Fantasy Points per Game. 16 years. Tampa’s shell of an offensive line has forced him to become a one-read pony, forcing the ball out as quickly as he can. His accuracy metrics are still rock solid, and he’s generated a healthy 1,942 (No. 6) passing yards. However, the team has struggled to score. Brady has yet to post a multi-score game this season. Against a vulnerable Ravens defense, that streak will end tonight. Brady climbs back into the top-ten quarterbacks this week.

Don’t look now, but Leonard Fournette is slowly losing his stranglehold on the Buccaneers’ backfield. Ever since rookie Rachaad White drew five targets on a 37-percent Snap Share in Week 4, Fournette has surpassed a 70-percent Snap Share once. This trend became glaring on Sunday when the Snap Share between Fournette and White ended up being a 59/44 split. For now, Fournette remains a bell-cow in neutral/positive Game Scripts, including tonight’s matchup. He’s still earning a 13.6-percent (No. 9) Target Share and 17.6 Weighted Opportunities per Game.

As for Rachaad White, the breakout feels so close. It has to be right around the corner. He’s performed efficiently as a runner, albeit not as efficiently as Fournette. Where White will separate himself down the line is his explosiveness and pass-catching ability. White ran a 4.48 (82nd percentile) 40-yard dash at his combine and earned an 18.9-percent (98th percentile) College Target Share at Arizona State. White will continue to be a stash, but the full breakout won’t come tonight.

Rachaad White Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

TNF Prop No. 2: Mike Evans Any Time Touchdown Scorer

The constant need for Tampa to throw the ball is music to the pass catchers in the offense, particularly Mike Evans. Being down multiple scores forces Brady to push the ball downfield to Evans more often. Thus, his Average Depth of Target and Air Yards Share have increased. He’s reached a 35-percent Air Yards Share and a 13-yard aDOT for the first time since 2019. Let’s not forget he finished as the WR5 in Fantasy Points per Game that season. Last week, Brady barely missed Evans on a long touchdown and delivered him 15 targets. This week, likely near the goal line, Brady and Evans will link for a touchdown.

Facing ups and downs with health, Chris Godwin‘s production is not living up to expectations. However, his usage has been promising early on. His 28.2-percent (No. 16) Target Rate is the highest he’s earned in his career, and he has notched three games of 10+ targets in his five games played. Brady and Godwin struggle to gel at times, possibly because Godwin spent the entire offseason recovering from knee surgery. The veteran receiver now has two fully-healthy games under his belt. Trust the opportunity, and the fantasy points will come.

Cameron Brate is set to miss another game. This makes Cade Otton the starter once again. The rookie is beginning to settle into the offense, generating a career-high 64 receiving yards and reaching 10 PPR fantasy points for the second time. The Ravens have given up a lot of fantasy points to tight ends. I prefer options like Greg Dulcich or even Juwan Johnson, but Otton is a legit streaming option this week.

Cliff Notes


Baltimore waltzes into Raymond James Stadium as 1.5-point underdogs, which is a line the public is heavily favoring. That alone is enough to move me onto Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay desperately needs a spark, and the Ravens have been letting teams gain that spark against them week after week. It remains to be seen whether or not Rashod Bateman and/or Mark Andrews are at full health. This will give Tampa the edge on the offensive side of the ball. Brady is not going to go quietly into the night. He’s going to fight, and he’s going to win at home tonight. I’m taking Tampa Bay to cover the spread.

The point total is set to 45 points. The two teams have reached that mark only twice this season. However, Baltimore is allowing nearly 27 points per game and scoring 28 themselves. Both offenses are in need of a turn-around and will look to take advantage of weakened secondaries. In a game of “who needs it more?,” I expect tonight to turn into a shootout. I know what you’re thinking. “Matt, you take the Over every week.” I know this. At the risk of becoming “The Boy Who Cried Over,” I am making this my over/under locked-and-loaded play of the year. You heard me.

2022 record:

  • Spread: 4-3
  • Total: 4-3
  • Props: 7-4

Prediction: Tampa Bay 31-27