One of the big factors in fantasy football is the team defense. The team defense can make or break you, and it is not quite as predictable as some of these positions. Still, whether you are setting your season-long fantasy football lineup, or if you are looking for a DFS defense to play this week, you have to consider the Baltimore Ravens defense against the Houston Texans.
Start the Baltimore Ravens defense in fantasy football against the Houston Texans
It starts with the fact that this will be the first start for rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. He may end up just fine in the NFL, but this is going to be a test. John Harbaugh has a long track record of playing well against rookie quarterbacks, and Mike MacDonald happens to know Stroud well.
He was the defensive coordinator when Stroud and the Ohio State Buckeyes lost to Michigan in 2021. Stroud had a fine game, but the Buckeyes were blanked in the third quarter, which swung the game. He also had Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba on his roster. The Texans have Nico Collins, Robert Woods, and Noah Brown as their projected starters.
Worse than that, the team has already lost their starting center, left guard, and their swing backup at both spots. They will be relying on a sixth-round rookie center to snap, and they just traded for Kendrick Green from the Steelers, and he may start.
Justin Madubuike is playing for a big contract, and Broderick Washington just earned one. Both should be in a good spot to create sacks. MacDonald is now in year two of the NFL and has a leg up on NFL preparation compared to Stroud. He also has the stronger unit this time around.
It is easy to Stroud struggle in his rookie debut behind a banged-up offensive line, on the road against a talented defense, and taking on a coordinator who happens to know him better than any of these other NFL coaches.
This is going to spell disaster for the Houston Texans. An easy way to fade Stroud in this start would be to load on the Baltimore Ravens in DFS this week.