Fantasy Players to Target/Avoid – AFC North

We’ve reached part three of this eight-part series as we’re onto the teams in the AFC North.

In case this is your first time stumbling onto the Fantasy Players to Target/Avoid articles, I’m giving you one player from each team you should target this year in your fantasy drafts, and one player you should definitely avoid.

If you’re looking to get caught up on the previous two divisions we’ve covered, I’ve already done the work for you and provided the links in the paragraph below.

AFC East
NFC East

As always, let us know your thoughts either in the comments section below or on Twitter!

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Baltimore Ravens

Target: Mark Ingram, RB, Current ADP – 4.06, RB23

Despite what Baltimore’s front office and coaching staff says, the Ravens are going to be a run-first team once again in 2019. Insert Ingram who will be in store for a lot of ground work in Baltimore now that he’s not sharing a backfield with Alvin Kamara in New Orleans. Ingram has proven to be a very nice RB to have on your fantasy team, when given the chance, and with the Ravens expected to be near the top of the league in rushing attempts this season, Ingram is a nice add in the middle of the fourth round.

Image result for mark ingram ravens

Avoid: Any Wide Receiver

As we recently discussed on the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast, we want nothing to do with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ wide receivers this fantasy season. Not only is the Ravens’ group of wide receivers made up of a bunch of guys that haven’t proven much in the NFL, their most dangerous weapon, Marquise Brown, is coming off an injury and hasn’t played a single snap at the next level. Fantasy players are often enamored by the potential of a rookie wide receiver, especially one with the speed of Brown, but think twice before taking anyone expecting to catch passes from Jackson.

Image result for marquise brown

Pittsburgh Steelers

Target: James Washington, WR, Current ADP – 10.05, WR45

Washington has found himself in a nice position in just his second season in the NFL. With Antonio Brown now in Oakland, competition for snaps and targets opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster is likely between Washington and Donte Moncrief. While Moncrief has shown in the past he can contribute at a fairly consistent level, it’s my belief that the Steelers will give Washington every chance possible to be the guy opposite Smith-Schuster since he recently used a second-round pick on him and he possesses a higher ceiling than Moncrief. Ben Roethlisberger has proven that he can support two fantasy WR’s in the past, so Washington in the middle of the 10th round may wind up being the steal of your fantasy draft.

Image result for james washington

Avoid: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Current ADP – 2.04, WR6

Despite how big of a fan I am of Smith-Schuster, I’m struggling to talk myself into selecting him fairly early in the second round. The struggle really comes to light when you look at the next six WR’s currently going after Smith-Schuster based on their current average draft position (Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, T.Y. Hilton, Adam Thielen, Keenan Allen and A.J. Green). If you’re telling me that I can snag another top-tier running back in the second round and come back with a guy like Allen or Green in the third, I can’t justify taking Smith-Schuster in the second. So while I really like Smith-Schuster as both a real-life and fantasy-football wide receiver, I’m likely going to have to pass on him in 2019.

Image result for juju smith schuster

Cleveland Browns

Target: Jarvis Landry, WR, Current ADP – 5.08, WR23

The offseason addition of Odell Beckham Jr. means Landry will no longer be the Browns’ top option at wide receiver, but I’m of the belief that Landry can reach his full potential when he’s not the only WR opposing defenses have to focus on. He may not be peppered with targets now that OBJ is in the mix, but he’s still going to put up solid and consistent numbers since he has a knack for getting open and dominates short-to-intermediate routes. Landry isn’t the type of receiver that is going to routinely post double-digit touchdowns, but he’s going to post nice reception and yardage totals on a weekly basis, offering your fantasy team one of the most consistent second or third wide receivers in the league.

Image result for jarvis landry

Avoid: Nick Chubb, RB, Current ADP – 2.09, RB13

Chubb is another one of those players that I like and wouldn’t all-out oppose having on my fantasy team, but the second-round price tag is a little too rich for me. The nice thing is that Chubb should be in line for a heavy workload as the Browns’ primary running back until at least mid-season when Kareem Hunt returns from suspension. Even when Hunt comes back, Chubb will still likely be the team’s primary runner, especially if he’s having a successful season. I really believe most Browns’ players are being drafted at appropriate times, so Chubb sort of falls into this spot by default. My only real knock on Chubb is that I haven’t quite seen enough from him where I feel comfortable taking him in the second round. The Browns were definitely one of the more difficult teams to locate a player to avoid.

Image result for nick chubb

Cincinnati Bengals

Target: Joe Mixon, RB, Current ADP – 1.10, RB8

Take a stud running back at the tail end of the first round? Not really breaking news with this selection, but rather reassuring the belief you likely already have. Mixon is a stud finishing as RB10 last season despite missing two games. Keep in mind he totaled nearly 1,500 yards and scored nine touchdowns on a team that was relatively offensively challenged. Even if the Bengals are playing from behind more often than not this season, Mixon will remain fantasy relevant as a pass catcher and faces very little competition for snaps in the Bengals’ backfield. Selecting one of the NFL’s few workhorse RB’s at the end of the first round is a nice way to start building your fantasy team.

Image result for joe mixon

Avoid: Andy Dalton, QB, Current ADP – N/A

You likely weren’t selecting him anyways, hence why he doesn’t even possess an average draft position, but in the event you find yourself looking to draft a backup quarterback, look in another direction than Dalton. I personally thought the Bengals would look to address the quarterback position in April’s draft, but since they didn’t, I’m expecting another mediocre season in Cincinnati and the position of quarterback becoming a priority in 2020.

Image result for andy dalton

Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys are joined by Kristopher Hopper of the Beer Fueled Fantasy Football Podcast to discuss second-year QB’s & RB’s!

Check out our 2019 fantasy football position-by-position rankings

QB Rankings
RB Rankings
WR Rankings
TE Rankings

Ben Morgan is a co-host and blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook

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