Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: CIN 20, CLE 23 (Line: CIN by 2.5)

Updated Players: Jordan Norwood

This is a repeat game. The 3-2 Bengals already won 34-27 at home in week two. The difference this time is the venue and the fact that all the 0-5 Browns rookies are a month more experienced. The Bengals have won seven of the last eight but this is going to be the Browns best chance to get a win until week 14 unless they get the obligatory trap game.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG -----
2 CLE 34-27 11 @KC -----
3 @WAS 38-31 12 OAK -----
4 @JAC 27-10 13 @SD -----
5 MIA 13-17 14 DAL -----
6 @CLE ----- 15 @PHI -----
7 PIT ----- 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 10 280,2
WR A.J. Green 5-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Bengals have played inconsistently at best this year and come off a home loss to the Dolphins which should have been one of the softer games of the year. The Bengals have to resist the urge to look past this to the Steelers match-up in week seven because the Browns came within one touchdown of tying in Cincinnati.

Andy Dalton has also calmed down from his initial 300 yard, three touchdown games in weeks two and three. Against the Jaguars he only threw for 244 yards and two scores and then 234 yards with one touchdown against the Dolphins. Dalton passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting in Cincy.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been a fantasy frustration after starting out with 91 rushing yards on 18 runs and scoring once on the Ravens. Since then he has averaged less than three yards per carry and ran for only 75 yards on 21 runs at home against the Browns. Bernard Scott is gone now and that may help BGE a little but Scott was only a very minor player anyway. The lack of a decent rushing effort still plagues the Bengals.

Jermaine Gresham has been solid each week with around five catches but he only has one touchdown on the season and turned in just four catches for 37 yards in the previous Browns match-up.

A.J. Green is on a four game scoring spree with solid yardage and receptions in each. That started against the Browns when he caught seven passes for 58 yards and one score. Oddly his best two games and only ones over 70 yards were both on the road. Andrew Hawkins also scored in week two with just two catches for 56 yards and one very impressive scamper through the defense for a touchdown. But these last two weeks, Hawkins has only produced less than 50 yards per week with no scores. Armon Binns and Brandon Tate are both non-factors.

It is easy enough to expect week two to repeat and the Browns come off a thrashing in New York. But this one is at home for the Browns and one of the best chances for them to finally get a win. The Bengals cannot take this one lightly.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 13 27 2 21 14 16
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 27 24 31 3 13 26

QB Andy Dalton, CIN DET 0000021011 **
Detroit has averaged a pick per game and has allowed a touchdown pass every 14.9 completions (20th). This is the No. 7 matchup to exploit for yardage (265.8). All told, the struggling Dalton has fantasy's fifth-best matchup of the week.
RB Joe Mixon, CIN DET 6011100000 *
Mixon should be ready this week after fully going in Wednesday's session, which is usually a telltale sign of an imminent return. Detroit is among the four-best matchups of the week in both scoring formats. Running backs have scored once every 20 carries, which is No. 6, and this is a great matchup for versatile RBs.

Update: Mixon practiced in full all week and will play.
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DET 2003300000 ***
Bernard should take a backseat as Joe Mixon is poised to return after fully practicing Wednesday. The projections will be updated accordingly later in the week. The Lions present the fourth-best PPR matchup and second-easiest in standard.

Update: Mixon practiced in full all week and will play.
WR A.J. Green, CIN DET 005701000 ***
Detroit has been content to give up top-12 weekly figures in receptions (13) and yardage (167), but this defense has clamped down against permitting scores. None of the 65 opportunities over the last five months scored. Only Baltimore has been stronger. Look for Green to draw Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay.
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN DET 003400000 ***
The veteran possession man in this offense has two TDs in his last six games. Sanu has been targeted at least five times in each of those contests, and Detroit offers a promising matchup for his style of play. The Lions have permitted receivers to average 13 receptions (11th) for 167 yards (7th) a game. Zero of those 65 snares found the end zone, however.
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN DET 003400000 ***
Detroit has been among the best tight end matchups to exploit for much of the season. In the past five games, TEs have scored once, on average, and this is a top-12 matchup for receptions and yards per game. It was Week 12 the last time he scored, and Kroft has taken advantage of good matchups, so there is hope he outplays his projection.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN DET 2222 ***
Kickers have found great success with extra points against the Lions, but Cincinnati has struggled putting the ball into the end zone. This is only the 22nd-best matchup for three-point opportunities.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL -----
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT -----
4 @BAL 16-23 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG 27-41 14 KC -----
6 CIN ----- 15 WAS -----
7 @IND ----- 16 @DEN -----
8 SD ----- 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Josh Gordon 3-50,1

Pregame Notes: The strain of losing is no fun but the Browns are pretty much accustomed to it anyway. They have been in every game this year at least for a while before it gets irretrievably out of reach. Brandon Weeden has already proven a big upgrade by throwing for around 300 yards three times this year including 322 yards and two scores in Cincinnati using virtually no NFL-quality receivers. Weeden has just five scores against nine interceptions but had no turnovers in the previous meeting with the Bengals

Trent Richardson still has a career best mark of 109 rushing yards on 19 runs when he played in Cincy and he scored twice in that game. Richardson has scored at least once in each of the last four games and adds five or six receptions as well. His season high in carries has been 19 which again came when facing the Bengals. His yardage has been nothing spectacular so far but he has always scored and his dual role helps support his fantasy value.

The tight ends are little used and never score for the Browns. Benjamin Watson has been more productive lately though just last week ended with only one catch in New York. Jordan Cameron had a touchdown there called back on a penalty and has been little used otherwise. Weeden occasionally relies on them but a lack of scoring or consistent use means no real fantasy value here.

Greg Little had his only touchdown on the year with his five receptions for 57 yards in Cincy but has since mostly been dropping passes and frustrating Weeden. Little has the ability to get open and the speed to do some damage. It is just that whole "while holding the ball" thing that has been a problem. Mohamed Massaquoi had the big game of 90 yards in the last meeting with the Bengals but has since been out with a hamstring strain. Jordan Norwood is getting more playing time from the slot and turned in nine catches for 81 yards versus the Giants. Just as important - Norwood caught all nine of his passes.

The Bengals defense let the Browns score 27 points in Cincy. The receivers are less certain for the Bengals but Richardson goes against a defense that has allowed five different runners to score on them - including Richardson... twice.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 26 10 23 23 15 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 19 27 5 21 16 28

QB Drew Stanton, CLE @CHI 0000024020 ***
Blaine Gabbert heads back to the pine with Stanton healthy enough to reclaim the starting gig after the former struggled mightily in Week 15. The Giants have permitted 265.6 yards and a TD every 11.2 receptions -- both ranking eighth in their respective categories. Since Week 10, this is the fifth-best matchup if you remove three quarterback rushing TDs from the equation.
QB Tyrod Taylor, CLE @CHI 30100017001 ***
Taylor threw just 18 times in the meeting in Week 13 and completed 50 percent of them for a pathetic 65 yards. New England's defensive strength is on the back end, and he has no fantasy utility in conventional formats this week. The Pats rank sixth toughest against QBs in the past five weeks.
RB Carlos Hyde, CLE @CHI 5006400000 ***
One of the last 121 touches against Jacksonville by a running back has scored, and the matchup rates as the second-worst in both scoring formats. This is strongly in the negative camp for all metrics but receptions per game (15th).
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE @CHI 1004300000 ***
Johnson (shoulder) has a fairly strong matchup through the air. Chicago has granted running backs five receptions (18th) for 33.4 yards (22nd) and a score every 25 snatches. Unless this one deviates from the norm, Johnson will be an underwhelming play.
WR Jarvis Landry, CLE @CHI 006601000 ***
KC offers the sixth-hardest matchup in PPR and fourth-worst in standard scoring. The Chiefs have allowed only one of the last 59 receptions by the position to score, traversing five games of action.
WR Josh Gordon, CLE @CHI 005600000 ***
Receivers have managed 13 receptions (9th) and 168.4 yards (6th) a game vs. the Bears since Week 10, with one score per contest coming on those 13 balls (15th). Gordon lines up to be a moderate risk-reward option based on the quarterback play and opponent.
WR Corey Coleman, CLE @CHI 003500000 ***
Receivers have scored once per game since Week 10 against the Bears, and this defense is giving up the sixth-most yards on a weekly basis. However, the quarterback play has been so bad that gamers would be taking a huge risk to start him.
TE David Njoku, CLE @CHI 002300000 ***
It looked like the rookie was getting on track for a two-game spell a few weeks back, but he then returned to being a non-factor in fantasy. Look elsewhere for a flier play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Zane Gonzalez, CLE @CHI 2211 ***
Regardless of the matchup, no owner in a championship game should consider a Browns kicker, no matter his name.

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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