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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: BAL 20, SD 13 (Line: PICK)

Players Updated: Ed Dickson

Players to Watch: Ryan Mathews, Joe Flacco

The 8-2 Ravens are only 3-2 on the road with a three game winning streak and head to San Diego where the 4-6 Chargers are only 2-2 at home and on a two game losing streak. The Ravens lost 14-34 in San Diego last year.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 44-13 10 OAK 55-20
2 @PHI 23-24 11 @PIT 13-10
3 NE 31-30 12 @SD -----
4 CLE 23-16 13 PIT -----
5 @KC 9-6 14 @WAS -----
6 DAL 31-29 15 DEN -----
7 @HOU 13-43 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE 25-15 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The most remarkable aspect of the Ravens is how did they lose to the Eagles? They are now two games up on the Steelers and will play them again next week in Baltimore where the AFC North division can realistically be assured to stay in Baltimore. The ending schedule has only games against the Broncos and Giants to worry about otherwise and both of those will be at home.

Ed Reed was able to get his one-game suspension overturned and replaced by a $50,000 fine. With Lewis out, Reed's presence means even more to the defense.

For being in an offense that was supposed to let Flacco loose this year, it's all played out like a dog tied to your front porch that you eventually set free and he just lays down on the porch and stays. if anything, Flacco has been worse in recent weeks and aside from the home game against the Raiders, he only threw four scores in the other six most recent games. Flacco has never thrown for more than one touchdown in a road game or posted more yardage than the 232 yards he had in Philly in their loss there.

Ray Rice comes off a predictably bad game in Pittsburgh but he's been disappointing this season considering the expectations he had last summer. Rice scored seven times this year but only topped 100 rush yards twice. He's been stuck at right around 100 total yards in most games. Bernard Pierce does spell him five to ten times each week which doesn't help his stats.

Dennis Pitta suffered a mild concussion in the Steelers tilt but is expected to be fine this week. His symptoms cleared up at the game last week. He's been consistent at around 30 yards in most games but scored just once in the last seven weeks.

Torrey Smith is the leading scorer for receivers with seven touchdowns but his yardage has really waned with the lower passing efforts of Flacco. Smith has not topped 70 yards in any game since week four and failed to reach even 50 yards in four different matchups. He's still easily the preferred scoring target for Flacco who relies on Anquan Boldin for a handful of possession catches in most weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 11 21 17 7 4
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 16 17 20 5 1 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL @PIT 0000021011 ***
This is statistically Flacco's worst season of his NFL career, and counting on him in fantasy is unwarranted. The Steelers have been vulnerable through the sky, but these teams typically play a nasty, physical brand of football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, BAL @PIT 5002200000 ***
Going back to Week 4, Collins rushed nine times for 82 yards against the Steelers. His workload has grown substantially since then, and he has produced at least 13 fantasy points in four of the past five games. Over the past five weeks, this is a bottom-six matchup for both scoring formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Javorius Allen, BAL @PIT 2001100000 ***
Allen rushed twice for seven yards and caught six balls for 37 yards in his Week 4 meeting with the Steelers. He has three total grabs in his past three outings, which begs the question of what he will manage to contribute against this awful matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Danny Woodhead, BAL @PIT 1005200000 ***
Since Week 8, the Steelers have given up the third-fewest receptions a game to running backs at 3.8. The position has managed 39.8 yards, on average, good for the 13th-most per contest. One of the 15 catches in this time has scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @PIT 004501000 ***
In the Week 4 showdown, Wallace logged 17.5 PPR points on a 6-55-1 day. The veteran scored in one of his two games with the Steelers last year. Since Week 8, Pittsburgh has allowed the 10th-most yards per game to go along with giving up the second-highest average in standard scoring (3rd in PPR). One of every 6.7 snatches makes it into the end zone, which ranks as the most generous rate in football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL @PIT 003400000 ***
Even though the Steelers have granted just the 18th-highest average for catches per game by wideouts, the position has scored the with most frequency against this defense. Maclin was good for just 3-21-0 in the Week 4 game.

Update: Maclin is questionable but was a full-go Friday and will play, barring a setback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Benjamin Watson, BAL @PIT 002200000 ***
The old-timer went for 43 yards on his five receptions in the earlier meeting this year. The Steelers have given up only 12 catches and no scores to TEs since Week 8.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @PIT 2211 ***
This is the seventh-worst matchup for the week, and the limited bit of damage done against the Steelers has come via extra points. Tucker made one of his two field goal chances in the Week 4 game.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @OAK 22-14 10 @TB 24-34
2 TEN 38-10 11 @DEN 23-30
3 ATL 3-27 12 BAL -----
4 @KC 37-20 13 CIN -----
5 @NO 24-31 14 @PIT -----
6 DEN 24-35 15 CAR -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @NYJ -----
8 @CLE 6-7 17 OAK -----
9 KC 31-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: It is bad enough to know that the Chargers are 4-6. It is even worse to realize that was opening season wins over the Raiders and Titans, and then two wins over the Chiefs to break up the six losses. The only remaining game that should safely be a win is the home stand against the Raiders in the season finale'. The only time the Chargers have faced a really good defense like the Ravens was when they lost by 24 points to the visiting Falcons.

The bad mojo has set in on the Chargers and all concerned expect a coaching upheaval in the offseason. Philip Rivers has been able to maintain at least moderate fantasy value with six of the last seven games containing two or three touchdowns but again - those were facing mostly weak defenses. And Rivers has become a turnover machine. He threw 17 touchdowns so far. He also has tossed 14 interceptions and lost four fumbles and was sacked 26 times. He's getting beaten up and losing the ball with regularity.

Ryan Mathews has to be part of any retrospective of the 2012 season for the Chargers. He was destined to become a true workhorse according to Norv Turner this summer. Turner gained 1091 rush yards and 455 yards on 50 catches last year. This season he is getting benched for fumbling, mixed in with Ronnie Brown and even Jackie Battle and last week was held out of the first two series because, according to Turner, he had missed two practices because of his neck. Apparently only in San Diego do practices equate to availability for specific offensive series. Mathews has been held to less than 18 carries in each of the last three games but has seen some uptick in receptions.

In the 2011 meeting with the Ravens, Mathews rushed for 90 yards and two scores on 26 carries and caught two passes for 19 yards.

Antonio Gates comes off his worst game of the year with only 17 yards in Denver... no wait,,, he had just 14 yards in Cleveland... 19 yards in New Orleans... Gates has the look of a player who has already taken the final turn. He's topped 60 yards only once this year and scores only against the weakest of opposing secondaries. He is just another tight end now.

Vincent Brown remains out and Malcom Floyd has spent the year miscast as the primary receiver but at least these last two weeks have discovered Danario Alexander to be healthy and productive. In Tampa Bay, he turned five catches into 134 yards and a score. In Denver last Sunday, he gathered seven receptions for 96 yards and two more scores. In this offense, that's astronomic and the only positive development this year.

The visiting Ravens are solid against the pass and weaker against the run. Mathews already had success against them last year but there is little confidence that he will be used correctly this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 19 6 30 11 18 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 8 20 16 15 26 4

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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