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David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: CLE 20, OAK 23 (LINE: OAK by 1)

Players Updated: Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, Brandon Weeden

Players to Watch: Darren McFadden

Here is one of those ugly games. Both teams are 3-8 on the season with the Raiders on a four-game losing stretch and the Browns coming off a rare win. The difference is that the Browns actually have a defense of sorts and yet not a great offense. The Raiders have no defense as far as can be proven and an offense that sputters on a good day. Coin toss game that could have all sorts of mistakes that impact the outcome.

The Raiders won 24-17 when the Browns visited last year.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL 20-23
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT 20-14
4 @BAL 16-23 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG 27-41 14 KC -----
6 CIN 34-24 15 WAS -----
7 @IND 13-17 16 @DEN -----
8 SD 7-6 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL 15-25 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Browns are winding down their season with a few decent opportunities to post points before wrapping up with road games to Denver and Pittsburgh that likely are not going to go well. The defense has been very good recently by holding the last six opponents to 24 points or less but the offense never scores that many points and hence the fundamental problem. Adding a quarterback and running back in the NFL draft still looks like a good idea. They just need receivers for the quarterback and not just some guy they scraped off the supplemental draft.

Brandon Weeden suffered a concussion last week and needs to pass his tests this week in order to play. If he cannot, Colt McCoy gets to reprise the reason why the Browns were even worse in 2011. Weeden's status will be clearer at the end of the week. If he cannot play, the offense takes a big hit that it hardly can survive.

Trent Richardson may be lagging Doug Martin but not by all that much. He's scored seven touchdowns and remained above 100 total yards in each of the last four games with a trip to meet the #30 defense this week. He's stepped up his role as a receiver as well with 16 reception over just the last three weeks. Richardson gives the Browns a solid core for the offense and a great fantasy play for this week.

Jordan Cameron finally caught his first NFL touchdown but has been a nonfactor all year after getting talked up in the summer. Ben Watson hasn't been fantasy relevant either though he had a freakish two touchdown game in Dallas.

This lackluster passing attack is now using for different wide receivers every week and there is simply not enough production combined to merit fantasy attention. Josh Gordon remains the best by far but that only equates to around 50 yards per game for the last month. His string of three straight scoring games is a dot in the rear view mirror by now and Greg Little declined down to a single catch last week. Weeden suggests that he could handle the job with better receivers but that help is not coming this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 29 18 29 25 19 10
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 28 30 21 27 31 17

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Baker Mayfield, CLE @TB 0000033031 ***
A balky ankle has Mayfield somewhat questionable for this week, but indications suggest he will play after staying in the game last week. The Buccaneers offer a brilliant matchup for the visiting Browns. Mayfield has shown chemistry with tight end David Njoku, and Tampa is the worst defense of his position. Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway and Co. face the No. 3 defense to exploit. Mayfield, while risky, is an intriguing risk-reward play for DFS, superflex and deep-league traditional gamers with three starting QBs off this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Nick Chubb, CLE @TB 6003300000 ***
Update: The trade of Carlos Hyde thrusts Chubb into the starting lineup. He should lose some touches on third down to Duke Johnson but mostly will replace Hyde's role. This is the fifth-best matchup for combined touchdown ease, and Tampa has given up 129 offensive yards a game (15th). Chubb is a low-end RB2 or decent flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE @TB 1004400000 ***
One in 21.2 offensive touches by running backs have found the end zone against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has yielded only the 16th-most receptions but fourth-highest frequency for scoring. This is a positive-leaning matchup for PPR types.

Update: The trade of Carlos Hyde could mean a few more looks for Johnson if nick Chubb isn't up to speed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, CLE @TB 0081001000 ***
One in 7.8 catches by WRs has found the end zone, which ranks sixth easiest to exploit. This is the third-best place to find receptions, something that is right up Landry's alley. The yardage against ranks 10th, and Landry is a fine play given the ideal statistical matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Callaway, CLE @TB 004601000 *
Only two teams have provided more fantasy points per game in both prominent scoring formats. This is the third-best matchup for catches, which isn't really Callaway's style, but it is the sixth-best for ease of touchdowns by WRs. The Bucs have granted two TDs a game in the last four outings. Callaway has struggled to connect down the field this year and is considerably risky, so understand what you're playing. He's pure-play upside with a cavernous floor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Damion Ratley, CLE @TB 004600000 ***
It was a nice debut in Week 6 for the rookie sixth-rounder. He landed six of eight targets for 82 yards. The loss of Rashard Higgins and Derrick Willies paved the way for a role in the offense. He's extremely risky given the tiny sample size, although the matchup really couldn't be much better if you're looking to take a flier on in DFS or via the waiver wire to cover a bye.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE David Njoku, CLE @TB 007801000 ***
The second-year tight end has found a groove with Baker Mayfield. The matchup is tantalizing, and it would be silly not to take advantage of Njoku's involvement uptick. He has averaged 10 targets a game and has at least 52 yards in each of the past three games. No team has provided more PPR points to TEs in the last five games than the Bucs.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Joseph, CLE @TB 1133 ***
No writeup available

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL 20-55
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO 17-38
3 PIT 34-31 12 @CIN 10-34
4 @DEN 6-37 13 CLE -----
5 BYE ----- 14 DEN -----
6 @ATL 20-23 15 KC -----
7 JAC 26-23 16 @CAR -----
8 @KC 26-16 17 @SD -----
9 TB 32-42 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Marshawn Lynch 90,1 2-10
RB Doug Martin 90 5-30
WR Brandon LaFell 4-60
WR Jordy Nelson 5-80,1
TE Jared Cook 1-20,1
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Raiders are having the worst of problems currently since their current four game losing streak has them allowing an average of 42 points per opponent and yet the offense has only once been better than 20 points. Their last three losses were all by at least 21 points. The offense is capped in what it can accomplish but there is apparently no end to how bad the defense can play.

Carson Palmer had a very uncharacteristic bad game when he only threw for 146 yards and one score against an inspired Bengals team. But he was scoring multiple touchdowns in the four previous games and passed for over 300 yards in three of those. Palmer has a bit of a problem with turnovers and totals 12 interceptions and four lost fumbles so far. But he delivers plenty of yards and usually two scores in most recent games.

Darren McFadden may return this week from his ankle injury after missing the last three weeks and allowing Marcel Reece to actually play well. This would be an opportune week for him to return against the Browns defense but it depends on how he practices and how well he can shoulder much of the load. Updates as information becomes available later in the week. With three home games ahead and then week 16 in Carolina, this is a very opportune time for him to make a showing on fantasy teams. For this first week, it may be impossible to know how much McFadden can play and now much Reece still helps out. It has only been three weeks since he got his high ankle sprain which is short unless it was very mild.

Joe Haden should end up on Darius Heyward-Bey who was just shut down in Cincinnati to no catches. Brandon Myers gets to face the #1 defense against his position so the passing game is going to need to go through Denarius Moore over any other receiver. This can be made much easier if McFadden plays and makes the Browns respect the run more. As with all Oakland games, there could be several outcomes possible here and the one that happens will probably involve the lowest fantasy points from an offense that has really slipped and appears to be reaching that part of the season where "oh screw it" sets in.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 13 21 17 10 10 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 20 20 25 1 9 13

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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