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Predictions & Projections
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: PIT 6, BAL 20 (LINE: BAL by 3)

Players Updated: Ben Roethlisberger

Players to Watch: Johnathan Dwyer, Ray Rice

This is a replay of week 11 when the Ravens won 13-10 in Pittsburgh. You can be sure that no matter what, there are not going to be many points in this game. The Ravens have won the last three meetings. The Ravens already have a three game lead on the Steelers in the AFC North and are on a four game winning streak. The Steelers have lost their last two and are likely without Ben Roethlisberger again.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC 16-13
2 NYJ 27-10 11 BAL 10-13
3 @OAK 31-34 12 @CLE 14-20
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL -----
5 PHI 16-14 14 SD -----
6 @TEN 23-26 15 @DAL -----
7 @CIN 24-17 16 CIN -----
8 WAS 27-12 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG 24-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger
RB Stevan Ridley 80,1 2-10
WR Antonio Brown 4-50
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 4-50

Pregame Notes: The loss of Big Ben really took the wind out of the offensive sails. The last three weeks have seen the Steelers never score more than 16 points and that included hosting the Chiefs. While some reports have Roethlisberger at "50/50", others speculate that there is no way the he will play this week and that he would be so limited and playing in such pain that he would be of little use and only open himself for further injury.

That's a problem this week since they'll face the Ravens in Baltimore with nothing more than Charlie Batch who threw three interceptions last week in Cleveland. Ends up that keeping Batch around for ten years as a third stringer maybe wasn't as prudent as it seemed just because he knows the playbook. His 199 yards last week severely degrades all the fantasy value on the team.

Jonathan Dwyer has been promoted to the top of the depth chart which means absolutely nothing on this offense that uses a committee backfield, rarely runs and doesn't do it that well when it tries. Dwyer only gained 19 yards on nine carries in Cleveland. He gained 55 yards on 12 runs against the Ravens in week 11. Rashard Mendenhall has apparently been demoted and Isaac Redman is rarely used anyway. This group only matters when at home against a really bad defense and two of the three are out injured. As a group they only rushed in four touchdowns all year.

To further compound the offensive problems, Mike Wallace is now only the co-split end along with Emmanuel Sanders. Wallace has rubbed the coaching staff the wrong way with less than stellar efforts in recent games. He only managed one catch for nine yards last week and since Big Ben left has yet to gain more than 24 yards in any game. Antonio Brown is expected back this week.

Playing in Baltimore is tough enough but the passing effort has fallen apart since Big Ben left and that drags down the rushing production as well. If any of these players manage more than moderate fantasy points this week it will be a miracle. Troy Polamalu may return this week which will at least help the defense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 15 19 20 7 13 29
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 8 19 12 9 28 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @TB 0000034031 ***
"Bend but don't break" has been the mantra of the Bucs. They have given up a whopping 386.5 yards (2nd most) and a touchdown every 18 completions (10th-stiffest ratio). Big Ben has everything needed to exploit the Tampa defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Conner, PIT @TB 5014300000 ***
A week after 36 touches, Conner was given the ball only 13 times. He scored a touchdown to salvage some value and turn in a 17.5-point day in PPR scoring. The Buccaneers have given up the third-most PPR points in the first two weeks. One of every 9.6 touches has scored against the Bucs, good for the seventh-softest clip.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT @TB 0071001000 ***
Following an early-week dust-up, Brown should be among the best fantasy choices of the week. Nothing new there ... The Buccaneers have granted receivers the second-most catches and seventh-highest yardage figure in the first two weeks, but giving up three scores on 36 grabs ranks as the 10th-lowest clip.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT @TB 0061001000 ***
This could be another shootout for the Steelers. Tampa has given up 36 catches (2nd) for 395 yards (7th) and a trio of scores to receivers in this young season. The ratio of catches-to-TDs is low, but this group is not invincible.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Washington, PIT @TB 002300000 ***
The rookie is a reasonable bet for a touchdown almost any week, but his role is too limited to be considered seriously for anything but a DFS spot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jesse James, PIT @TB 004601000 ***
James has been involved in the early season. The return of Vance McDonald could lessen James' role, yet he's a flier because of the matchup. Tampa Bay has given up the most receptions (tied) at 20 and yards (210) while not allowing a touchdown to the position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chris Boswell, PIT @TB 1144 ***
Kickers have made just one of two field goal boots against the Bucs, adding 6-for-6 on field goals. The Buccaneers rate as the sixth-toughest matchup of the week based on early-season data.

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 16-13
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
BAL vs PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 200,1
QB Robert Griffin III 50,1 250,2
WR Michael Crabtree 4-60,1
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: At 9-2 the Ravens currently have the #2 seed and a one game lead over the Patriots and Broncos. The remaining schedule is no cake walk but the toughest games all come at home so it is not unthinkable that they could run the table. Ray Lewis is also being talked up as potentially returning before the season ends. The offense is still little more than Ray Rice and the Ravens barely scratched out the last two wins by a field goal each. This is a good time to host the Steelers.

Not a great sign that not only has Joe Flacco struggled to throw for more than one score or over 200 yards in most games, but his worst game of the year was two weeks ago when he only passed for 164 yards and no scores in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have not allowed more than one passing score in the last seven games. At least this one goes off at home but Flacco is not going to change any trends this week.

Ray Rice only accounted for 40 yards on 20 runs in Pittsburgh but added dive catches for 53 yards. Last week in San Diego, he ran for 97 yards and added eight receptions for 67 yards as well. Bernard Pierce offers relief work but never enough for any fantasy consideration. Rice should see more carries and more success in this home version of the matchup, especially with the Steelers offense struggling.

In the previous meeting with the Steelers, the only receiver with any appreciable stats was Anquan Boldin's eight catches for 79 yards which was roughly double his normal weekly production. Torrey Smith was blanketed and only managed one catch for seven yards that week. He's been very productive in recent weeks except for this matchup.

The Steelers play very well at home but less so on the road. They have allowed six rushing touchdowns away from home along with better yardage. The passing defense remains stout - ranked #1 against quarterbacks and wide receivers. This should be the fourth straight win by the Ravens over the Steelers but once again - it's not going to contain many points.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 11 14 18 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 1 4 1 10 13 16

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL DEN 0000028021 ***
Quarterbacks have averaged 293 yards and a touchdown per game versus the Broncos so far, averaging the sixth-most fantasy points per completion. Flacco is just a flier in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, BAL DEN 6011100000 ***
This is the 10th-worst matchup for offensive yards and fantasy points in both major scoring systems. Only seven teams have been stronger against at preventing RB rushing touchdowns, and his is the 20th-best matchup for rushing yardage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Javorius Allen, BAL DEN 2005301000 ***
Allen's primary role is as a changeup to Alex Collins and checkdown in the passing game. Denver has given up 5.5 receptions (19th) for 36.5 yards (20th) to RBs. None of the catches have found the end zone. Allen is a low-end flex consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, BAL DEN 004801000 ***
The usually strong Denver defense did a good job against receivers from a yardage (16th-most) standpoint but has yielded a trio of touchdowns on 26 catches (16th). The data points to a midrange defense of the position in both common scoring formats, ranking 15th overall.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, BAL DEN 004500000 ***
Crabtree is quite familiar with facing the Broncos. He missed both games last year while with the Raiders. In 2016, the veteran managed a mere seven catches fro 74 yards and no scores in the two contests. Denver has given up three TDs to WRs in the first two weeks, allowing a moderate amount of yards (165.5) and receptions (13) to wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Willie Snead IV, BAL DEN 004500000 ***
Seattle's receivers scored twice in the opener, and Seth Roberts added one last week for Oakland against the Broncos. Denver has given up average numbers in receptions, yards, touchdown efficiency and fantasy points against.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mark Andrews, BAL DEN 003300000 ***
Avoid all of Baltimore's tight ends at this time. Three players have been rotated into the passing game, making it impossible to accurately judge which one will have the biggest role from week to week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Maxx Williams, BAL DEN 003300000 ***
Trusting any of the Ravens tight ends right now is asking for trouble. Three players are being worked into the mix.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL DEN 1144 ***
Tucker faces a Denver team that has given up nine kicking chances, in favor of XPAs by one, good for the 13th-most kicking chances through two weeks.

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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