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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
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 CIN 0000025011 ***
A rushing score against Cincy makes this a bottom-12 opponent. Remove it and we're looking at fantasy's ninth-toughest enemy. Overall, this is a harsh matchup for Big Ben. The Bengals have allowed the fifth-fewest in yards per game, TD efficiency and points per play. Roethlisberger went for 26.4 fantasy points in Week 2 last season but then posted 17.8 in encore.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT CIN 10017600000 ***
Bell played vs. Cincy only once last year, going for 18.1 points in PPR scoring. The Bengals have granted RBs the most receptions on a per-game average with 8.3, though none of those 33 balls went into the end zone. This D rates as the third-toughest against rushing yards and sixth-hardest in giving up ground TDs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT CIN 0071001000 ***
Cincinnati held AB to 4-39-0 and 3-58-0 in two meetings last year. In 2015, he went for 6-47-1, 7-87-0 and 7-119-0 in three contests. All told, Cincy does a pretty good job of keeping him in check. This year could be different, since the position has scored once every 11.7 snares in the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT CIN 004400000 ***
The rookie has out-snapped Martavis Bryant four straight games. He'll get a taste of the Bengals' formidable secondary, however. It's the sixth-toughest, in fact.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Martavis Bryant, PIT CIN 003300000 ***
Allowing only 35 receptions to receivers in the past four games ranks as the fourth-lowest per-game figure, but giving up three TDs along the way is the 11th-highest frequency. Playing with limited snaps, Bryant is a hard sell in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jesse James, PIT CIN 003200000 ***
Cincinnati ranks as fantasy's sixth-hardest matchup in PPR and eighth in standard, yielding a single TD in the last 18 receptions.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chris Boswell, PIT CIN 3322 ***
Only six teams have been tougher on kickers. The little bit of work against them has coming via 2.0 FGAs and 1.5 XPAs against, on average.

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
RB Danny Woodhead 10 3-20
WR Jeremy Maclin 6-60
WR Mike Wallace 3-40
TE Benjamin Watson 4-40
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 @MIN 0000017002 ***
Flacco belongs nowhere near a fantasy roster at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Javorius Allen, BAL @MIN 3006400000 ***
Runners against the Vikings have hit a brick wall. This is a dominant defense, allowing a touchdown in the last 112 rushing attempts, which is the top figure in football. The position has caught only three balls per game (32nd) and produced the second-fewest points per outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, BAL @MIN 500000000 ***
There is one defense that rates stronger against running backs. Collins has a punishing matchup and shouldn't be trusted in fantasy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @MIN 002200000 ***
The Vikings have approached receivers with a "don't break" mentality, giving up 13 catches (6th most) and 161.4 yards (7th) but one TD per every 16.3 receptions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL @MIN 002200000 **
Minnesota has done a good job at keeping receivers from posting big games. This defense will allow catches (6th most) and yardage (7th) but only a TD every 16.3 snags. Maclin missed last week with shoulder injury but should be on track after being close vs. the Bears.

Update: Maclin was limited all week and is a game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Benjamin Watson, BAL @MIN 005400000 ***
Watson has a mediocre matchup and is barely worth considering in deep PPR formats. Leave him for DFS or the wire.

Update: The veteran tight end is questionable after progressing from consecutive listings of DNP to limited in practice Friday.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @MIN 3300 ***
Tucker's only misses have come from a country mile away. Unfortunately, the chances just haven't been there from reasonable ranges. The Vikes have given up only six fantasy points per outing, which rates tied as the fourth fewest.

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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