FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: BAL 20, CIN 24 (Line: CIN by 2.5)

Players to Watch: Anyone who looks like they are trying

Ends up that this game that many thought might be for all the AFC North marbles really isn't for anything. The Ravens already own the division and the Bengals are locked into being a wild card team. That could mean either team may rest players since both will be playing in the first round. This is a replay of the season opener that the Ravens won 44-13 at home. This is a messy game to call and a good reason why week 17 is bad for fantasy football. Both coaches will say they want to win but what happens in the course of the game is very hard to call. HC Jim Harbaugh says they are going to Cincinnati to win and use all resources to accomplish that despite the fact that there is nothing to win and there is a chance these same two teams meet next week in the playoffs as well.

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 20-23
5 @KC 9-6 14 @WAS 28-31
6 DAL 31-29 15 DEN 17-34
7 @HOU 13-43 16 NYG 33-14
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE 25-15 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 230,1
QB Robert Griffin III 50 240,2
WR Michael Crabtree 5-70,1
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens come off a solid win over the Giants and are glad to have won the division since they are only 4-3 in road games this year and play much less effectively when away from home. Going to Cincinnati would have been interesting if the division was still up for grabs but now becomes essentially a scrimmage. These two teams already know each other very well anyway.

Joe Flacco passed for 299 yards and two scores in that season opener in Cincy and he's managed to score nearly every week. The Ravens are now two weeks into the new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell but any changes to the play calling are not that apparent other than Ray Rice getting a heavy workload in week 16.

Rice turned in 107 yards as a runner and then had six catches for 51 yards and another score in his heaviest workload of the year. He was only ran ten times in that season opener though he gained 68 yards and scored twice. The switch to Caldwell's offense will be a success if he does nothing more than to give the ball more to their best player - Ray Rice.

The only offensive scheming that may happen in this game is to get Anquan Boldin a 1000 yard season since he just needs 79 more yards to get there. He already posted four catches for 63 yards and a score in the first meeting

There is nothing more to accomplish this week aside from keeping players healthy to potentially play the same team next week in Baltimore. That puts risk on all the players regardless what Harbaugh says to the media. Why not say it is for real - nothing to lose by seeing how the Bengals prepare for them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 10 18 11 7 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 6 15 5 19 16 26

  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.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG 31-13
2 CLE 34-27 11 @KC 28-6
3 @WAS 38-31 12 OAK 34-10
4 @JAC 27-10 13 @SD 20-13
5 MIA 13-17 14 DAL 19-20
6 @CLE 24-34 15 @PHI 34-13
7 PIT 17-24 16 @PIT 13-10
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN 23-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 250,2
WR A.J. Green 6-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Bengals get into the playoffs while kicking the Steelers down the ladder last week - how great was that? They even won their last four road games as well and now can notch their tenth win if the Ravens acquiesce to reality and try to mail this one in and rest players. This has been a good season for the defense that has held six of their last seven opponents to fewer than 14 points.

Andy Dalton only passed for 221 yards and no scores in that opener but had at least one score in every successive game until last week in Pittsburgh. He's already scored 26 passing touchdowns and even added four more as a runner. His pace has been off in recent weeks though with never more than one passing touchdown in the last four weeks.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis was on a hot streak with five straight weeks of 100+ total yards but then was swamped in Pittsburgh. He ran for 91 yards and a score on 18 carries in Baltimore this year. His last six weeks probably saved his job since he was stuck around 60 yards per game prior to week ten.

Mike Nugent may be back this week since his calf has improved. In the end, you never want to rely on a fantasy kicker in a meaningless game though. Josh Brown has kicked well in relief but may be released this week or next.

Jermaine Gresham only managed three catches for 30 yards in Pittsburgh while A.J. Green settled for five receptions and 70 yards. He would start his nine game scoring streak the following week.

There are no safe plays here this week. A.J. Green and Green-Ellis are both considerations and should be good for decent yardage at least but there is nothing on the line here but the wrong things - see what you opponent looks like and stay healthy for next week in case you play the Ravens again. It is all a big risk.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 12 26 7 16 10 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 9 23 12 5 28 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN @CAR 0000025021 ***
Dalton, fresh off of a stellar performance, will need more of it as the Bengals try to weather the loss of Joe Mixon. Including a pair of rushing touchdowns against by Matt Ryan last week, Carolina has given up the 15th-most fantasy points. Removing those rushing scores, it falls to being the eighth-worst matchup, allowing only 221 passing yards per game and just two aerial TDs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @CAR 5005401000 ***
No Joe Mixon means a big load for Bernard this week. Carolina has given up the fourth-most rushing yards to RBs so far, but that is about where the good ends. This matchup is the 11th-worst in PPR (18th-best in standard). Only one of the last 49 offensive RB touches found paydirt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN @CAR 005601000 ***
Carolina has given up 25 receptions (19th) and 312 yards (19th) to WRs, with a single catch of those grabs going into the end zone (32nd). Green should have a much harder day than last week's touchdown festival.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN @CAR 004500000 ***
Boyd stepped up in a big way against the Ravens in Week 2. With all of the attention typically paid to A.J. Green, Boyd sees single coverage. The Panthers have conceded only one touchdown by receivers on 25 catches permitted, which is the worst ratio for exploitation in the league through two games. The matchup is soundly negative at this point.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Eifert, CIN @CAR 004400000 ***
Tight ends have gone for 9-87-1 in the first two games against the Panthers, creating a routinely neutral matchup in Week 3. Eifert has just seven targets and five catches on the year. Perhaps he sees an increase in short-range looks with Joe Mixon out.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN @CAR 2222 ***
Carolina has held kickers to the third-fewest possible kicking points and on the fourth-lowest number of combined kicks (six) through two weeks.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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