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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 Lamar Jackson, BAL TB 80100017010 ***
Jackson's status is not perfectly clear at this time, although he at least has finally passed Joe Flacco on the depth chart. Everyone but Flacco had been aware of this. John Harbaugh thought the rookie's ankle injury wouldn't keep him out. The matchup is good enough where he should be in lineups in two-QB/superflex formats or even an occasional DFS setup, provided he is cleared to return.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenneth Dixon, BAL TB 7011100000 **
Dixon has looked good since coming back from injury and has a fine matchup to use to his advantage. The Buccaneers have allowed running backs to average 30.4 PPR points as a team, with 15 TDs scored in 13 outings. The Ravens are utilizing a three-way committee and make all of the backs less valuable because of it. Ride the hot hand, but he has only flex value in traditional leagues and is better as a DFS flier.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Gus Edwards, BAL TB 700000000 ***
Tampa Bay has permitted running backs to average the seventh-most rushing yards and a touchdown every 36 carries (22nd) since Week 9. The Ravens are employing a three-way committee and shared the primary carries between Edwards and Kenneth Dixon. The rookie hasn't offered much of anything helpful without scoring; the matchup suggests he could find paydirt, but are you in a position to find out the hard way? Look for better ratios of risk and reward.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, BAL TB 002201000 **
Crabtree and Lamar Jackson have been on the same page in terms of pitch and catch, but the numbers haven't yielded fantasy results to be encouraged enough to recommend playing the veteran. He has one TD over 10 grabs and hasn't generated more than 35 yards of offense since Week 7. Tampa Bay offers a glimmer of hope for more, but counting on him as a piece of your championship puzzle could leave you out in the December cold.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Willie Snead IV, BAL TB 004500000 ***
Aside from one game where he had a lone 8-yard catch, Snead has been the most reliable receiver for Lamar Jackson. He has caught at least five balls on no fewer than seven targets in three of the other four contests, and as has been the case since Week 1, Snead remains allergic to the end zone. PPR gamers desperate for something from the position could look his way, especially with one of the finer matchups of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, BAL TB 002300000 ***
While Brown caught a short touchdown last week, he and newly minted starter Lamar Jackson have not been on the same page in the past month. Since Jackson replaced Joe Flacco, Brown has landed four of 18 targets for 71 yards and last week's score. Despite a promising matchup, Brown is no better than an unwarranted gamble.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mark Andrews, BAL TB 002300000 ***
Andrews offers TD flier utility in DFS and that's about it. The matchup is favorable, but low volume and suspect QB play keep him from being a viable choice in traditional leagues.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL TB 2233 ***
No writeup available

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 Jeff Driskel, CIN OAK 30000020010 ***
Driskel has a limited cast of targets and is in a low-volume offense. He should remain on all waiver wires.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joe Mixon, CIN OAK 11023200000 ***
Oakland has clamped down lately on the position, allowing the eighth-most carries but only the fifth-lowest frequency for rushing TDs since Week 9. Only two of the 10 TDs have come in the last five games, but we've seen Marlon Mack and Nick Chubb both score a pair of TDs. This is an optimistic projection, so understand he is absolutely playable but is closer to an RB2 than studly RB1 this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN OAK 006801000 ***
Boyd has remained involved with Jeff Driskel at quarterback. The matchup isn't quite as good as it seems like it should be, at least for receptions and yardage. Oakland has played the wildly successful *break* but don't bend sort of defense ... you know, the one where a secondary gives up the fewest catches per game but the second-most TDs to the position. Just like it is drawn up.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Ross, CIN OAK 003300000 ***
Ross has emerged as a touchdown threat for the Bengals' injury-ravaged passing game. Look to him as a flier for a score in the flex spot, and even though it is not projected, a touchdown is easily within reach against the softest defense against WRs when it comes to touchdown efficiency. Oakland has allowed the second-most touchdown grabs on the fewest receptions in the league.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE C.J. Uzomah, CIN OAK 005300000 ***
If a handful of catches and virtually no realistic chance of a TD are what you're into from TEs, we have just the guy for you.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN OAK 2233 ***
No writeup available

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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