Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs BUF

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs BUF


Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs BUF

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Prediction: CLE 20 BUF 23 (Line: BUF by 1.5)

UPDATE: Jordan Cameron is still going through the concussion protocol and may not be ready in time to play this week. I am removing him from the projections but check pregame to see if by chance he can play.

The 7-4 Browns are only a half game back of the Bengals in the AFC North and are 3-2 in road games. The 6-5 Bills are 3-3 at home and come off a thrashing of the Jets. The Browns won 37-24 when the Bills visited in week five of last year.

Cleveland Browns

1 @PIT 27-30 10 @CIN 24-3
2 NO 26-24 11 HOU 7-23
3 BAL 21-23 12 @ATL 26-24
4 BYE —– 13 @BUF —–
5 @TEN 29-28 14 IND —–
6 PIT 31-10 15 CIN —–
7 @JAC 6-24 16 @CAR —–
8 OAK 23-13 17 @BAL —–
9 TB 22-17  
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 30,1 230,1
RB Isaiah Crowell 60,1 1-10
WR Taylor Gabriel 2-20
WR Josh Gordon 6-80,1
WR Brian Hartline 3-40
WR Andrew Hawkins 4-50

Pregame Notes: The Browns are competitive in the AFC North but the final five games are going to be a major test with three road treks and hosting the Bills and Bengals. At 2-2 in the division, they need to win out against the visiting Bengals and in the season finale in Baltimore. But the defense has been better and the Browns won their last two road efforts. This week is one of the toughest remaining weeks on the schedule and the return of Josh Gordon comes at a good time.

QUARTERBACK : The concern this week is that Brian Hoyer has a nice pattern so far. He has thrown for decent to great yardage and always scores when at home. His most recent three away venues did not result in any touchdowns and were two of his lowest passing totals. Hoyer has been spotty in scoring lately anyway with only for touchdowns over the last six games and even the return of Josh Gordon did not result in any scores though it pushed Hoyer up to 322 yards in Atlanta while throwing three interceptions.

RUNNING BACK : Isaiah Crowell is the starter again and comes off a nice effort with only 12 runs for 88 yards and two scores in Atlanta while Terrance West turned in 14 carries for 62 yards. Neither back catches the ball much and Ben Tate is gone to Minnesota now. So long as they are facing a soft rushing defense, the duo can produce but yards and scores. As a team, the Browns already have 15 touchdowns by running backs.

WIDE RECEIVER : The return of Josh Gordon went well enough. He ended with 16 targets for eight catches for 120 yards. More than double the targets of any other receiver just like last year and this is what the Browns called “easing him back in”. What is encouraging beyond Gordon immediately picking up where he left off is that Andrew Hawkins still ended with five catches for 93 yards. Taylor Gabriel fell to just one catch for 13 yards though.

TIGHT END : Jordan Cameron has been out with a concussion since week eight but may be back this week after practicing last Friday. He was a nonfactor in all games this year except for the one big showing versus the Steelers (3-102, TD) but his other meeting with them resulted in just one catch.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is a much better defense than the Browns are used to facing. The Bills have been outstanding against the pass and rarely allow more than one passing touchdown. Hoyer does well enough to just get the one. The Bill have also been one of the best defenses against running backs and allowed just one touchdown to a visiting back. Gordon is always a must start and Crowell should be good for at least yards. But all other Browns offer much risk for minor upside here.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 28 18 10 21 12 17
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 7 3 18 5 16 18

Buffalo Bills

1 @CHI 23-20 10 KC 13-17
2 MIA 29-10 11 @MIA 9-22
3 SD 10-22 12 NYJ 38-3
4 @HOU 17-23 13 CLE —–
5 @DET 17-14 14 @DEN —–
6 NE 22-37 15 GB —–
7 MIN 17-16 16 @OAK —–
8 @NYJ 43-23 17 @NE —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB LeSean McCoy 80,1 1-20
WR Sammy Watkins 4-50,1
WR Robert Woods 3-50
TE Charles Clay 5-40,1
PK Dan Carpenter 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills laid the wood to the Jets last week but that follows the recent trend of playing great defense when at home. There is still a shot for a wildcard with a 6-5 record but road games to Denver and New England alone are going to make it tough to compete. Even playing the Browns is no longer as fun as it once was and these Bills are living mostly by their defense. This is likely a lower scoring effort.

QUARTERBACK : Kyle Orton comes off a decent 230 yard, two touchdown effort over the Jets but he was held to no catches the previous week in Miami. He’s only been an average quarterback and not a long term answer but that is still better than with they were getting from E.J. Manuel.

RUNNING BACK : The backfield is as big a mess as it has been. Now Anthony “Booby” Dixon takes the biggest chunk of the rushing and actually scored last week for the first time all year. He’s good for 40-50 yards each week and never more. Fred Jackson is back and he also scored against the Jets though he’s limited to ten carries or so and three catches for short yardage. And Bryce Brown also takes a half dozen runs as well. All combined this unit has only scored five times this year and the yardage is never much for an individual.

WIDE RECEIVER : Sammy Watkins fell off his pace in a big way with three straight games of no scores and never more than 35 yards but he already has three 100 yard games and five touchdowns on the season. Robert Woods comes off his best game of the year when he caught nine passes for 118 yards and a score on the Jets. Woods was more of a “50 yards” kind of wideout all year.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value. Scott Chandler caught his second touchdown of the year last week against the Jets but has averaged only about 15 yards per game over the last month.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Browns have allowed no more than two passing scores to any team and the yardage has been moderate in most games. Their rushing defense is worse in road games where they gave up six touchdowns over five games to running backs and two runners topped 100 yards but the Bills split the work up enough that none of the backs are appealing. Pat Haden will match on Robert Woods unless they swap sides but he hasn’t been as much of a shut down corner this year. Watkins is the most interesting play here but the running backs are too watered down to consider.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 21 14 22 22 7 3
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 9 17 19 7 14 3

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