Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs. SD

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs. SD


Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs. SD

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Prediction: CLE 17, SD 24 (Line: SD by 7.5)

The 1-2 Browns hit the road where their only other game ended in a 21 point loss. The 1-2 Chargers only win was in San Diego but the offensive line is shot. This game could end up closer than anticipated but the homefield Chargers should still take it.

Cleveland Browns

1 @NYJ 10-31 10 @PIT ——
2 TEN 28-14 11 BYE ——
3 OAK 20-27 12 BAL ——
4 @SD —— 13 CIN ——
5 @BAL —— 14 SF ——
6 DEN —— 15 @SEA ——
7 @STL —— 16 @KC ——
8 ARI —— 17 PIT ——
9 @CIN ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE @ SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 210,1
RB Isaiah Crowell 40
RB Duke Johnson 30,1 6-40
WR Brian Hartline 6-80,1
TE Gary Barnidge 3-30
PK Travis Coons 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Browns now head off on a brutal stretch of the schedule and this week is as good as it gets for the next two months – and it is not that good. This is one of the worst schedules and this offense would be challenged enough with just an average slate of games. The Travis Benjamin Experience continues and none of the expected receivers have scored yet. And HC Mike Pettine remains behind McCown as the starter so the “Where’s Johnny?” story line will continue in the media.

QUARTERBACK : Facing his softest secondary of the year, Josh McCown was able to pass for 341 yards and two scores in the losing effort but he was sacked five times and now has to play on the road. The passing game has been marginal at best and the two softest opponents have just gone by. McCown injured his hand in the loss to the Raiders but is expected to start.

RUNNING BACK : Isaiah Crowell has just one touchdown this year and comes off a surprisingly bad effort against the Raiders when he only gained 36 yards on ten runs and Duke Johnson was limited to three yards on four carries. But at least Johnson was used for six receptions for 32 yards and that third down/passing formation role could be a gold mine ongoing with the schedule getting tougher and the wideouts not contributing enough. Crowell has struggled on the road already and including Johnson at least offers some PPR value to this backfield.

WIDE RECEIVER : Travis Benjamin made the hat trick when he scored against the Raiders but he was limited to only 45 yards on four receptions. Still he has four of the five passing touchdowns for the Browns. The development worth noting here is that Brian Hartline finally played a full game with McCown and caught five of his seven targets for 96 yards. With a tough schedule looming, throwing to a possession receiver like Hartline makes sense and should become common. He had two 1000 yard seasons in Miami and works the middle. He’s not worthy of a start with just one good showing but at least he is someone to track this week.

TIGHT END : Gary Barnridge had his 15 minutes of fame when he caught six passes for 105 yards and one touchdown last Sunday. Most of his eight seasons did not contain that many yards and it is only his fourth career score. While encouraging, just one game is more likely just freak event for the 30-year-old tight end.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Chargers have been very weak against the run but more so in road games and the Browns are one of the worst rushing offenses in the league anyway. There are no starters here other than Crowell as a flex play that has little upside in a road game. And Benjamin as a desperation start on the hope he makes it four games in a row with a touchdown. He still has not caught more than four passes in any game this year and is still a risky play. The Chargers have been hurt more by the faster backs which could favor Duke Johnson.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 15 28 15 15 26 12
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 4 31 2 19 12 32

San Diego Chargers

1 DET 33-28 10 BYE ——
2 @CIN 19-24 11 KC ——
3 @MIN 14-31 12 @JAC ——
4 CLE —— 13 DEN ——
5 PIT —— 14 @KC ——
6 @GB —— 15 MIA ——
7 OAK —— 16 @OAK ——
8 @BAL —— 17 @DEN ——
9 CHI ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
SD vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 240,2
RB Melvin Gordon 110,1 2-10
RB Danny Woodhead 20 4-30
WR Keenan Allen 6-60,1
WR Travis Benjamin 3-40
WR Stevie Johnson 6-80,1
TE John Phillips 3-30
PK Josh Lambo 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: A home stand against a weaker team is just what the Chargers need after losing two road games and seeing their offensive line get hit with injuries. RG D.J. Fluker is trying to play with a high ankle sprain and LT King Dunlap suffered a concussion last week. Rivers was already sacked four times in each road game and getting pretty banged up. The Browns and then the Steelers should help the Chargers to get healthier over the next two weeks before heading off to Green Bay.

QUARTERBACK : Philip Rivers was knocked around the last two weeks and lost a fumble and threw an interception in each game. But his only home game was in the opener when he passed for 404 yards and two scores versus the Lions. With the Steelers and Raiders coming up, Rivers should produce a few nice games in the next month.

RUNNING BACK : While Danny Woodhead started the year with two touchdowns, he’s been less involved and Melvin Gordon is getting around 15 carries per week to Woodhead’s six. Woodhead is still the receiving back that that only meant three catches for 32 yards last week. The offensive line problems is doing no favors to Gordon and Woodhead. The rookie is still looking for his first NFL score and his first 100 yard game. Good chance this is the week if the line can do their job.

WIDE RECEIVER : Keenan Allen comes off a monster game with 12 catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He turned in 15 receptions for 166 yards in the opener but sandwiched those between a two-catch, 16 yard effort in Cincinnati where he lost a fumble. Stevie Johnson had his best game of the young season in the only home stand when he scored once on his six catches for 82 yards. The duo is effective, but not when the opposing secondary is an above average unit.

TIGHT END : Ladarius Green was out last week with a concussion and John Phillips only added four receptions for 35 yards. This will be the final week that Antonio Gates is suspended. I’ll assume Green remains out and that Phillips fills in again and update as needed.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Keenan Allen would match on Joe Haden but he bruised his ribs last week and played through the injury but allowed Amari Cooper to have a great game. the Browns have allowed two passing scores to each opponent and the rushing defense is one of the weakest. That should allow Melvin Gordon to notch his first score in the NFL and turn in good yardage unless the O-line is still a problem. This is Gordon’s best situation so far. Rivers makes a moderate play as does Allen and Johnson. Gordon is a must start this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 9 15 5 16 19 26
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 14 30 22 14 15 24

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