Game Predictions & Player Projections - CIN vs BAL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CIN vs BAL

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - CIN vs BAL

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Prediction: CIN 20, BAL 23 (Line: BAL by 2.5)

Eight of the last nine meetings between these teams went to the home team. The difference this year is that both teams feature new offensive coordinators. Gary Kubiak imports Texans-style rushing into Baltimore and Hue Jackson is promoted up from being the RB coach to replace the outgoing Jay Gruden. Bottom line – both teams want to run more and run better.

The Ravens won 20-17 when the Bengals visted during week 10 last year. The Bengals won 34-17 in their home season finale againsat the Ravens.

Cincinnati Bengals

1 @BAL —– 10 CLE —–
2 ATL —– 11 @NO —–
3 TEN —– 12 @HOU —–
4 BYE —– 13 @TB —–
5 @NE —– 14 PIT —–
6 CAR —– 15 @CLE —–
7 @IND —– 16 DEN —–
8 BAL —– 17 @PIT —–
9 JAC —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 250,2
RB Giovani Bernard 80 5-30
RB Jeremy Hill 50 1-10
WR A.J. Green 5-90,1
TE Tyler Eifert 3-40
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP

Jay Gruden brought the Cincy passing game to all new levels. Andy Dalton comes off a careeer best 4296 yards and 33 touchdowns but the plan is to run more and pass less. Dalton signed a $115 million, six-year agreement last month so he’ll be happy with anything they ask him to do including washing cars. There is all new firepower in the rushing game this year and it could make Dalton just as productive only in a more efficient way. Dalton passed for around 275 yards and two scores in both meetings with the Ravens last year.

Giovanni Bernard only tan 170 times for 695 yards and five scores in Gruden’s offense but he added 56 catches for 514 yards. The Bengals added Jeremy Hill to the equation and released the lumbering BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Hill is a bruiser at 6-1, 238 pounds and together this duo should do some damage. This remains a split backfield as before but with upgraded personnel and a larger workload to share. The interesting part of week one will be watching just how that division happens and how much the offense will continue to throw to the backs. Bernard ran for 58 yards on 14 carries in Baltimore last year and aded 37 yards on eight catches for a score.

Any reduced passing is more likely to hit the secondary receivers. A.J. Green comes off a career best 98-1426-11 season and will never be diminished in the game plan. But Marvin Jones is sidelined for the next four weeks or so and that lets Mohamed Sanu move up from the slot to being a starter and he’s been impressive in camp this year. The multiple receiver sets will be decreased but Green is in no danger of being replaced in any game plan. A.J. Green went off for 151 yards and a score on eight catches in Baltimore last year. He scored on them in the home meeting as well.

The Bengals drafted Tyler Eifert last year and the rookie was respectable with 39-445-2 in his first season. Jermaine Gresham (46-461-4) is expected to lose catches to Eifert and that is one of the week one features to watch. Rushing more favors Gresham the blocker. Eifert only caught three of his ten passes for 55 yards in Baltomore last year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: New offense being installed but it seems to be going pretty well and the changes are mainly just fewer deep passes and more ball control stuff. Dillon is a moderate start at best on the road but Bernard is a good play having success already in Baltimore. Hill is a risk if only since he has never played a down in the NFL and the extent of his role is not yet proven. Green remains a must-start and has been very good against the Ravens in the past.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 4 17 5 12 24 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 13 8 16 8 21 27

Baltimore Ravens

1 CIN —– 10 TEN —–
2 PIT —– 11 BYE —–
3 @CLE —– 12 @NO —–
4 CAR —– 13 SD —–
5 @IND —– 14 @MIA —–
6 @TB —– 15 JAC —–
7 ATL —– 16 @HOU —–
8 @CIN —– 17 CLE —–
9 @PIT —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 10 210,2
RB Trent Richardson 50 3-20
WR Steve Smith 4-50,1
WR Mike Wallace 3-40
TE Dennis Pitta 6-70,1
PK Justin Tucker 3 FG 2 XP

The Ravens try to shake off a 8-8 season when the offense just outlived its warranty and died. Bringing in Gary Kubiak was to help install a new scheme that could make use of the run better and employ zone blocking. One of the biggest problems was that Ray Rice went from being a perrenial fantasy stud to dud. He had a hip injury early on but claimed to be healed from that. No matter – he plummeted to only 660 rush yards on 214 carries and a painful 3.1 YPC. He seemed to be running at half speed. Rice is only 27 but had four straight hard-use seasons prior to the 2013 collapse that was not limited to Rice.

Even Bernard Pierce only managed 436 yards on 177 runs for a paltry 2.9 YPC. This remains a committee backfield and Rice is the primary though there is plenty speculation that he has either lost a step already or won’t fit as well into the new scheme. This is a definite week one watch because Rice came cheaply in drafts and he’s going to either end up a great value or a wasted pick with likely no middle ground. As a team, the Ravens only ran for 63 yards on 28 carries versus the Bengals.

Rice will not play this week or next week because of his two game suspension for knocking out his then-finace’. Pierce was concussed in the preseason but is expected to play this week..

Joe Flacco actually threw for a career best 3912 yards last year but only 19 touchdowns. His 614 passes were a sign how porrly many games went. He receives a new toy this year with Steve Smith looking to spend time finishing a good career while in Baltimore and Torrey Smith coming off a career best 65-1128-4 season though he caught less than half of the passes thrown to him. Smith is the only unknown for receiver but he should supply a much needed possession role over the middle and allow Smith more deep routes where he is best suited to make a difference. Flacco only passed for 140 yards and two scores in the 2013 meeting with the visiting Bengals. Smith caught five passes for 46 yards and one score in that game.

One element that should improve under Kubiak is tight end and Dennis Pitta already managed 61-669-7 in 2012 before missing all but four games due to a hip injury last year. The plan is to move Pitta all over the offense and Kubiak tight ends usually do well in fantasy value. The change in scheme should benefit Pitta more than any other receiver.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Both teams are familiar with each other and still face the same defense from last year. Even at home, it is hard to see any player here as a fantasy standout this week (or maybe any). But this is at home and the Ravens defense should be better along with an improved rushing effort unless the blocking changes take time to install. The nice part is that Pierce gets a full-time load with Rice on his two week forced vacation. The passing game here should be moderate at best and really only Pitta and Pierce are attractive starts this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 26 31 19 22 7 23
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 3 12 4 11 15

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