FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) *IND at CHI *PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC *JAC at MIN *PIT at DEN *WAS at NO
*BUF at NYJ *MIA at HOU *SEA at ARI *CIN at BAL (MON)
*UPDATED *CAR at TB *NE at TEN SF at GB *SD at OAK (MON)

Prediction: CIN 13, BAL 24 (Line: BAL by 6)

Players Updated: Jermaine Gresham, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bernard Scott, Andy Dalton

Players to Watch: Armon Binns, Brandon Tate

There are two things to remember when the Bengals and Ravens play. First, the Ravens usually win since they took the last three meetings though the Bengals won five of the seven games previous to those. Secondly - there are rarely any points in these games. The Bengals lost 24-31 in Baltimore last year and again 16-24 at home. Until last season, they had two straight years where neither team scored more than 20 points in any of their matchups. Chances are good we are in for another low point effort here though the Ravens intend to open up their offense more.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL ----- 10 NYG -----
2 CLE ----- 11 @KC -----
3 @WAS ----- 12 OAK -----
4 @JAC ----- 13 @SD -----
5 MIA ----- 14 DAL -----
6 @CLE ----- 15 @PHI -----
7 PIT ----- 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Bengals dumped Cedric Benson and brought in BenJarvus Green-Ellis who is a proven scorer from the Patriots. The question now is how many chances he gets in Cincy and he no longer has the feared Patriot passing attack to take a primary concern with every defense. That makes a big difference. They also intend on using Bernard Scott more (Part III) though they never actually do much with him because he has been ineffective. The Bengals rushing attack will be no worse but then again it was only 30th best last year anyway.

The two rookies of 2011 completely energized the offense. Andy Dalton landed in one of the toughest divisions to be a quarterback and yet ended with 20 touchdowns against only 13 interceptions in his first season. He's bound to be better as a sophomore though games like this are one reason he may always have a lower ceiling. At the least, he did bring the Bengals back to the playoffs last year in the only division that produced three playoff teams.

A.J. Green was a great addition when he turned in 65 catches for 1057 yards and seven scores and he too should be better in 2012. The problem for the Bengals may end up the lack of a credible #2 wideout. Jerome Simpson left for the Vikings and in his place no one has locked in a big role. The rookie Mohamed Sanu has been unable to make any progress towards starting and Armon Binns is going against Brandon Tate and they still are unable to distinguish themselves enough to prevent a committee approach. It bears watching to see which one steps up to be the #2 though last year it only meant 50-725-4 for Jerome SImpson.

Jermaine Gresham could be in line for a big improvement on the 56-596-6 that he turned in for 2011. Gresham is not the sort to be split out or used as a wideout but he has sure hands on a team that may have a big need to fill beyond what A.J. Green does. Gresham sprained his knee in the second preseason game and was held out but should be back for this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 22 30 15 17 7 12
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 23 4 30 9 9 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN BAL 0000024012 ***
The Ravens have given up the ninth highest yardage average (272.8) since Week 11, but that is about where the fun ends for quarterbacks. Seven interceptions later, we're looking at a low-end matchup for quarterbacks in better positioning to succeed than Dalton. The Red Rifle threw for an unimpressive 283 yards, one TD and no picks in Week 12.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN BAL 3002200000 *
Hill managed six catches in the last one to salvage some PPR value, which is uncharacteristic. He's a weak play against an otherwise strong defensive opponent.

Update: Hill is a game-time decision but is expected to see the field. He could be limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN BAL 005601000 ***
LaFell has put together a fine season. In Week 12 versus the Ravens, he snared only three of nine targets for 38 yards in what was one of his worst showings of the season. He has been too good to ignore, so slot him as a WR2 or a third.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN BAL 005700000 ***
The rookie caught six balls for 70 yards in Week 11 against the Ravens in Week 12. A.J. Green won't play again, so Boyd has a more prominent role. He is a PPR flex play against this midrange matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE C.J. Uzomah, CIN BAL 004300000 ***
Uzomah gets to showcase his skills with Tyler Eifert on IR. The Ravens have given up the eighth most catches, yards, and fantasy points per game, as well as being eighth in TD efficiency, since Week 11.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN BAL 2211 ***
The Ravens consistently have been one of the toughest groups against kickers in fantasy this year. Over the last five weeks, only seven teams have been stronger against the position.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN ----- 10 OAK -----
2 @PHI ----- 11 @PIT -----
3 NE ----- 12 @SD -----
4 CLE ----- 13 PIT -----
5 @KC ----- 14 @WAS -----
6 DAL ----- 15 DEN -----
7 @HOU ----- 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Ravens came within three points of advancing to the Superbowl last year so there is not a lot wrong with this team other than the defense is one more year older. At some point very soon that becomes an issue with Ray Lewis (37) and Ed Reed (34) on the back nine of their career with the clubhouse now in sight. The offense remains well suited for a team with a big defense though the hope is that the Ravens can finally become a better passing team.

Joe Flacco enters his fifth season apparently capped at 3600 yards and around 20 or so touchdowns every year. But he has had a great camp while the Ravens try for an "up-tempo" flavor to the offense with a more open passing attack. How that plays out will be worth watching since the Ravens have basically never been a pass-heavy team.

Most optimism revolves around the continued development of Torrey Smith who had a promising rookie season (50-841-7) and should take another step upwards this year. Smith turned in two monster games with over 150 yards in each but otherwise was "merely good" for a rookie. He stands to benefit most if the Ravens can ramp up their offense. Anquan Boldin enters his ninth year and is just a possession receiver good for around 900 yards each season. This offense has never used the slot for much fantasy value so Tandon Doss and Jacoby Jones are unlikely to be of note.

The Ravens actually ranked #3 in the use of tight ends last year but that came from a split between Ed Dickson (54-528-5) and Dennis Pita (40-405-3). Both players enter the season. Pitta was more used near the end of last year but suffered a broken hand in the preseason and is likely to be less used as a receiver early on. Dickson also suffered a shoulder injury but is expected to be able to play this week. He has a better shot at bigger numbers than Pita for now.

Starting out at home against a very familiar opponent should be a good spot to see just how "up tempo" the offense will be this year.

I like a defensive score in this game as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 2 3 6 3 11 16
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 8 15 14 16 5 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL @CIN 0000026021 ***
In the Week 12 contest between these teams, Flacco threw for 234 yards, one TD and and interception. The Bengals have permitted the third fewest fantasy points on a per-game rate since Week 11.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenneth Dixon, BAL @CIN 4004300000 ***
Cincy has given up only two rushing scores in the last five games, but that's not really Dixon's thing anyway. The Week 12 showdown resulted in a 12-point day in PPR scoring for Dixon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, BAL @CIN 4003200000 ***
West was good for only 64 offensive yards in the first meeting, and the Bengals have allowed just two rushing scores in the past five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Breshad Perriman, BAL @CIN 002301000 ***
Perriman scored only s only catch last time around, and he has a decent shot at finding similar success with the attention paid to Steve Smith Sr. and Mike Wallace.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @CIN 004500000 ***
Wallace caught three of four targets last week for 57 yards in Week 12's matchup. Since, the Bengals have allowed one touchdown to receivers. Don't count on a huge day from the veteran.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dennis Pitta, BAL @CIN 004300000 ***
Cincy offers a top-10 matchup in PPR, but most of the damage has come via receptions. Only one of the last 34 has scored a touchdown. Pitta posted a 3-34-0 line the last time out vs. the Bengals.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @CIN 2222 ***
Tucker does battle with the fifth best matchup of the week for kickers. Cincinnati has given up the third highest average of field goal attempts (2.8/gm) but the second fewest extra points (1.0/gm), in the last five weeks.

WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) IND at CHI PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC JAC at MIN PIT at DEN WAS at NO
BUF at NYJ MIA at HOU SEA at ARI CIN at BAL (MON)
  CAR at TB NE at TEN SF at GB SD at OAK (MON)

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