FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: BAL 27, PHI 20 (Line: PHI by 2)

Players to watch: Dennis Pitta, Michael Vick

Players Updated: Jeremy Maclin, Desean Jackson

The Ravens come off a big Monday night win over the Bengals and are looking like a playoff run is already in the cards. The Eagles slink back home after late game theatrics managed to post a comeback win over the Cleveland Browns who almost won that game with virtually no offense. The Eagles get favored here at home and it is a coin tosser but the Ravens are hitting on all cylinders. That's enough to merit an upset if only from the chance for more errors by the Eagles who were only 3-5 at home last year anyway.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 44-13 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
BAL @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 240,2
WR Jacoby Jones 3-40,1
WR Steve Smith 5-90,1
WR Torrey Smith 3-60
TE Owen Daniels 4-40
TE Dennis Pitta 4-40
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: It all came together after halftime on Monday when the Ravens reeled off 27 straight points to end the game with the Bengals. How much of it was facing the visiting Bengals and how much are true changes will be known in the next few weeks but so far - the offense has kicked it up a notch or three. Joe Flacco was to be "set free" and allowed more freedom and more passing in a more open offense. Mission accomplished. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 299 yards and two scores with no turnovers. He made good decisions and distributed the ball very well with seven different receivers catching two or more passes. He had five completions over 25 yards. This is no dink-n-dunk "let's give it to Ray" offense.

Consider too that Ray Rice only had ten carries. He gained 68 yards and score twice while adding three catches for 25 more yards. But that was only 13 touches for Rice. And that is a change. If Rice continues to be so wildly productive, it does not matter.

Torrey Smith was the hot sleeper for some and he looked sharp with a 52 yard catch but only added one more reception for five yards and a run for 13. They did not need much more from him obviously but it was slightly disappointing to see him with just three touches in the game. Anquan Boldin had a nice effort with 63 yards and a 34-yard touchdown where he wrestled the ball away from the defender in the end zone. It all worked for the offense. Jacoby Jones added three receptions for 46 yards as the newest addition to the receivers. Even Dennis Pitta ended up as the lead receiver with five catches for 73 yards and one score. It all worked. And everyone got some. And no one had a lot other than Ray Rice.

This is just one game but a very nice start to the season. And to the benefit of the Ravens, no longer can a defense just stop one or two players.

The Eagles defense was stout against the Browns but how much of that was the defense and how much was just the Browns offense can be argued. Back at home the Eagles will play tougher but they have to stop a whole lot of pieces on the Ravens now. That's unlike the Browns where nothing worked.

If Vick can throw four interceptions and fumble twice against the Browns, I love a defensive touchdown for the Ravens. The interception return by Cleveland for a score almost beat them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 6 4 19 3 5 3
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 1 4 3 3 19 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL SD 0000025020 ***
The only QB who failed to throw for at least 280 yards and multiple touchdowns when the Chargers came to town lost his starting job a couple months ago (EJ Manuel). The rest average a robust 295 and 3. Since Flacco seems to be better at home as well, you have to like his chances of being a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL SD 9012100000 ***
Forset has back-to-back 100-yard efforts, each with two TDs. Now he gets to host a Chargers D that's allowed at least 130 RB yards from scrimmage in every road game. You have to like Forsett's chances of making it three straight biggies.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bernard Pierce, BAL SD 200000000 *****
The utterly ordinary Pierce has apparently leapfrogged Lorenzo Taliaferro for between the tackles duty. It's been 10 weeks since Pierce produced more than 32 rushing yards, so unless you're banking on him getting some goal line love he has no place in any self-respecting fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL SD 005901000 ***
Last week was the first time since Week 6 both Smiths produced fantasy helpers. Expect lightning to strike again as the Chargers have allowed nine different wideouts to score and/or top 100 yards in five road games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL SD 005801000 ***
The Chargers have allowed nine different wideouts to score and/or top 100 yards in five road games; it's tough to see them slowing Smith from his appointed rounds in Baltimore this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL SD 002200000 ***
Daniels' targets have dipped dramatically over the past month; no reason to think he'll suddenly regain fantasy import here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL SD 1144 ***
Tucker's a solid option with just a couple fantasy dogs this season; he's a decent fantasy option with definite upside as well.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL -----
2 BAL ----- 11 @WAS -----
3 @ARI ----- 12 CAR -----
4 NYG ----- 13 @DAL -----
5 @PIT ----- 14 @TB -----
6 DET ----- 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL ----- 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 10 200,1
RB LeSean McCoy 80,1 4-20
RB Darren Sproles 30 6-50,1
WR Jeremy Maclin 6-80
TE Brent Celek 4-40

Pregame Notes: Sure it was a win but it was Sylvester Stallone in drag kind of ugly. The Eagles squeaked past the Browns (a phrase I have never written) thanks to a touchdown pass to Clay Harbor with only 1:18 left to play. The sad part was that the Eagles literally produced three times the offensive yardage and yet beat them in turnovers 5 to 4. Michael Vick passed for 317 yards and two scores but was intercepted four times.

LeSean McCoy ran for 110 yards on 20 carries and gained 26 yards on six catches but lost a fumble. It was sloppy play for a team that seemed vastly more talented and yet drastically under prepared. Hard to do with only nine months to get ready.

Jeremy Maclin was the top receiver with seven receptions for 96 yards and one score but he was injured multiple times in the game only to return. He has been diagnosed with a right hip flexor which may impact this game. Updates as injury reports are released during the week but Maclin has a history of playing through dings. DeSean Jackson posted 77 yards on four catches and even Brent Celek ended with 65 yards on four receptions. The passing game worked well enough to get close and then not score. Or just stopped when Vick for threw another interception.

The Eagles were move the ball on a good defense but mistakes and turnovers almost ruined it.

Now facing the Ravens who throttled the Bengals will be an even bigger challenge. This game turns on mistakes and Vick needs a solid effort here to get past. After last week, that is hard to rely on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 9 16 7 5 26 11
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 3 14 21 6 13 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mark Sanchez, PHI @DAL 0000030022 ***
The Chip Kelly system has produced three straight 300-yard games for Sanchez, and while the Dallas D hasn't been as bad as anticipated they've given up 248 yards or better in five straight and three three-TD games in that span. Believe in the system, believe Sanchez can help your fantasy team this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @DAL 8011200000 ***
Two of the last three feature backs to face the Cowboys have carved out 100 combo yards, and Dallas has allowed five RB TDs in those three games. No reason to think McCoy can't follow up last week's big numbers with another solid fantasy showing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @DAL 1004400000 ***
Spirals should see double-digit touches, but he'll likely need to swipe another goal line look--and convert it--to be a fantasy factor. Against a Dallas defense that's allowed five RB TDs in the past three weeks, we're saying' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @DAL 007801000 ***
Matthews has bulled his way into WR2 status in Philly, sharing targets and productivity with Jeremy Maclin. The Cowboys have tended to allow only one WR to go off per week, so nudge the rookie back a bit--but not too far, as there's still upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @DAL 0061000000 ***
Maclin has scored in three of his last four meetings with the Cowboys, and after watching Dallas give up big games to Odell Beckham Jr., Cecil Shorts and DeSean Jackson over the past month you have to like the speedster's chances of extending that trend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brent Celek, PHI @DAL 005601000 **
It's worth noting that four of the past six TE TDs the Cowboys have allowed have gone to TE2 types--like Celek. So if you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for fantasy help, Philly's second TE target is an option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @DAL 004400000 ***
There's definite fantasy value here, as the Cowboys have allowed three TE TDs in the past four games. The concerns, however, are Ertz's health and the vulture capabilities of Brent Celek and James Casey.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @DAL 2233 ****
Dallas hasn't allowed a field goal in a month, but Parkey is such a consistent point producer--at least seven points in every game except one this year--that he remains a solid fantasy option despite the matchup.

WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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