Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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* 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: CLE 13, CIN 23 (Line: CIN by 8)

Players to watch: Mohamed Massaquoi, Andrew Hawkins

Players Updated: Benjamin Watson

Realistically the Browns are in a rebuilding year every season but one seems to have started even further back. The Bengals have won six of the last seven meetings and the three most recent. While the Bengals have their own problems, they have more pieces on the offense than the Browns do.

The Bengals swept the Browns last year, winning 27-17 in Cleveland and later 23-20 in Cincinnati.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN ----- 11 @DAL -----
3 BUF ----- 12 PIT -----
4 @BAL ----- 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG ----- 14 KC -----
6 CIN ----- 15 WAS -----
7 @IND ----- 16 @DEN -----
8 SD ----- 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Ben Tate 20
WR Miles Austin 3-50
WR Andrew Hawkins 3-40
PK Billy Cundiff 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Browns almost pulled off the win over the Eagles who seemingly were hell bent on giving away the game. The Browns defense did play an opportunistic game though still gave up 467 yards to the opponent. The changes made to the offense - gonna take some time.

Trent Richardson debuted with only 39 yards on 19 carries and added just one catch. He was regularly bottled up by the Eagles but accounted for every running back carry. That will play out better next week hosting the Bills. It is a tough schedule though and the Browns really have no really soft games.

Brandon Weeden's first game as an NFL starter ended with only 12 of 35 completions for 118 yards and four interceptions. His 5.1 QB rating represented the worst by any rookie starting in week one for the last 50 years. That's historically bad. His rough start is to be expected in some measure though that bad sort of takes your breath away.

The minimal passing success meant all receivers were without any fantasy value. Greg Little had no catches while square dancing with Nnamdi Asomugha. Josh Gordon managed two receptions for 32 yards while Mohammed Massaquoi was the big winner with a team high three catches for 41 yards. All in all - bereft of significance.

Heading to face the Bengals won't be much better since they need someone to beat up on after their humbling on Monday night. Even if the Browns were to win this - and they won't - it is still unlikely anyone will have fantasy value. Richardson will improve as the offense around him does but he alone remains the only fantasy play and even then only if there is a soft matchup which almost never happens on their schedule. If a touchdown happens by the offense, it almost has to go to Richardson.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 32 29 29 30 13 2
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 27 29 14 30 29 30

QB Brian Hoyer, CLE @JAC 0000028020 ***
It's not the blank fantasy slate you might think, as the Jaguars have given up only one passing score the past two games combined and Hoyer has just one multiple-TD effort on the year. Plus, if the Browns run the ball 35-plus times like they have the past two weeks Hoyer simply won't have the opportunity to put up gaudy fantasy stats.
RB Ben Tate, CLE @JAC 8011100000 ****
The Jags haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all year and have given up just one RB TD in the past four games. However, no opponent in that span has committed to the run like Cleveland does--35-plus rushing attempts each of the past two games. The last two teams to rush more than 30 times against Jacksonville produced 145 & 1 and 151 & 3; with Tate claiming the biggest chunk of Cleveland's backfield productivity he's in line for a very nice outing this week.
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @JAC 300000000 ***
Crowell was more effective than Ben Tate in fewer touches last week. And while we're not anticipating a change of the guard--even though it may be warranted--there should be enough rushing production against Jacksonville this week for Crowell to at least warrant fringe fantasy consideration.
WR Travis Benjamin, CLE @JAC 003501000 **
Sans Josh Gordon there's no real WR1 in Cleveland. Andrew Hawkins may be the volume guy but Benjamin is the most frequent visitor to the end zone. That may be a tough task to accomplish this week, as only four wideouts have scored on the Jags this year. More likely this is a run-heavy game plan for Cleveland with limited opportunities for the passing game to put up fantasy numbers; plan accordingly.
WR Miles Austin, CLE @JAC 003400000 ***
A secondary target with a somewhat favorable matchup in a game plan likely to be heavy on the rushing; you can find a better fantasy option elsewhere.
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @JAC 004400000 ***
A dozen wideouts have topped 50 yards against Jacksonville, so the Browns' volume guy isn't a bad PPR play this week. However, only four WRs have reached the end zone against the Jags, so Hawkins' fantasy upside is limited.
TE Jordan Cameron, CLE @JAC 005601000 ****
Cameron looked plenty healthy on his long TD grab last week, and his fantasy stat line should get healthy as well with this matchup against a Jacksonville defense that's allowed five TE TDs already this season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Billy Cundiff, CLE @JAC 2233 ***
Only once all year have the Jags not allowed an opposing kicker to tally ten or more points. It's a threshold Cundiff has yet to cross; bet on that to change this week.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 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
CIN vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 230,2
WR A.J. Green 6-100,1
WR Greg Little 2-30
TE Jermaine Gresham 6-60,1
PK Mike Nugent 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Nothing like the feeling that you need to regroup and rethink things after only one game. The Bengals hung with the Ravens through two quarters and trailed only by 17-10 at the half before the wheels came off. Andy Dalton only threw for 221 yards and no scores and completed just 22 of 37 but he was often pressured and sacked four times. It was still a credible game but he was unable to mount a comeback once the beat was on.

The good news? Nothing wrong with getting 91 rushing yards from Benjarvus Green-Ellis who scored once on his 18 carries. He ran with authority and should be a definite factor when facing lesser teams such as this week. He goes against the same team that gave up over 100 rushing yards and a score each time they faced Cedric Benson last season.

A.J. Green (5-70) is missing Jerome Simpson who would stretch the defense last year and Arman Binns (4-28) does not look much like a replacement so far. But - the new slot receiver Andrew Hawkins looks like a breakout candidate in his second season with a team leading eight receptions for 86 yards last Monday. That came from nine targets while Green only snagged five of his 11 throws. Hawkins gets the benefit of not being Green who the secondary constantly chases. It is just one game but so far - Hawkins is one to watch. Stash him if you have the room, it will be apparent soon enough what his outlook will be this season.

Jermaine Gresham was another tight end who had high expectations from some fantasy leaguers but his eight passes only resulted in three catches for 30 yards. If Hawkins can become a good sized cog in the machine, that will limit what Gresham can do.

The beauty of this game is that cornerback extraordinaire Pat Haden has been suspended for four games because of violating the drug policy. That means A.J. Green all over the field.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 30 19 12 27 19 25
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 24 16 26 28 6 24

QB Andy Dalton, CIN @IND 0000024011 ***
If this goes according to plan Dalton won't throw enough to put up big fantasy numbers; the Bengals would like to keep him under 30 attempts for the game. However, this could very well turn into a shootout with Andrew Luck, in which case Dalton tops 30 attempts--and, subsequently, 300 yards. He's a solid play with upside, so he's definitely a viable fantasy option.
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @IND 7014300000 ***
Lots to like about Gio every week, but specifically this week: every back with double-digit carries against the Colts has reached the end zone, plus no team has given up more receiving scores to RBs than Indy. Regardless of which team imposes its will this week--a run-heavy Hue Jackson game plan or a Luck/Dalton shootout--Gio will get you fantasy value.
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @IND 3004200000 ***
Hill isn't necessarily the full-time goal line back in Cincy, but he'll see enough touches that he's a decent bet to register fantasy value against an Indy defense that's allowed RB TDs in five of six games. Plus, who wouldn't want to see another Icky Shuffle?
WR Brandon Tate, CIN @IND 004401000 **
Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher are handling wingman roles with Cincy's receiver rotation jumbled by injuries. There's fantasy value if this turns into a Luck/Dalton shootout; otherwise Tate is a secondary option on what the Bengals hopes is a run-heavy team this week.
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN @IND 005700000 ****
Sanu has capably slid into the WR1 slot in Cincy, and with AJ Green and Marvin Jones still on hiatus he'll be Andy Dalton's primary weapon should this turn into a shootout with Andrew Luck. Even if the Bengals control the ball Sanu will get his opportunities, making him the best fantasy play among Cincy receivers.
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN @IND 004500000 **
Last week's 6-68 was Gresham's most prolific pass-catching outing since the middle of the 2012 season. The Colts have allowed four tight ends to top 70 yards against them this year, so given that volume Gresham is a sneaky helpful fantasy play this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN @IND 2222 ****
On the heels of a missed game-winning chip shot, Nugent goes on the road to face a Colts team that's allowing roughly five points per game to opposing kickers over the past month. You can probably do better fantasy-wise.

* 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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