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: 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
Grass
  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
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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 32 29 29 30 13 2
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 27 29 14 30 29 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Brian Hoyer, CLE @BUF 0000023012 ***
How much did Josh Gordon's return help Hoyer's fantasy stats? Well, he threw for more than 300 yards but failed to connect on a touchdown--and two of his three INTs were a direct result of Gordon giving up on the play. It's a far more difficult matchup with a Buffalo defense that's allowed just two multiple TD games in the past two months, so don't reach for Hoyer here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @BUF 6011100000 ***
It's a difficult but not impossible matchup, with Crowell as the more productive and more likely fantasy helper in Cleveland's backfield tandem.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, CLE @BUF 4001100000 ***
West continues to split the Browns' backfield duties with fellow rookie Isaiah Crowell, but Crowell has been more productive of late and given the difficult matchup West is a risky fantasy play at best this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, CLE @BUF 006801000 ***
Given Gordon's high volume of touches he could certainly be the second wideout to top 100 yards against the Bills this year. But it's tough to bank on Brian Hoyer for a touchdown--or Buffalo's secondary to give one up.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @BUF 004500000 ***
Hawkins could still carve out a role as a possession guy in this offense, but with Josh Gordon seeing such a large share of the targets it's tough for anyone else to bring much to the fantasy table.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Miles Austin, CLE @BUF 003300000 ***
Austin is firmly pushed into afterthought status with the return of Josh Gordon--and there simply isn't enough productivity in Cleveland's passing game to make anyone else fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, CLE @BUF 002200000 ***
With Josh Gordon gobbling up such a disproportionate share of the targets there's just no room for any other Browns receiver to generate much in the way of fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Billy Cundiff, CLE @BUF 2222 ***
Cundiff's wild inconsistency--15 points the past two weeks, 14 of them last week alone--makes it tough to trust him against a Bills defense that's giving up around five points per game to the kicker position over the past month.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 30 19 12 27 19 25
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 24 16 26 28 6 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN @TB 0000023010 ***
Between the Bengals' penchant for running the football and a Bucs D that surprisingly has held three straight and four of five to single passing scores, this is a less than favorable matchup for Dalton.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @TB 5012200000 ****
An opportunity for both Bengals backs to be fantasy relevant, as they're splitting touches while Gio works his way back into shape. With speed and pass-catching ability he can emulate the likes of Matt Forte (112 combo, 2 TDs), Justin Forsett (111 rushing yards) and Pierre Thomas (112 combo, 2 TDs) with his share of the Cincy workload.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @TB 6011100000 ***
Grinders have gouged the Bucs, from Alfred Morris (96) to Steven Jackson (81 & 1, 54 & 1) to Khiry Robinson (89 & 1) to Zac Stacy (71 & 1). So Hill's share of the Cincy workload should translate to decent yardage and at least a score--more than enough to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN @TB 0061001000 ***
Heavily targeted and back to pre-injury production levels, Green's an every-week start regardless of foe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN @TB 005600000 ***
Not saying the Bengals can't produce multiple fantasy relevant receivers, but they're definitely going to be run-heavy and Sanu takes a back seat to AJ Green so he's a fringe option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN @TB 003300000 ***
Gresham had his one shining fantasy moment; it's unlikely to come around again, certainly not against a Bucs D that hasn't allowed a TE TD in the past two months.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN @TB 1133 ****
The Bucs have given up an average of better than 10 points per game to visiting kickers, making this a solid opportunity for Nugent.

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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