FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

Prediction: CIN 17, WAS 31 (Line: WAS by 3.5)

Players to Watch: Andrew Hawkins

Players Updated: Pierre Garcon

The Bengals come off a close win over the visiting Browns (which alone says a lot) and the Skins finally get to their home opener with a 1-1 record after getting clipped by the Rams in a game that sort of was given away. With defensive losses by the Skins, this game could be close but you still have to like the home bound Redskins.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG -----
2 CLE 34-27 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 @ WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 280,2
WR A.J. Green 7-80
WR Greg Little 5-70
WR Brandon Tate 2-40
TE Jermaine Gresham 3-30,1
TE Alex Smith
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bengals held off the Browns last week but allowed Brandon Weeden to go from the worst career week one start to a decent showing. Not a good sign when about to go meet Robert Griffin III. Andy Dalton had a big effort of 318 yards and three scores against the Browns who were without Joe Haden but was far less effective in the only road game this year.

Fortunately for Dalton, the Skins lost LB Brian Orakpo and DE Adam Carriker last week which should help a little. Dalton makes A.J. Green the primary receiver each week but so far that has been only marginally effective with a high game of just five catches for 70 yards. Green scored once against the Browns last week and had seven catches but only gained 58 yards. He is getting minimal help from Brandon Tate who only had one catch in the road game in Baltimore. Armon Binns has been better with at least four catches but little yardage.

Andrew Hawkins is the small slot receiver who doesn't play a lot of downs but posted eight receptions for 86 yards in Baltimore as the lead receiver and then two catches for 56 yards and a score against the Browns. This offense seems to miss Jerome Simpson and that has made Green need to stick with shorter receptions and fewer yards after the catch.

Jermaine Gresham had high expectations this season but so far is stuck in sub-40 yard games. The passing offense revolves around Green but he is not getting enough help from the rest to free him up.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been at least a marginally good surprise with 91 rushing yards and a score in Baltimore and then 105 total yards versus the Browns. He's a positive in the offense but no where near big enough to matter much. Bernard Scott has been out with a hand injury and may return this week. If he does, he will cut into Green-Ellis' workload at least a little.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 20 24 3 29 15 16
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 30 13 28 30 17 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN JAC 0000026010 ***
You'd think Dalton would be an automatic start against the Jags, but they've actually been a decent defense of late--especially against the pass, but that's because opposing QBs are averaging just 33 passing attempts against the non-threatening Jags. Hue Jackson doesn't need an excuse to run more, so this is less about the matchup and more about Dalton simply handing off too much to be of fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN JAC 5014300000 ****
Curious that after allowing four RB rushing scores in the first two games the Jags have allowed only one RB rushing TD--and only two RB scores overall--in the subsequent six. Also, no rusher has topped 85 yards against them. Gio has been squelched in back-to-back games, but with no AJ Green and this being a home tilt--where he's scored in all four outings this year--it's an opportunity for Hue Jackson to get his meal ticket back on track.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN JAC 401000000 ****
Hill has scored in three of four at home, where he's averaging 10 carries a game. Surprisingly facing the Jags is not a favorable statistical matchup for opposing backs, but you know Hue Jackson is going to run the ball right down Jacksonville's gullet so there should be ample opportunity for Hill to be a fantasy helper as wel.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN JAC 004801000 *
Green returned to practice this week but you needn't rush to get him back in your lineup as Jacksonville is not the cream puff matchup you might expect; they've allowed just one WR TD in the past month. No reason to over-extend Green until he's needed, so there's a good chance he'll get some token snaps while the ground game and Mohamed Sanu do the heavy lifting. It's certainly worth revisiting on Friday, in case Green is lights out in practice.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN JAC 006800000 ***
Sanu is a solid wingman who sparkled when asked to fill AJ Green's shoes as the Bengals feature receiver. With Green back at practice Sanu returns to wingman duties, and a matchup with a surprisingly effective Jacksonville secondary suggests he's a fringe fantasy play at best this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Little, CIN JAC 003300000 ***
With AJ Green returning to action there's no need to dig any further down the Bengals' WR depth chart than WR2 Mohamed Sanu.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN JAC 004300000 ****
Over the past three games Gresham has 23 targets, 20 catches, and zero TDs. Jacksonville is a decent matchup for TEs so if you're in a bye week bind he's better than a sharp stick in the eye, but don't go overboard with your expectations.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN JAC 1133 ****
Everybody gets their kicks against the Jags, who have allowed multiple field goals in seven of eight and an average of 10 kicker points per game. Nugent should be no exception.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI -----
3 CIN ----- 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB ----- 13 NYG -----
5 ATL ----- 14 BAL -----
6 MIN ----- 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG ----- 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT ----- 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 60,1 250,2
RB Alfred Morris 90,1
WR Pierre Garcon
WR Leonard Hankerson 3-60,1
WR DeSean Jackson 4-90,1
WR Santana Moss 3-30
WR Andre Roberts 4-40
WR Aldrick Robinson 5-70,1

Pregame Notes: Tough loss last week in a game that should have not been that close, let alone a loss. That should help focus the team though for this first home game of the year and the Bengals show up at the wrong time. The defense lost LB Brian Orakpo and Fred Davis had a concussion last week as did CB Josh Wilson so the defensive effort may be less effective. But playing at home has always been good for the Skins and the Bengals are not good enough to exploit any temporary weaknesses.

Robert Griffin III only passed for 206 yards and one score in St. Louis but dusted off his other side when he ran 11 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns. He was effective in either role - like a slightly slower Michael Vick only with much better passing accuracy. He remains the sparkplug of this offense and should be even more motivated for his first performance in front of the hometown fans.

Alfred Morris has started two games which qualifies him for the retirement program. Morris gained 89 yards on only 16 runs but has never been thrown a pass and when Griffin scores - it comes directly out of Morris' stats. Evan Royster and Roy Helu both are getting two or three touches in games but so far, Shanahan has stuck with Morris.

Pierre Garcon was a scratch in St. Louis because of his foot but may be able to play this week. Until injury and practice news is known, I will leave Garcon on the bench and add him if warranted. He was a late week scratch which bodes well for this game.\

The receivers here outside of Garcon are unreliable at best. Leonard Hankerson had the long touchdown in St. Louis but has just two catches on the year. Aldrick Robinson took a golden opportunity with Garcon out and only came up with 40 yards on two catches. Josh Morgan is the one who threw the ball at the Rams player to draw the 15-yard penalty, thereby forcing Billy Cundiff to attempt a 62-yard field goal instead of a 47-yarder. The wide right kick may ensure that Morgan gets the bench this week. It was almost expected he would be released right there on the field. It is rare you can blame a loss on one person. This time, you can. Dress it up how you want, Morgan blew it big time. Way bigger than the Ryan Williams fumble that gave them a chance.

The Bengals defense has not played as well so far though in both cases they faced interdivisional teams and that tends to play out a bit different than the rest. Home opener with RG3 to show off? Has to be a Skins win.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 16 8 24 10 7
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 25 29 20 24 31 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Colt McCoy, WAS @MIN 0000026011 **
If RG3 can't make it out of practice this week and McCoy gets the nod he's not exactly a fantasy lock; the Vikings have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @MIN 8011100000 ****
RG3's return would be a boon for Morris, as his two best showings came with the threat of RG3 in the same backfield. Morris has 12 or more carries in every game; the seven backs to hit that mark against Minnesota average 70 yards a game and have accounted for four TDs as well. Give those numbers the RG3 boost and this is at minimum a solid opportunity for Alf.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @MIN 006901000 ***
The Vikings typically have trouble with speed receivers--like Sammy Watkins, who torched them for 9-122-2 a couple weeks back. That bodes well for DJax, as done the return of RG3 to the helm.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @MIN 005600000 ***
Garcon saw enough early-season volume with RG3 at the helm that his return bodes well for Pierre's stats in PPR formats; also doesn't hurt that the Vikings have allowed multiple WRs to score and/or top 60 yards in four of their last six games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @MIN 004300000 ***
If the season opener is any indication, Roberts runs a distant third in Washington's WR pecking order when RG3 is at the helm. No reason to reach for him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @MIN 004500000 ***
Mike Zimmer has tightened up a Vikings D that traditionally was torched by tight ends; this year they've allowed only two TE TDs and no tight end to top 56 yards against them. Those aren't fantasy-friendly numbers for Reed; add in the fact he's still sharing looks with Niles Paul and he's a fringe fantasy play at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @MIN 2122 ***
Won't be easy for Forbath to get his kicks against a Minnesota defense that either rolls over and gives up PATs (zero field goals, 13 XP attempts Weeks 3-5) or shuts the door altogether (just 47 points allowed total over the past three weeks). Plus, his fantasy prospects are a bone to be chewed when the gales of November come early.

WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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