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 BAL 0000024011 ***
Dalton has but one game north of 20 fantasy points this season; the Ravens have allowed only Andrew Luck to hit that marker against them. As if it weren't a difficult enough matchup already, Dalton will likely have to make do without AJ Green once again as well. No reason to expect a significant fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN BAL 6014300000 **
Won't be easy for Gio against a Baltimore defense that has held four straight foes without an RB TD or let a running back rack up triple-digit combo yardage since Week 2. That said, Bernard racked up 110 yards from scrimmage in the season opener against the Ravens and has found the end zone in every home game thus far this year so don't bet against him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN BAL 200000000 **
There's been barely enough for one back against Baltimore; no need to reach for Cincy's second backfield option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN BAL 005801000 **
The Ravens have allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in five straight, so even if AJ Green does play Sanu should hold at least a portion of his fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Tate, CIN BAL 002300000 ***
Update: With AJ Green doubtful Tate should get some more run this week--not necessarily enough to be a fantasy factor, but at least he'll be in the mix.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN BAL 002300000 *
Doesn't sound as if Green is going to go again this week, but he's productive enough when hurt that it's worth holdout out hope until he's officially ruled out.
Update: Green failed to practice all week and is listed as doubtful. Best course of action is to continue with whatever backup plan you've been using in his absence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN BAL 006500000 ***
While it's nice and all that Gresham has seen 19 targets over the past two games, he's a non-start against a Baltimore defense that's allowed only one TE TD on the year and no games north of 60 yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN BAL 2222 ***
The Nuge was shut out last week, and a Ravens' defense that's allowing less than five kicker points per game doesn't look to provide much of a bounceback opportunity.

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 @DAL 0000020012 ***
McCoy's last fantasy-relevant start came... well, guess it depends on your definition of "fantasy-relevant". 151 and 2 back on November 27, 2011? 215 and 2 in October of that same season, or 350 and 1 the week before that? Suffice it to say it's been a while and the options are few. No reason to think McCoy offers much to fantasy owners this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @DAL 500000000 ****
Morris has faced the Cowboys four times, producing at least 80 yards and a touchdown in each matchup. Different offense, though with Colt McCoy at the helm you can expect the Redskins to lean heavily on their ground game. That worked well for Arian Foster against the Cowboys but not so much for any other back they've faced, so chill your expectations accordingly for Morris.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @DAL 005600000 **
Colt McCoy's presence under center likely flips the Redskins' receiving corps from long ball to possession game, which plays to Pierre's strengths. Of course, it may not even matter against a Dallas defense that's allowed just two WR TDs over the past month--both to Odell Beckham last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @DAL 004500000 **
Jackson is a deep threat without a deep ball quarterback, which makes him an extremely risky fantasy start in what is already a difficult matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @DAL 004400000 **
Roberts' lone advantage would come as a possession type if the Redskins use DeSean Jackson to stretch the field. Given the tough matchup and change at quarterback, you can find more compelling fantasy options elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @DAL 007801000 **
Reed should see plenty of love from short-armed quarterback Colt McCoy in what looks to be a favorable matchup against a Dallas D that's already allowed seven TE TDs and four different tight ends to top 75 yards against them. So long as Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen don't steal too many targets, Reed remains a safe and solid fantasy option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @DAL 3311 **
Forbath had double-digit points in both ends of last season's series, but this is an improved Dallas defense--and an offense with Colt McCoy at the helm.

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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