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 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 @PIT 0000027021 ***
The Steelers have given up 300-plus passing yards in three straight games and multiple touchdown tosses in eight of the last nine. That stretch includes Dalton's 302 and 2 (with a rushing TD to boot), though in two subsequent games Andy has a total of 263 and 2. The tiebreaker is Dalton's penchant for coming up small in big games, so while there's upside in the matchup you'll likely want to find fantasy help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @PIT 9001100000 ****
Hill averaged almost six yards a carry in limited work against the Steelers in the earlier matchup; since then he's racked up a pair of 140-yard games--still at a six-yards per carry pace. Hill is on a roll, and while Pittsburgh has been relatively solid against the run they've shown a weakness for bigger backs like Arian Foster, Mark Ingram... and, this week, Hill.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @PIT 2003200000 ***
Gio has become the complimentary guy, and in a tough matchup he's a far riskier fantasy play than the Bengals' current bell cow, Jeremy Hill.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN @PIT 005801000 *
Green gashed the Steelers for 11-224-1 just three weeks ago. He's banged up coming out of the win over Denver, but all indications are he'll play--and against a secondary that's allowed three 130-plus yard receivers in the past month, all indications are he'll perform well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN @PIT 004500000 ***
It was all AJ Green the last time Cincy faced Pittsburgh, and that's become typical of the Bengals passing game as Sanu hasn't scored since Week 12 or topped 50 yards since Week 9. He's never broken 40 yards against the Steelers; no reason to believe that changes here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN @PIT 005601000 ***
There's hope for Gresham this week against a Steelers defense that's allowed six TE TDs in the past eight games. Gresham has scored in two of the last three, including last week and the earlier matchup with Pittsburgh. At this juncture there's no WR2 to AJ Green, so Gresham could fill that opening.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN @PIT 2222 ***
The Nuge is coming off his best two-game stretch of the season; the Steelers have allowed six field goals in their last two. Almost makes you believe he's a safe bet to improve upon his three point performance in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh in Week 14. Almost.

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

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 Robert Griffin III, WAS DAL 0000026011 ***
RG3 threw four TDs in his first game against the Cowboys, back in November 2012; in 57 attempts he hasn't thrown one since, though he did run for one in the back end of the 2012 series. Colt McCoy couldn't crack the Cowboys for a scoring strike (though he did run one in) in the earlier meeting this season; sensing a theme here? RG3 came close to a rushing score in Week 15, but he'll need one to be a fantasy factor this week--and he hasn't had one since that 2012 Week 17 game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS DAL 701000000 ***
Alf has scored in all five of his career meetings with the Cowboys, including a TD in the earlier meeting which, at 18-73-1, was actually his least productive effort against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed seven RB TDs in the past five games, so Alf should have ample opportunity to extend his streak here--unless Darrel Young swipes his scores again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS DAL 0051101000 ****
Jackson dropped 136 yards on the Cowboys in the front end of this season series, but he hasn't caught a touchdown pass against them since December of 2010--and he's been in their division for years. Bank on the yardage--DJax just posted 126 on his former mates from Philadelphia last week--but don't count on a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS DAL 003500000 ***
The last time Roberts had fantasy value was right after the Redskins signed him to start opposite Pierre Garcon. Much has happened since then, none of it beneficial to Roberts' fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS DAL 004500000 ***
Garcon has shown moderate signs of life, but his biggest outing came when DeSean Jackson was out of the lineup so when the Redskins are at full strength he's clearly a second banana. Look for a first banana before settling this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS DAL 005500000 ***
Reed split 67 yards with Niles Paul in the earlier matchup with Dallas, but he's made the tight end position his own over the past month. That makes him the most likely to take advantage of a Dallas defense that's allowed 10 TE TDs on the year as well as six games of 50-plus yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS DAL 2222 ****
Forbath has actually been adequate of late, if you're into something in the eight-point neighborhood. That seems to be the ceiling, however, so you can likely do better elsewhere.

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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