Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*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
  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.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 20 24 3 29 15 16
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 30 13 28 30 17 2

QB Andy Dalton, CIN DEN 0000023021 ***
No guarantee that attempting to keep up with Peyton Manning translates into helpful fantasy stats; didn't work for Derek Carr, Shaun Hill, Alex Smith or Philip Rivers over the past six weeks. Dalton's been too unreliable a fantasy contributor of late to not be lumped in with that mediocre grouping, especially given his penchant for coming up small in big games.
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN DEN 5004200000 ***
Tre Mason is the only back to find fantasy success against the Broncos. Not that the Bengals won't try with Hill, but his big games have come against bottom-feeding run defenses (New Orleans, Cleveland, and Jacksonville all rank in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to RBs). Dial your expectations back accordingly.
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DEN 3003200000 ***
It's official: Gio's a complementary back. And with feature backs having enough trouble carving out fantasy value against the Broncos, no reason to reach for a secondary guy for fantasy help.
WR A.J. Green, CIN DEN 005601000 **
It's not impossible for Green to carve out fantasy value against the Broncos, especially given the volume of targets he's bound to see. But it won't be easy, so keep your expectations in check.
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN DEN 003300000 ***
Complementary targets have found the end zone against Denver while primary targets posted bigger yardage--as recently as Week 14, when Sammy Watkins did the heavy lifting with 127 yards while Chris Hogan found the end zone. However, multiple receivers have posted fantasy helpers on the Broncos only four times in 14 games, so Sanu's chances of warranting a spot in your lineup are slim.
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN DEN 004301000 ****
Update: Looks like Gresham will play this week, though he's been little if any fantasy help this season and doesn't look like he'll change that fact this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN DEN 1122 ***
Since serving up 16 points to Greg Zuerlein and the Rams in Week 11 the Broncos have allowed a total of 17 kicker points in four games. The Nuge broke a two-game field goal drought with three against the Browns last week, but the overriding trend here is opposing kickers falling short against Denver. Plan accordingly.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
  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.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 16 8 24 10 7
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 25 29 20 24 31 28

QB Robert Griffin III, WAS PHI 30000026021 ***
If there were any team Jay Gruden were forced to play RG3 against, the Eagles might be the best possible option. In four career meetings RG3 has thrown multiple TDs four times, a total of 10 touchdowns against four INTs, averaging 272 yards per game with another 40 rushing yards per game to boot. You'd take those numbers from RG3, right? He wasn't that far off last week against the Giants with 236 & 1 plus 46 rushing, and with Philly as the second-most fantasy friendly defense against quarterbacks an uptick is to be expected. RG3 is playing for somebody's job, be it in DC or elsewhere, and the Eagles are a perfect foil for him to make some noise.
RB Alfred Morris, WAS PHI 8001100000 ***
The Redskins have gotten away from running Morris 20 times a game, perhaps because they've dropped the last three games by an average of 18 points per game. He carried 23 times for 77 yards in the earlier meeting with Philly and you have to think the game plan calls for heavy doses of Alf. As an added bonus, any read options carry the threat of an RG3 run, which in the past has opened lanes for Morris. Think of those previous game numbers as a baseline, with room to move upwards.
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS PHI 005901000 **
You think DJax is motivated? Now even his own coach is talking smack about him. He put up 117 and a touch on the Eagles in the earlier meeting, and with RG3 throwing deep he should get a few extra chances to put the torch to his former squad. Revenge is a dish best served in the fantasy bowl.
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS PHI 005701000 **
Garcon seems to be more of a Colt McCoy favorite than an RG3 favorite, though after seeing what Garcon did to the Eagles back in Week 3 (11-138-1) maybe he'll reconsider. It's a risk, as Garcon has been a bit player most of the season, but there's some upside if RG3 is willing to reacquaint himself with Pierre.
TE Jordan Reed, WAS PHI 005500000 ***
Philly has allowed only one TE TD on the year, but two tight ends have topped 100 yards and another two--including Niles Paul back in Week 3, before Reed was back from injury--topped 65 yards. He'd be more of a yardage play than a TD play, but there's some upside to Reed this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS PHI 2111 ***
Blame RG3: With other quarterbacks Forbath is averaging better than seven points per game; in games in which RG3 took the bulk of the snaps, he's averaging 4.6. He tallied 10 for the Kirk Cousins-led Redskins against Philly earlier this year, but don't get your hopes up for the rematch.

*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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