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 LaFell 5-60,1
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 @CLE 10000025020 ***
Not having A.J. Green makes Dalton a tough sell any week, but the Browns offer some hope for a decent day. Only three teams have given up TDs at a more frequent clip.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @CLE 10012200000 ***
Cleveland offers the seventh best matchup to exploit, with most of the damage coming via total touchdowns per touch and offensive yards per contest. The position has averaged 121.8 rushing yards since Week 8.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rex Burkhead, CIN @CLE 5002200000 **
Burkhead isn't an ideal pass receiver out of the backfield, but the Browns have been pushed around enough by the position that he could have low-end appeal in deep leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN @CLE 004601000 ***
Cleveland is the fourth worst team at preventing wideouts from scoring with ease over the last five weeks. LaFell is the de factor WR1 in Cincy without A.J. Green, so he'll likely draw the mixed bag that is cornerback Joe Haden.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN @CLE 006700000 ***
The Browns have allowed only 11.8 catches (22nd) for 143 yards (22nd) per game since Week 8, but giving up a touchdown every 7.8 grabs rates them as the fourth most generous defense in this category.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Eifert, CIN @CLE 006901000 ***
Eifert draws the 11th best PPR matchup for tight ends in Week 14. The Browns have allowed tight ends to score once every 7.3 catches in the last five weeks.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN @CLE 1133 ***
Extra points have been the fastest way to points against the Browns, but that doesn't necessarily amount to a high-scoring fantasy day. Cleveland has given up only five field goals in the last four games since scoring TDs usually is met with little resistance.

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Pierre Garcon
WR DeSean Jackson 4-90,1
TE Vernon Davis 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 Kirk Cousins, WAS @PHI 0000025020 ***
Traveling to a divisional opponent is never ideal, especially in December. The Eagles have allowed the 11th most fantasy points per game in the last five weeks, coming from surrendering two passing TDs per game and 288.2 yards through the air.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Robert Kelley, WAS @PHI 8012100000 ***
Kelley may be utilized more this week, although it will come against a challenging opponent. The Eagles have given up only 72.2 rushing yards per contest and a TD every 36.2 carries in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Thompson, WAS @PHI 2004300000 ***
Philly has given up the ninth highest average of catches per game (5.4), but that is about it for this bottom-10 matchup. Thompson has just a touch of appeal in super-deep PPRs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS @PHI 005501000 ***
The 11th best receiver over the last five weeks, Crowder has scored three times in his past four outings. The Eagles have given up the third most points to wideouts in PPR, including allowing a touchdown ever 8.5 catches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @PHI 003401000 ***
Philadelphia has surrendered the third most yards and fantasy points per contest since Week 8. Garcon should be in for a sound PPR game against the 10th weakest defense at stopping receivers from catching the ball.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @PHI 003400000 ***
On paper, this is an ideal matchup for Jackson against his former employer. Philly has allowed the third most yards per game and rate as the fifth softest group against scoring touchdowns. That said, Jackson is a limited player who easily can be removed from a gameplan. Take the chance only in non-PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @PHI 004500000 *
Reed's status for Week 14 remains unknown. Return for an update later this week.

Update: Reed is questionable but practiced in full on Friday and will start, barring a setback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, WAS @PHI 003300000 ***
Davis will replace Reed in the lineup if the oft-injured talent cannot go once again. Philadelphia has surrendered two touchdowns on the last 15 receptions granted to tight ends, so there's hope for a decent game. Otherwise, it's a stoutly negative matchup for yards and catches.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS @PHI 2233 ***
Philadelphia has granted the fourth highest per-game field goal attempt figure and the ninth most extra points per game since Week 8. This among the best overall matchups a kicker can find in Week 14.

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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