FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: CIN 27, JAC 17 (Line:CIN by 1)

Players to Watch: Andrew Hawkins

Player Updated: Laurent Robinson

The 2-1 Bengals are on a roll with 34+ points in these last two weeks and travel to face the 1-2 Jaguars who come off their first win thanks to the Colts. Problem this week is that the Bengals can post points and the Jaguars have to rely on Maurice Jones-Drew to just about do everything for the offense.

The Bengals won 30-20 at Jacksonville last year.

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 38-31 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 @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 280,2
WR A.J. Green 6-100,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 5-50
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bengals hit a softer spot in their schedule with upcoming games against the Jaguars, Dolphins and Browns. Andy Dalton had a predictably started the year with a bad game in Baltimore but now has two straight 310+ yard, three touchdown efforts. He still throws one interception each week but never more. The season started with only A.J. Green as a known weapon but Dalton is creating new and effective other receivers.

Andrew Hawkins is becoming a deadly slot receiver who is incredible in open field. The diminutive wideout has scored in each of the last two games and while he only had two catches in each game, he averaged about 30 yards per catch. Hawkins is a very nice find already on the roster who is making a difference. Armon Binns has been improved these last two weeks as well. The common bond here is Dalton who is stepping up in his second season and already improved from his rookie season that ended up in the playoffs.

Jermaine Gresham scored last week and has been solid enough around 40 yards per week but is not becoming an elite tight end thanks to Dalton using the previously unknown wide receivers so well. Granted - just two games against the Browns and Redskins but the offense has looked as good as could be hoped. And that should continue here for the next three games at the least.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has two scores on the season but the yardage has been decreasing weekly and he was held to just 38 yards on 17 carries last week. That should change this week against a Jaguars defense weak against the run. This is a good test for Dalton since the Jaguars rank well against quarterbacks but Dalton is playing at a high level and just last week the Colts posted 313 pass yards on them with two touchdowns.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 8 27 1 17 17 15
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 10 30 9 12 23 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN TEN 0000025010 ***
Not to slap a "caretaker" or "game manager" label on Dalton, but he's produced two wins while throwing a total of two TDs and ranking 22nd among QBs in pass attempts. The Titans haven't allowed much in the way of passing success themselves, so keep a lid on fantasy expectations here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN TEN 8015600000 ***
A week after allowing 173 combo yards (167 rushing) to DeMarco Murray the Titans face Bernard, who has games of 110 and 169 yards from scrimmage this season. About the only concern is that Jeremy Hill swipes a touchdown, but that would be quibbling.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN TEN 6011100000 ***
Being the junior partner in a backfield committee isn't all bad--especially when you still get 15 carries of your own, and you face a defense that just served up 220 rushing yards the week before. Getting goal line looks doesn't hurt, either.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN TEN 005801000 ****
Early word is Green is expected to play on his bum toe this week; if he's well enough to play, he's well enough to be in your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN TEN 004500000 ***
Sanu did a serviceable impression of AJ Green last week when Cincy's WR1 went down with a toe injury. And seeing as the Titans seem comfortable allowing stats to whomever is handling a team's WR1 duties at the time (Dez Bryant, obviously, last week but Donnie Avery 7-84 in Dwayne Bowe's absence Week 1), if Green can't go Sanu should again prove worthy of fantasy attention.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Tate, CIN TEN 003400000 ***
The Titans haven't surrendered much of anything to secondary targets thus far this season, nor have the Bengals thrown to them. Plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN TEN 003300000 ***
Despite the absence of the injured Tyler Eifert Gresham remains more of a blocker than a fantasy threat. No reason to reach here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN TEN 2233 ***
The Bengals have given Nugent ample opportunity this season; no kicker has more field goal attempts. He'll need to connect at a better than 25% rate--his percentage last week--to turn those opportunities into fantasy help.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND -----
2 HOU 7-27 11 @HOU -----
3 @IND 22-17 12 TEN -----
4 CIN ----- 13 @BUF -----
5 CHI ----- 14 NYJ -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA -----
7 @OAK ----- 16 NE -----
8 @GB ----- 17 @TEN -----
9 DET ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Toby Gerhart 20
WR Cecil Shorts 2-30
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-40
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars mounted a nice comeback to take down the Colts last week but this team still looks far too similar to 2011 when Maurice Jones-Drew had to provide all the offensive punch and Blaine Gabbert ended as the worst ranked starting quarterback. The win in Indy happened thanks in no small part to Jones-Drew running for 177 yards and one score on 27 carries. He was held to fewer than 20 carries in the two previous losses and that alone is the key here. Either stop Jones-Drew and you stop the Jaguars or you force the Jaguars to throw and limit the damage that the run game can do. There is really no reason not to load up the defense against one running back when facing the Jaguars.

Gabbert passes for a respectable - if not shocking - 260 yards and two scores in Minnesota. But these last two weeks were vintage Gabbert - one score and only 208 pass yards from both weeks combined. Gabbert has only completed 40 of 79 passes. Last week would have been another 80 yard debacle were it not for the 80-yard fluke touchdown by Cecil Shorts.

Second year and the passing game is still in shambles. It is not the receivers fault. Laurent Robinson had no catches last week and only eight on the season. Justin Blackmon has gone from being the best college wideout in the NFL draft to producing just one catch for seven yards over the last two weeks. The entire passing game here is absent any fantasy value for the second season in a row. They changed the receivers out for proven players. No different results mean they need to change the quarterback.

The good news is that the Bengals defense has been weak against the run so Jones-Drew gets the green flag this week. And even Gabbert may look nearly adequate against a defense that has been giving up a could scores to every opposing quarterback. In the end, that won't be enough again.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 29 13 32 31 24 32
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 30 29 16 26 28 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Chad Henne, JAC IND 0000024021 ***
It's easy to say the Colts have been carved up via the air thus far, but in fairness to them they've faced Peyton Manning and Nick Foles. Still, Henne dropped 331 and 1 on them last December, posted a solid 266 and 2 in Philly, and would have fared better statistically against the Redskins had he not spent the afternoon running for his life. Should be a solid outing here, the kind you wouldn't be embarrassed to plug into a lineup that just lost, say, RG3.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC IND 5002100000 ***
At two yards a carry it's going to take some work for Gerhart to carve out fantasy value, even against a Jags D still reeling from the one-two punch of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. But hey, who else they got?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC IND 003501000 ***
Since sneaking up on Philly in the first half of Week 1, Hurns has exactly two catches for 13 yards. Not quite time to discard him into the one-hit wonder bin, but if you're plugging him into your fantasy lineup you must enjoy playing the lottery.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cecil Shorts, JAC IND 006700000 ***
Shorts practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, which is a positive step for him. Should he play he's the best (only?) playmaker on the Jaguars' offense and warrants a fantasy start against a defense he's taken for 246 yards and two TDs in three career meetings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marqise Lee, JAC IND 00000000 *
With Cecil Shorts sidelined we've been waiting for Lee to emerge as the go-to receiver Blake Bortles will trust... you know, once the Jaguars hand the keys to Bortles. Through two games, we're still waiting. Not that he can't do some damage against the Colts, but he has yet to demonstrate he's worthy of the trust required to crack a fantasy lineup.
Update: Lee has already been ruled out of Sunday's game, so no need to sweat his availability.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clay Harbor, JAC IND 003301000 *
Hey, Harbor gets the start against an Indy defense that clearly can't cover tight ends! I mean, they've allowed 12-198-3 to... oh, wait, Julius Thomas and Zach Ertz. Never mind; as you were.
Update: Harbor was limited in practice Thursday and Friday, adding a level of risk that dramatically overshadows his potential reward.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC IND 1122 ***
One more PAT and Scobee will join 27 of his NFL kicking mates in double figures. For the season. Yeah, it's that bad.

WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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