Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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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
  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
WR Greg Little 3-30
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.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 8 27 1 17 17 15
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 10 30 9 12 23 5

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.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  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.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 29 13 32 31 24 32
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 30 29 16 26 28 29

QB Blake Bortles, JAC TEN 10000025011 ***
Bortles has but one multiple passing TD outing in his 11 NFL starts, none in his past five games. He threw for 336 and 1 in the earlier meeting with Tennessee; he's banged up and it's a short week, so that feels like the top end of his prospects here.
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC TEN 5012100000 ***
Gerhart will get first crack at taking advantage of one of the league's softest run defenses. If you're reaching for fantasy help, he's a guy that could pay off--probably not 100-yard help, though the Titans have already allowed seven backs to cross that threshold including five in the last seven games.
RB Storm Johnson, JAC TEN 300000000 ***
Toby Gerhart gets first crack at the carries, leaving Storm with table scraps. It's a favorable matchup, but the Jags need to get one back to fantasy relevancy before worrying about a second.
WR Cecil Shorts, JAC TEN 006800000 ***
Shorts has been the more frequently targeted Jaguar, though barely, over the past three games. Unfortunately, he has fewer catches and yardage in those games than either Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns and has failed to reach the end zone. He posted 10-103 on 16 targets in the first meeting with Tennessee, so if you're forced to start a Jaguar receiver he's your best bet.
WR Marqise Lee, JAC TEN 005700000 ***
Lee has come on of late, but this is still three wideouts equally splitting what amounts to a minuscule amount of passing game production so proceed with caution.
WR Allen Hurns, JAC TEN 004300000 ***
Despite Cecil Shorts getting more targets, Hurns has matched fellow rookie Marqise Lee in catches, yardage and scores over the past three games. Still, it's a one-third share of some pretty ordinary numbers from Blake Bortles, so you can likely do better fantasy-wise.
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC TEN 003501000 ***
Lewis isn't seeing consistent enough targets to warrant a fantasy start--even against a Tennessee defense that gave up 3-91-1 to Clay Harbor in the earlier meeting with Jacksonville.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC TEN 2222 ***
Scobee has come alive with three straight multiple field goal games, and no team gives up more kicker points than the Titans. Of course, the last time these two juggernauts got together Scobee managed two points so ease back on the throttle a bit.

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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