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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
WR Brandon LaFell 5-60

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 DET 0000021011 **
Detroit has averaged a pick per game and has allowed a touchdown pass every 14.9 completions (20th). This is the No. 7 matchup to exploit for yardage (265.8). All told, the struggling Dalton has fantasy's fifth-best matchup of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joe Mixon, CIN DET 6011100000 *
Mixon should be ready this week after fully going in Wednesday's session, which is usually a telltale sign of an imminent return. Detroit is among the four-best matchups of the week in both scoring formats. Running backs have scored once every 20 carries, which is No. 6, and this is a great matchup for versatile RBs.

Update: Mixon practiced in full all week and will play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DET 2003300000 ***
Bernard should take a backseat as Joe Mixon is poised to return after fully practicing Wednesday. The projections will be updated accordingly later in the week. The Lions present the fourth-best PPR matchup and second-easiest in standard.

Update: Mixon practiced in full all week and will play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN DET 005701000 ***
Detroit has been content to give up top-12 weekly figures in receptions (13) and yardage (167), but this defense has clamped down against permitting scores. None of the 65 opportunities over the last five months scored. Only Baltimore has been stronger. Look for Green to draw Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN DET 003400000 ***
The veteran possession man in this offense has two TDs in his last six games. Sanu has been targeted at least five times in each of those contests, and Detroit offers a promising matchup for his style of play. The Lions have permitted receivers to average 13 receptions (11th) for 167 yards (7th) a game. Zero of those 65 snares found the end zone, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN DET 003400000 ***
Detroit has been among the best tight end matchups to exploit for much of the season. In the past five games, TEs have scored once, on average, and this is a top-12 matchup for receptions and yards per game. It was Week 12 the last time he scored, and Kroft has taken advantage of good matchups, so there is hope he outplays his projection.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN DET 2222 ***
Kickers have found great success with extra points against the Lions, but Cincinnati has struggled putting the ball into the end zone. This is only the 22nd-best matchup for three-point opportunities.

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
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-40

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 Blake Bortles, JAC @SF 20000028020 ***
In his last five games, Bortles has an 8-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio (plus 2 rushing TDs). He has averaged 22.8 fantasy points and ranks as the seventh quarterback of this span. San Fran brings the sixth-worst matchup for yardage per game but the third-softest rating for allowing touchdowns. The 49ers have a lone pick in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Leonard Fournette, JAC @SF 8003300000 **
Fournette is expected back for what is a brutal matchup on paper. The perception may be this defense is a cupcake, but the 49ers are the toughest statistical matchup of the week. No other team has denied a running back touchdown of any kind since Week 8, and the position is averaging only 62 rushing yards (32nd). Through the air, this is also the eighth-worst for receptions and No. 30 in terms of yardage granted. All of that said, the opponents were TEN, HOU, CHI, SEA, NYG, ARI and PHI since the last time a running back gashed them (Ezekiel Elliott in Week 7).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC @SF 1003200000 ***
The matchup is not promising by any stretch, and Leonard Fournette returns this week. Yeldon isn't a pragmatic option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dede Westbrook, JAC @SF 005901000 ***
Marqise Lee (ankle) has a chance to return this week. The Jaguars may not rush him back with the way Keelan Cole and Jaydon Mickens played the last time out. San Francisco has permitted receivers a touchdown per game since Week 10, though this is the 23rd-best matchup for receptions and only 20th for yardage.

Update: Lee has been ruled out, but Allen Hurns (ankle) has a chance at returning.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keelan Cole, JAC @SF 005700000 ***
Cole has scored in three straight games and stepped up in a huge way with Marqise Lee on the shelf last week. The 49ers present a quality matchup for scoring efficiency (10th) but little else. This is the 23rd-best receptions matchup and No. 20 for yardage.

Update: Lee has been ruled out, but Allen Hurns (ankle) has a chance at returning.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Allen Hurns, JAC @SF 003400000 ***
Update: Hurns was limited in all three sessions this week and is questionable. Consider him closer to doubtful.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC @SF 003301000 ***
Even though the 49ers have limited tight ends to 3.8 receptions (23rd) for 34.8 yards (27th) per game, this is the fourth-best matchup for finding a touchdown -- the only way Lewis has fantasy value.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, JAC @SF 3322 ***
Since Week 10, kickers have missed three of the 16 total kicks afforded by the 49ers. Two of the misses came on the seven field goal attempts, and this is the seventh-worst matchup of Week 16.

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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