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: CLE 13, BAL 27 (Line: BAL by 13)

Player to Watch: Jordan Cameron

The 0-3 Browns are hitting an even tougher spot in their schedule with road games to Baltimore and New York while the 2-1 Ravens come off their big win over the Patriots. Ravens swept the Browns in 2001, winning 24-10 at Cleveland and 20-14 at home. Hard to imagine that the Ravens could be so emotionally spent from beating the Pats that they could not rise up and take this win. The Browns have not won this matchup in the last eight meetings.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL -----
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT -----
4 @BAL ----- 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG ----- 14 KC -----
6 CIN ----- 15 WAS -----
7 @IND ----- 16 @DEN -----
8 SD ----- 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Dwayne Bowe 5-70,1
WR Josh Gordon 3-40
WR Brian Hartline 5-40
WR Andrew Hawkins 2-50,1

Pregame Notes: Sure, the Browns are winless yet again but there are hints of some progress being made at least on offense. Pat Haden remains out for three more games so the defense is not at full strength. But the rookie Brandon Weeden has thrown a score or two in each of his last two games and passes for 322 yards in Cincinnati and then 237 yards against the visiting Bills. Recalling last year, those are huge numbers. Weeden is trying to make so with a less than stellar set of receivers.

That is even more evident when HC Pat Shurmur comes out and says he is considering sending Greg Little to the bench for dropping passes. Little is clearly the best receiver on the team, dropping passes aside. Josh Gordon is providing nearly nothing to the offense and belongs on the league waiver wire. But at least Jordan Cameron had 45 yards on five catches last week and the second-year tight end may be developing something with Weeden.

Mohamed Massaquoi has been the best receiver through the first two games but suffered a hamstring injury and may not play. Travis Benjamin caught a score last week but only has three catches on the season. The problem in Cleveland is no longer the quarterback, it remains with the receivers.

Trent Richardson scored a touchdown in each of the last two games though he only gained 27 yards on 12 runs against the Bills. But he added six catches for 24 yards to preserve his fantasy value. Richardson is not the problem either, he just too rarely reaches the line of scrimmage without finding multiple defenders in his way.

Playing in Baltimore is about as bad as it is going to get for the Browns though Richardson remains a moderate start thanks to his scoring and receiving ability.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 28 10 26 22 21 8
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 18 16 29 20 17 7

QB Josh McCown, CLE @BAL 0000030021 ***
Evidently while McCown was concussed someone told him he was Johnny Unitas; since returning to the lineup he's thrown for 697 yards and four TDs in two games. Baltimore's secondary has been alternately suspect (351 & 3 to Derek Carr, 383 & 3 to Andy Dalton) and stout (175 & 0 to Peyton Manning, 124 & 1 to Mike Vick). Unlikely the Browns will be able to run on the Ravens so McCown should have the volume of attempts necessary to churn out a third straight fantasy helper.
RB Duke Johnson, CLE @BAL 2007500000 **
Duke's damage will come via the air, but the Ravens haven't allowed a RB receiving score since Week 10 of last year and haven't allowed a back to top 50 receiving yards since Week 1 of 2014. So he's got an uphill fight ahead of him.
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @BAL 3002100000 ***
Crowell scored in the front end of this series last year, averaging five yards a pop on 11 carries. Even stranger: Terrance West scored in both ends of the series. File both under "UFO Sightings", as it's unlikely Crowell finds similar success here. He's losing touches to Duke Johnson, facing a defense that gave up just 70 rushing yards to the Bengals' dynamic RB duo in its only home tilt thus far, and has yet to hit 75 rushing yards in any game this year.
WR Travis Benjamin, CLE @BAL 0061001000 ****
Benjamin continues to get the targets, but against a talented Baltimore secondary that underachieved through the first three games before getting a wakeup call last Thursday targets may not be enough. Iif Antonio Brown can't shake free for 50 yards against the Ravens can you really trust Benjamin to give you a fantasy helper here?
WR Taylor Gabriel, CLE @BAL 004401000 **
Secondary receivers have scored in three straight against the Ravens--but will it be Gabriel? Or Andrew Hawkins? Brian Hartline? The Browns have options... just not particularly palatable ones.
WR Brian Hartline, CLE @BAL 00000000 *
Hartline left last week's game with a rib injury and is iffy for this week. We'll check back on his status later in the week.
TE Gary Barnidge, CLE @BAL 005300000 ***
It'll be a battle of wills: Barnidge, who's been targeted 16 times (producing 12-180-2) in two games since Josh McCown returned to the lineup, facing a Baltimore defense that's allowed a total of 31 yards to the position through four games. Err on the side of caution--and this week, err on the side of the Ravens at home, where an opposing tight end hasn't seen the end zone since November 2012.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Travis Coons, CLE @BAL 3322 ***
Coon's point totals have climbed each week, but now he travels to Baltimore where the past two Browns' kickers have totaled 10 points over two seasons. Keep your expectations in check.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 44-13 10 OAK -----
2 @PHI 23-24 11 @PIT -----
3 NE 31-30 12 @SD -----
4 CLE ----- 13 PIT -----
5 @KC ----- 14 @WAS -----
6 DAL ----- 15 DEN -----
7 @HOU ----- 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 300,2
QB Matt Schaub 270,2
WR Chris Givens 1-10
WR Steve Smith 5-70
TE Dennis Pitta 5-50
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens came within a point of being 3-0 and now play their third home game in the first four weeks. The only real concern in this game is that the Ravens get complacent and allow a trap game to happen. This will be the easiest game the Ravens play this year.

Joe Flacco gets a chance to light up the scoreboard this week against a secondary that will be without CB Pat Haden and that has allowed eight passing scores over just the first three weeks. Flacco has been passing better this season with six scores already against only two interceptions. This is a great time to face the Browns.

Ray Rice has been the most productive running back this year and he has been golden every week. As if he needed any advantage, Rice rushed for at least 130 yards in both meetings with the Browns last season. He's a lock for a big game this week.

Torrey Smith was the big story last Sunday when he lost his brother on Saturday night and elected to play in the late game on Sunday. Smith had been relatively quiet this year with only two catches in each of the first two games but then posted six receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns in honor of his brother. Anquan Boldin still has not had more than 63 yards in a game and is hard to give a fantasy start with such low stats. The player deserving the attention is Dennis Pitta who no longer splits work with Ed Dickson. Pitta scored twice already this year and so far has never failed to make at least five catches per game. Between Pitta and Rice, there has not been much left over for the wideouts.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 5 6 14 3 4 11
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 28 18 30 10 12 25

QB Joe Flacco, BAL CLE 0000024022 ***
The Browns have allowed multiple passing scores in every game thus far and back-to-back 300-yard games--and Joe Haden might sit this one out. Flacco went for 362 and 2 in his only home game thus far, and the last time Cleveland came to town he lit them up for 312 and 2. Should be one Joe can put on his "elite" resume this week.
RB Justin Forsett, BAL CLE 7004200000 ***
Forsett steams into this tilt on the heels of his 150-yard outburst in Pittsburgh, facing a Browns defense that's given up at least 180 combo yards to every backfield it has encountered. Forsett rushed for 119 the last time Cleveland came to town, and be it on the ground or in the air he's a solid bet to get his this week as well.
WR Kamar Aiken, BAL CLE 006901000 ***
Desperate for someone--anyone--to step up last week after Steve Smith and Michael Campanaro went down with injuries, Aiken answered the call with 5-77-1 against the Steelers. He's the replacement for Smith's targets--and in line for the 8-90 or 5-101 Smith dropped on the Browns last season.
TE Crockett Gillmore, BAL CLE 005501000 *
The Browns have a soft spot for tight ends, having allowed three TDs to the position already this year. If Gillmore can get healthy he'd amalgamate all of Baltimore's targets at the position and be a viable fantasy helper.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL CLE 2222 ***
Tucker is seeing plenty of opportunities to swing the leg, with at least six points in every game thus far. He tallied 19 points in the two-game series with Cleveland last year, and something pushing double-digits wouldn't surprise here as well.

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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