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: 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
Grass
  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 Josh Gordon 3-40

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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 28 10 26 22 21 8
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 18 16 29 20 17 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB DeShone Kizer, CLE BAL 30000020012 ***
Forget last week happened. Baltimore should destroy Kizer ... again. He was picked three times by the Ravens in Week 2, failing to account for a score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE BAL 5001100000 ***
It has been more than a month since he has scored a TD, despite running well. The Ravens held him to 3.7 fantasy points in Week 2. The volume is there, but he has the worst matchup for rushing yards (63) using data from the past five weeks. At least Baltimore has permitted a rushing score every 16.4 carries, which is the softest rate in football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE BAL 2004400000 ***
Baltimore has given up six receptions (7th) for 46 yards (10th) per game, including two TDs over the last 24 balls. Johnson went for 11 PPR points in the Week 2 meeting, and he has posted double figures in nine of his 13 games this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, CLE BAL 004500000 ***
Gordon is probably going to let down fantasy gamers after inflating their hopes the past two weeks. Baltimore dismantled DeShone Kizer in the first game, and over the last five weeks, not a single one of the 62 receptions allowed found the end zone. No team has been stiffer in this area. At least it is the best matchup for yardage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Corey Coleman, CLE BAL 002300000 ***
Baltimore has given up the second-most receptions and most yards per contest since Week 9 to receivers, while preventing the position from scoring a single touchdown on those 62 balls. Coleman is a fringe play, at best, in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE David Njoku, CLE BAL 004501000 **
Throw a dart at the wall .... the rookie has one TD in the last eight games. He scored vs. the Ravens in Week 2 on one of his three catches. The Baltimore defense has permitted the most receptions by TEs since Week 9, and none have made it into the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Zane Gonzalez, CLE BAL 2211 ***
The matchup is poor (21st) and against a divisional foe for a winless offense. Look in a different direction.

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
RB Danny Woodhead 20 2-20
WR Jeremy Maclin 4-60,1
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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 5 6 14 3 4 11
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 28 18 30 10 12 25

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL @CLE 0000023010 ***
Flacco, even at his best this year, doesn't warrant fantasy consideration. The Browns have permitted two TD passes per game vs. just one total interception in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, BAL @CLE 9012200000 ***
Collins been a fantasy weapon over the past month of play, registering five TDs in four games. The Browns gave up 42 yards on seven carries to him in his Ravens debut. Over the past five weeks, Cleveland has given up 98.2 rushing yards (13th) and 44.4 receiving yards (13th) per game. RBs have managed five offensive touchdowns in as many games, or one every 29.6 touches (17th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Javorius Allen, BAL @CLE 3002200000 ***
Allen could find the end zone to offset his lack of touches, though it is a risk not worth taking with playoff advancement on the line. The backfield belongs to Alex Collins at this point.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Danny Woodhead, BAL @CLE 1004300000 ***
Woodhead sees a few targets and is barely worthy of fantasy consideration at this point. The Browns have allowed reasonable figures to the position lately, giving up five catches (15th) for 44.4 yards (13th) and a TD every 12.5 snags.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @CLE 004601000 ***
Wallace caught one pass for seven yards in the Week 2 meeting. The veteran scored twice against Cleveland in one game last year. The Browns have yielded the eighth-most points in PPR and 12th-highest average in standard, giving up a TD per game in the past five. The veteran did not practice Wednesday (ankle), so check back for more clarity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL @CLE 003400000 ***
Cleveland provides a great PPR matchup and a pretty good standard opponent. The Browns have allowed the fourth-most receptions and 12th-most yards on a weekly clip, with one TD per game coming in the last five games. Maclin posted a 4-31-1 line in the Week 2 contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Benjamin Watson, BAL @CLE 003301000 **
This is the ninth-best matchup for finding the end zone. Three of the past 20 receptions against Cleveland found paydirt, and Watson has outside appeal for a low-end starting lineup spot.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @CLE 4422 ***
Tucker faces a Cleveland team that provides top-10 matchups for both extra points and field goal attempts on a weekly clip. This is the No. 8 matchup for exploitation.

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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