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 10000027020 ***
With Johnny Manziel unable to control himself off the field it'll be McCown on the field this week. He strafed the Ravens for 457 yards and two TDs in the earlier meeting and has multiple touchdown tosses in five of the six games where he saw the majority of snaps under center. No reason to think he won't find similar success at home this week.
RB Duke Johnson, CLE BAL 4006501000 **
Johnson's work as a receiver make him the Browns back to have if you have to have one. He caught six balls for 55 yards in the earlier meeting with Baltimore and has Cleveland's only RB TD in the past month and a half, so if there's any upside to a Browns back it rests with Duke.
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE BAL 5002100000 ***
Crowell scored a receiving touchdown in the earlier meeting with Baltimore, but with Duke Johnson handling most of the pass-catching duties Isaiah is reduced to hammering out minimal fantasy value on 10 or so carries--unlikely, as the Browns haven't scored a rushing TD since Week 2.
WR Travis Benjamin, CLE BAL 006900000 ***
Benjamin was just reacquainting himself with Johnny Manziel, responsible for two of his three 100-yard games and three of his four TDs; now he'll have to switch back to McCown, with whom he tallied one TD in six games and averaged 66 yards per contest. Consider Benjamin's fantasy ceiling lower than it was with Johnny Football.
WR Taylor Gabriel, CLE BAL 004600000 ***
Gabriel is battling Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins for secondary looks, and thus far he's mostly been losing with only one game north of 32 yards and no TDs.

Update: Gabriel did not practice this week due to a concussion, making him an unlikely participant Monday night. The upside is not worth the risk of taking a zero.
TE Gary Barnidge, CLE BAL 006801000 ***
No one is happier to see Josh McCown back under center than Barnidge, who averaged 3-38 with one touchdown in four games with Johnny Football and 6-60-1 in six games with McCown. That run included 8-139-1 in Baltimore, by far the biggest game the Ravens have surrendered at the position. They just gave up another TE TD last week, and with McCown back under center things are looking up for Barnidge once again.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Travis Coons, CLE BAL 3322 ***
Coons kicked four field goals in the earlier meeting in Baltimore, one of eight kickers with multiple treys against the Ravens. He's had just one multiple field goal since then, however, and the Browns' offense is in disarray so temper expectations accordingly.

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 Matt Schaub, BAL @CLE 0000018012 ***
You'd like to think it's an opportunity for Schaub coming off the bench to face a Browns defense that's surrendered multiple passing scores in three straight. However, Schaub's supporting cast has been gutted--plus he's the backup for a reason.
RB Javorius Allen, BAL @CLE 9005400000 *
Allen is still looking for his first NFL touchdown, and only once in his pro career has he touched the ball more than 10 times in a game. But with Justin Forsett done for the season the Ravens will give the ball to Buck--a lot, since Baltimore also lost quarterback Joe Flacco for the season and will dust off Matt Schaub this week. And he'll face a familiar foe, a Browns defense he racked up 58 yards on eight carries against earlier this season. Now he'll load up on touches in a Cleveland venue that has welcomed opposing running backs with open arms, surrendering at least 157 yards from scrimmage in all four dates at the Dawg Pound.
WR Kamar Aiken, BAL @CLE 003301000 *
Aiken was Baltimore's go-to guy sans Steve Smith in the earlier meeting with Cleveland, and he produced 4-78 on nine targets. It'll be Matt Schaub on the other end this time, which isn't likely to help Aiken's numbers.
WR Chris Givens, BAL @CLE 003500000 *
Givens is running as Baltimore's wingman, which in many cases would be a positive against a defense that's allowed multiple fantasy helpers from wideouts in three straight, four of five and seven of 10 overall. But with Baltimore going to the bullpen for Matt Schaub all bets are off with regards to passing game production this week.
TE Crockett Gillmore, BAL @CLE 006500000 *
Gillmore has scored in two of the past three and topped 100 yards in the game he couldn't reach the end zone. Now he'll face a Cleveland defense that's given up five TE TDs in the past two weeks. Plenty of upside here, as Matt Schaub has demonstrated in the past he knows where to find his tight end.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @CLE 2111 ***
With Baltimore's offense gutted by injury it could be tough for the Ravens to move the ball--with obvious repercussions for Tucker.

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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