FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

Prediction: BAL 34, KC 17 (Line: BAL by 4.5)

Players to Watch: Matt Cassel, maybe Brady Quinn

The 3-1 Ravens hit the road where their only loss on the season came. They face the 1-3 Chiefs who have been beaten rather soundly by all but the Saints. This could be a trap game but most likely ends up as a very nice win for the Ravens against a soft defense.

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 23-16 13 PIT -----
5 @KC ----- 14 @WAS -----
6 DAL ----- 15 DEN -----
7 @HOU ----- 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL @ KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 80,1 220,1
RB Mark Ingram II 20
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens were one point away from being 4-0 and yet they are winning with a balance between the defense and the offense. Ray Rice has been solid enough thanks to adding in receptions but the offense has improved thanks to Joe Flacco. He has thrown for around 300 yards or more in three of four games and averages around two touchdowns per game. Those high yardage games all came at home though and the lone road trip only produced 232 yards and one touchdown in the only loss. The Eagles were effective against the Ravens but the Chiefs will offer a secondary that is less likely to be a problem.

Rice has scored three times this year but comes off his worst game when the Ravens inexplicably could not rush against the Browns and Rice was held to only 49 yards on 18 runs. He has been good for around five catches for 50 yards in almost every game though and even a bad game from him is better than most. In reception point leagues, Rice remains a top back.

Last week had fantasy owners freaking out because Dennis Pitta had taken over the receiving role as a tight end and had totaled more targets than anyone on the team. He was good for five catches per week at a minimum and scored twice. That led many fantasy leaguers to jump aboard the fan bus and start him against the Browns. Of course the result was two passes and no catches. One pass was almost a touchdown. But that aberration was a function of both Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin having great nights thanks in no small part to Joe Haden being suspended. Pitta will be back this week.

Torrey Smith was only producing two catches per week for around 50 yards for the first two games and then suffered the death of his brother which in some part inspired him to turn in two very nice efforts - 6-127 and two scores against the Patriots and then 6-97 and a touchdown versus the Browns. Anquan Boldin exploded for nine catches and 131 yards last week but that was an extreme case and Boldin had almost no value in the two previous weeks. It was a matchup blessing with the Browns trying to replace Haden. Not the start of anything new.

The Ravens just have to prepare and remain motivated. The Chiefs have never allowed fewer than two passing touchdowns to anyone and they rank 23rd against running backs without having faced many decent runners like Rice. The Chiefs have allowed no less than 37 points in both of their home games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 6 6 8 13 8 5
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 25 23 7 14 27 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Lamar Jackson, BAL CLE 80100016010 ***
Cleveland has given up rushing scores to Jeff Driskel, Case Keenum and Jameis Winston this year. This defense has faced Deshaun Watson and Cam Newton, holding both to 30 or fewer rushing yards. The pass defense has been pretty dang good since Week 10. Jackson is a second quarterback or a radical flier in DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Gus Edwards, BAL CLE 1101000000 ***
The Browns offer a matchup that slightly favors Edwards' style of play. He hasn't played Cleveland this year and has scored double digits in PPR in four of six games. He has bounced back in the last two games after a two-week mini-slump. Play him with the hopes of a a TD.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenneth Dixon, BAL CLE 4001100000 ***
With just one TD since returning from injury in Week 13, Dixon is not a source of fantasy success. He doesn't catch passes in this current version of this offense, and hasn't been able to muster even seven PPR points without scoring a TD. Cleveland presents a neutral matchup that is slightly better in non-PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram II, BAL CLE 300000000 *
New Orleans is expected to sit all of its primary weapons, so Ingram shouldn't be in any lineup this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Willie Snead IV, BAL CLE 005600000 ***
Snead has posted double figures in PPR without scoring in three of Lamar Jackson's six starts. In one of the games he caught a single pass for eight yards, and in the other two he was blanked (Weeks 12 and 16). Batting .500 in baseball is awesome ... not so much when it comes to being relevant in fantasy football. Snead caught five balls for 55 yards in the earlier meeting with Joe Flacco starting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mark Andrews, BAL CLE 002201000 **
He landed just one pass for 16 yards in the Week 5 game, and last week the rookie caught his first TD from Lamar Jackson, which happened to be his first since Week 7. Andrews is purely a flier with a good matchup. The volume just isn't there yet for consistent, confident usage in fantasy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL CLE 1133 ***
No writeup available

Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 24-40 10 @PIT -----
2 @BUF 17-35 11 CIN -----
3 @NO 27-24 12 DEN -----
4 SD 20-37 13 CAR -----
5 BAL ----- 14 @CLE -----
6 @TB ----- 15 @OAK -----
7 BYE ----- 16 IND -----
8 OAK ----- 17 @DEN -----
9 @SD ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs continue to sink, brought down by a defense that has allowed 35+ points in each loss and and offense led by Matt Cassel who is in jeopardy of the coaching staff uttering those immortal words - "okay, so who else do we got?" Cassel threw five touchdowns already but that goes against seven interceptions and three lost fumbles. Plus losing by 17+ points three times in four games means the "catch up" offense ain' t "catching up". In fact most of the production that Cassel does have comes later in games against a prevent defense where most of the secondary is hoping they catch it so they can help run out the clock.

Matt Cassel will play this week while HC Romeo Crennel makes sure that he remains in "hook distance" to Cassel on every play. Then the Chiefs can use Brady Quinn with almost certainly no better results. Changing starters usually comes later in the season so the coaching staff can claim to still be trying to win.

Jamaal Charles is the #2 rusher in the NFL and without him the Chiefs would really have a problem. After shredding the Saints for 233 rushing yards, Charles posted 115 total yards and two touchdowns on the Chargers last week. Peyton Hillis was inactive last week because of his ankle and may not play again this week. Hillis has been a nonfactor anyway in all but one game.

There has been decent passing yardage - at least 250 per game. But most of that ends up with either a running back (Charles or Dexter McCluster) or with Dwayne Bowe who is the master of late game slop yards and scores. Bowe already has two games with 100+ yards and three touchdowns on the season. No other wide receiver has scored or even offered enough yardage to merit any fantasy consideration. Bowe not only remains the only fantasy option among all receivers, he is a must start because of trash time.

Tight ends have been shockingly ignored this year. They rarely have more than 20 yards in any game and have zero fantasy relevance despite the apparent lack of viable receivers. Or is that just a lack of viable passes being thrown?

Going against the Ravens is not going to be much fun though they tend to be less formidable away from home. The Ravens have only given up two passing touchdowns though the last three teams topped 300 passing yards. Charles will remain the focus and while the Ravens have not allowed more than 91 rush yards to any runner, they have given up six rushing touchdowns.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 20 1 26 26 15 27
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 16 18 26 20 20 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Patrick Mahomes, KC OAK 20000028030 ***
Mahomes is the only 30-point passer in fantasy vs. Oakland this year. The last three weeks have been in favor of Oakland, with four picks and only five TDs allowed. Big Ben was the best of he, Jeff Driskel and Case Keenum, as one would expect. KC has something at stake, so keep rolling with Mahomes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Damien Williams, KC OAK 4004401000 ***
Williams was effective but saw only seven touches in Week 13. The Raiders have been tough against PPR backs his year, so we could be looking at an optimistic projection. Spencer Ware should return, which will diminish Williams' workload.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Spencer Ware, KC OAK 6013200000 **
Ware returned to full practice this week and is expected to play. The Raiders gave up just 52 yards to Ware in a featured role in Week 13, but he found the end zone to salvage 12.2 points. He's a flex or low-end RB2 this week, but don't be overly excited to play him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, KC OAK 3001100000 *
Update: Leonard Fournette is doubtful, and Hyde, while questionable, could see extra work. He has no fantasy utility, due to a tough matchup, his own injury, and the idea of losing touches to either David Williams or T.J. Yeldon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demarcus Robinson, KC OAK 002301000 **
Robinson has four catches on six targets for 24 yards -- total -- in the last two weeks. He has, however, scored in each of those games and is a high-risk, modest-reward flier in fantasy this week. The Raiders have given up only 156 catches to WRs, but 22 have scored, which is a clip of once every seven grabs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC OAK 004600000 ***
Hill has not scored in four games and was held to just one catch for 13 yards on six targets vs. Oakland in the Week 13 trip to California. This project could prove to be conservative, and his explosive nature means he shouldn't leave lineups in conventional setups. DFS gamers can look for better options. Oakland has given up a TD every seven catches by WRs this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC OAK 0081101000 ***
Oakland has given up the sixth-most points in PPR to tight ends this year, and that number jumps up from 14.9 a game to 18.1 in the last five weeks. Most of the damage is due to Kelce owning the Raiders for a ridiculous line of 12-168-2 in Week 13.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Harrison Butker, KC OAK 3344 ***
No writeup available

WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

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