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 Joe Flacco 280,3
QB Robert Griffin III 80,1 220,1
WR Michael Crabtree 4-50
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 TB 80100017010 ***
Jackson's status is not perfectly clear at this time, although he at least has finally passed Joe Flacco on the depth chart. Everyone but Flacco had been aware of this. John Harbaugh thought the rookie's ankle injury wouldn't keep him out. The matchup is good enough where he should be in lineups in two-QB/superflex formats or even an occasional DFS setup, provided he is cleared to return.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenneth Dixon, BAL TB 7011100000 **
Dixon has looked good since coming back from injury and has a fine matchup to use to his advantage. The Buccaneers have allowed running backs to average 30.4 PPR points as a team, with 15 TDs scored in 13 outings. The Ravens are utilizing a three-way committee and make all of the backs less valuable because of it. Ride the hot hand, but he has only flex value in traditional leagues and is better as a DFS flier.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Gus Edwards, BAL TB 700000000 ***
Tampa Bay has permitted running backs to average the seventh-most rushing yards and a touchdown every 36 carries (22nd) since Week 9. The Ravens are employing a three-way committee and shared the primary carries between Edwards and Kenneth Dixon. The rookie hasn't offered much of anything helpful without scoring; the matchup suggests he could find paydirt, but are you in a position to find out the hard way? Look for better ratios of risk and reward.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, BAL TB 002201000 **
Crabtree and Lamar Jackson have been on the same page in terms of pitch and catch, but the numbers haven't yielded fantasy results to be encouraged enough to recommend playing the veteran. He has one TD over 10 grabs and hasn't generated more than 35 yards of offense since Week 7. Tampa Bay offers a glimmer of hope for more, but counting on him as a piece of your championship puzzle could leave you out in the December cold.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Willie Snead IV, BAL TB 004500000 ***
Aside from one game where he had a lone 8-yard catch, Snead has been the most reliable receiver for Lamar Jackson. He has caught at least five balls on no fewer than seven targets in three of the other four contests, and as has been the case since Week 1, Snead remains allergic to the end zone. PPR gamers desperate for something from the position could look his way, especially with one of the finer matchups of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, BAL TB 002300000 ***
While Brown caught a short touchdown last week, he and newly minted starter Lamar Jackson have not been on the same page in the past month. Since Jackson replaced Joe Flacco, Brown has landed four of 18 targets for 71 yards and last week's score. Despite a promising matchup, Brown is no better than an unwarranted gamble.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mark Andrews, BAL TB 002300000 ***
Andrews offers TD flier utility in DFS and that's about it. The matchup is favorable, but low volume and suspect QB play keep him from being a viable choice in traditional leagues.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL TB 2233 ***
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 LAC 40000033020 ***
Remember his 2018 debut against the Chargers? Does 256 yards and four TDs passes jog your memory? This week he is at home, and Mahomes belongs in all lineups in any fantasy universe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Damien Williams, KC LAC 7013200000 ***
Spencer Ware is doubtful to play. He will be replaced by the combination of Damien Williams and Darrel Williams/Charcandrick West. Los Angeles has been fairly good against backs on the ground but has given up a mess of points through the air. Play him as a somewhat risky flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darrel Williams, KC LAC 1002200000 *
No Spencer Ware could mean a little work for the rookie, but he also could lose out to Charcandrick West on clear passing downs. The reality is no fantasy owner in conventional settings will be inclined to play either. Reserve both for DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC LAC 0081201000 ***
Hill (heel) is less than 100 percent but practiced and should be fine for the short turnaround. The Chiefs host the Chargers on Thursday Night Football and face the seventh-hardest matchup for WRs over the course of 2018. Hill annihilated the Chargers in Week 1 to the tune of seven catches, 169 yards and two scores.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demarcus Robinson, KC LAC 003400000 ***
Sammy Watkins is likely to sit the rest of the regular season, which adds pressure to others to step up. Robinson could have a larger role but faces a tough opponent to exploit. LAC has given up only the seventh-fewest PPR points per game to the position this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Conley, KC LAC 003300000 ***
Conley could have a larger role with Tyreek Hill being less than 100 percent right now. The Chargers have smothered TE Travis Kelce in the last five meetings, which could force Patrick Mahomes to look Conley's direction. It's risky, but there is upside here. In redraft formats, Conley isn't worthy of a start, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC LAC 005901000 ***
No tight end has topped 10 points in PPR vs. the Chargers since Week 10. None of them are Kelce -- and one could argue all five combined aren't, either. The Bolts held him to a 1-6-0 day in the season opener. Kelce hasn't scored in his last five games against the Chargers. Last year, he had seven catches for 47 yards over two games combined. In 2016, it was a 6-82-0 line over two contests. Gamers obviously must start him, but know he is not a sure thing this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Harrison Butker, KC LAC 3333 ***
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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