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
RB Danny Woodhead 20 5-30,1
WR Jeremy Maclin 3-40
WR Mike Wallace 6-90,1
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 Joe Flacco, BAL @GB 0000020011 ***
Morgan Burnett missed last week for the Packers. The defense has given up only five QB TD passes in the last four games, plus a rushing score, but the 307 yards allowed, on average, is the third-highest figure. Flacco returns from his bye for a trip to Lambeau.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Javorius Allen, BAL @GB 3002201000 *
Allen should once again see a mixture of carriers and third-down work with Danny Woodhead's status in doubt. The Packers have given up 6.0 receptions (10th) and 51.8 yards (8th) per contest to the position. Only 10 teams have surrendered more offensive yards to outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, BAL @GB 500000000 ***
Running backs have gained 93.5 rushing yards (16th) and a ground score every 36.7 totes (13th). For more conventional backs like Collins, this is a midrange matchup. It caters more to pass-catching types.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Danny Woodhead, BAL @GB 1005400000 *
Woodhead is expected to return this week but isn't a wise play, even with a quality matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL @GB 006700000 ***
This ultimately could prove to be a conservative projection. Maclin faces the No. 2 defense for giving up catches and No. 3 for yardage on a per-game basis. The Packers have allowed one TD per game, as well, and rank fourth in fantasy points surrendered. Coming off of a bye, Maclin could be a sneaky play. There is plenty of meat on the bone for me, especially if Green Bay is without safety Morgan Burnett once again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @GB 003500000 ***
Green Bay has given up a lot of possession types in the way of receptions and yardage, but touchdowns have come at only the 18th-highest frequency. The Packers rank 15th in points per play. This matchup may favor Jeremy Maclin instead.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Benjamin Watson, BAL @GB 004400000 ***
Green Bay has done a remarkable job of shutting down tight ends. None of them have scored in the past four games, covering 15 receptions worth of action. This is the third-hardest matchup in Week 11.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @GB 3311 ***
Kickers have averaged 11.3 possible fantasy points, making 10.3 worth, in the past five weeks against the Packers. Green Bay has permitted 3.0 field goals and 2.8 PATs, on average, to help make this a top-two matchup.

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
KC vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 10 200,1

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 Alex Smith, KC @NYG 10000032030 ***
Smith comes back from his bye week to face fantasy's best matchup for quarterbacks. New York is the worst team at defending in yardage, points per play, yards per completion, and fantasy points surrendered per contest. The Giants have permitted a touchdown pass every 9.1 completions, which ranks tied fourth.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kareem Hunt, KC @NYG 8004400000 ***
This is largely a moderate matchup on the ground and through the air. The Giants have not given up a receiving score on the last 20 grabs, but this is the ninth-best matchup for rushing TD frequency. This is the 10th-best matchup for overall yardage production on a weekly basis.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC @NYG 0051001000 ***
Following a week off to recover from some bumps and bruises, Hill gets to face the second-best matchup of Week 11. The Giants have given up six TDs to WRs in the last four games, and only Houston has provided more yardage on a weekly basis.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demarcus Robinson, KC @NYG 003500000 ***
Robinson has seen an uptick in playing time since Chris Conley went down. Wideouts have averaged 13.8 receptions for 215.3 yards and a TD ever 9.2 catches, or 1.5 per game, since Week 5. The Chiefs are coming back from a bye week and could give Robinson a few chances to make a big play. Starting him isn't exactly the safest move one can make, but it could pay off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @NYG 0071002000 ***
The Giants have given up a touchdown every game this year to the position. KC comes back from his bye week and takes on a team allowing a TD every four catches by tight ends. This is the second-best matchup in both scoring formats.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Harrison Butker, KC @NYG 3333 ***
All but two of the 22 kicks (both field goals) have made their final destination against the Giants. Despite missing two field goals, 1.5 per game have made it through the pipes. This is a top-12 matchup.

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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