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 @JAC 0000018011 ***
The Jags have been a formidable opponent through two games, carrying over from last year's success. Flacco is still finding his groove and could face extra pressure upfront this week. He's a suspect fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Javorius Allen, BAL @JAC 7015300000 ***
Look for Allen to be ridden heavily in this one. The Ravens may be without Terrance West, and Alex Collins barely knows the playbook. Jacksonville presents a good matchup for ground success but little out of the backfield for PPR scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, BAL @JAC 401000000 *
West has an undisclosed soft-tissue injury and didn't practice Wednesday.

Update: West (calf) was a full participant Friday and is listed as questionable. He should play but see limited touches while sharing with Buck Allen. There's always an outside chance West is used near the goal line, so he has some utility.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL @JAC 003301000 **
Maclin draws a top-five defense of his position, one that has allowed only 15 receiver catches and a TD in two games. He is the best bet of this receiving corps, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Breshad Perriman, BAL @JAC 002200000 ***
A smothering matchup for a one-trick pony doesn't sound appealing. Avoid Perriman in all normal situations for conventional gaming.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @JAC 001100000 ***
Jacksonville has given up just 15 catches to wideouts in two games, and only one has found the end zone. Wallace is on the verge of having no fantasy worth based on Jeremy Maclin's arrival and the low volume of passing in Baltimore.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Benjamin Watson, BAL @JAC 005500000 **
The ageless veteran enjoyed a nice PPR showing in Week 2, and it could be followed up with another decent game. The Jaguars have granted a six receptions and 75.5 yards per game, plus one TD in two games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @JAC 2222 ***
Kickers have gone a perfect 5-for-5 on TD-cappers and nailed two of three when facing the Jags this year. Tucker is always a fine start based on potential and an offense that lacks an explosive element.

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 @LAC 10000026010 ***
Smith was great in the opener last year and the Week 17 meeting against the Bolts. LA has allowed only three passing touchdowns but also a rushing score to become the seventh-worst defense of QBs in 2017.

Update: Starting center Mitch Morse has been ruled out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kareem Hunt, KC @LAC 8015500000 ***
The Bolts have struck down running backs in 2017, ceding only three catches for 11 yards and 240 scoreless yards on the ground, resulting in 14.1 fantasy points surrendered.

Update: Update: Starting center Mitch Morse, more known for his pass blocking, has been ruled out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC @LAC 1006800000 ***
LA gave up 30 catches for 314 yards and three TDs in its first two games to wide receivers. The Chiefs utilized Hill one time for nine yards in last year's opener vs. the Bolts. In Week 17, he saw seven targets, which were good for a 5-46-0 line, and another three rushes for 15 yards. The Chargers could be without their top cover guy, Jason Verrett, in this meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Conley, KC @LAC 004400000 ***
Denver did a number on this secondary last week, and injuries are also at play. Conley doesn't see the requisite volume a gamer would need to desire chancing a starting spot on him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Albert Wilson, KC @LAC 002300000 ***
Wilson belongs nowhere near a fantasy lineup, or roster, for that matter.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @LAC 006601000 ***
The Chargers have provided 10.2 PPR points per game to the position in two games, which stems from a line of 8-124-0. The Dolphins and Broncos don't have much in the way of a presence at the position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @LAC 2233 ***
Three teams have allowed more attempted field goals than the Chargers, a team permitting 9.5 fantasy points, on average, in 2017.

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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