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 Joe Flacco, BAL IND 0000017010 ***
Indy has provided just 202.8 yards per outing, which ranks as the seventh fewest. On the plus side, every 10.8 completions has found the end zone (5th). Nevertheless, the weaponless Flacco is not a threat for fantasy success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, BAL IND 11022300000 ***
Despite the Colts having given up the most yards rushing per game (135.8) to RBs over the last five weeks, this remains a difficult matchup for ground scores. Only one in 44.3 carries has found the end zone in that window. The last two weeks have resulted in consecutive 150-yard rushers against Indy, representing 50 percent of the 100-yard games on the year. Aside from last week's struggles vs. Cleveland, Collins has been on fire. This projection is ambitious, but the upstart back has earned a role in all lineups during the title week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Javorius Allen, BAL IND 3002200000 ***
Indianapolis offers the worst matchup of the week for receptions by RBs, and receiving yardage against is naturally depressed, too (31st). On the ground, Allen faces the top opponent for rushing yardage but just No. 22 for TD efficiency against.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, BAL IND 005700000 ***
This may wind up being a conservative projection. Crabtree is the premier weapon in this offense in the red zone, and he faces an Eagles defense that has permitted wideouts to score at the eighth-easiest rate since Week 10.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Moore, BAL IND 003300000 ***
Moore has no place on a fantasy roster in crunch time.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL IND 4422 ***
Baltimore hosts, meaning weather could be a factor, but the strong-legged Tucker is capable of making one from Indianapolis if afforded the chance. The Colts bring one of the tougher matchups to the table, statistically speaking. Kickers have made 12 of 13 kicks, missing one of the seven field goal tries, for the seventh-fewest combined kicking chances a week.

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
RB Kareem Hunt, KC MIA 11016401000 ***
Following five games of borderline bench-worthy play, the slumbering monster has come out of hibernation. Should he struggle on the ground, Miami is an awesome matchup through the ski. This defense has granted the second-most receptions (8.2), fourth-most yards (60.8) and a trio of aerial TDs in the last five games to go with as many on the ground.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, KC MIA 300000000 *
Williams' status is unclear at this time. He missed Wednesday's session with a quad injury. Check back Friday for more details.

Update: It seems unlikely Williams will play after failing to log more than one limited session all week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, KC MIA 004701000 ***
The matchup trends against Tennessee break with Watkins' typical style, so this one really could go either way. The Titans have permitted receivers to march up and down the field with receptions (12th) and yardage (10th) on a weekly clip. However, this is the seventh-toughest defense for scoring against in the past five weeks. On the year, this is a much better matchup, statistically speaking.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC MIA 005600000 ***
Since Week 10, wideouts have managed only two touchdowns in five games against the Dolphins. This is the worst team for racking up receptions, and only two teams have provided more yardage on a weekly rate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC MIA 006801000 ***
Tight ends have gone for 4.4 receptions (16th), 62.2 yards (4th) and a touchdown every 7.3 catches (10th) -- Kelce shouldn't have much trouble finding room in the middle vs. Miami.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Harrison Butker, KC MIA 2233 ***
The match is moderate, and Butker is among the best fantasy options when KC's offense is clicking. Most (13) of the 21 kicking chances against the Dolphins have been PATs.

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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