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
WR Devin Hester 2-20
WR Steve Smith Sr. 5-60
WR Mike Wallace 6-90,1
TE Dennis Pitta 5-50,1
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 0000024021 ***
Which Jaguars defense shows up this week? The one that did a sound job against Aaron Rodgers, or last week's road team against which Philip Rivers opened the floodgates? The Jags have given up 26.7 fantasy points per game to QBs, which is the sixth most in the NFL. It's a road game for Flacco, and his targets match up fairly well. Start him with a minor degree of confidence, or toss the vet into DFS lineups to save a few bucks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL @JAC 4002200000 ***
Forsett has struggled through two appearances and is ceding double-digit work to Terrance West. Jacksonville's defense of running backs looks stronger on paper based on the small sample size; Melvin Gordon racked up 21 PPR points and scored in Week 2. Even still, Forsett is barely playable.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, BAL @JAC 3002100000 ***
West has averaged 13 touches through two weeks that have amounted to a lot of struggling (3.2 yards per carry, no scores). Sit him until he gets it going.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @JAC 006801000 ***
Wallace has emerged as the No. 1 target in Baltimore and is playing more that 67 percent of the snaps. Jacksonville's offense is capable of scoring some points, which wasn't exactly obvious last week. Nevertheless, the Jags defense is the sixth easiest matchup for receivers, largely by way of giving up five touchdowns (tied for the most).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith Sr., BAL @JAC 005500000 ***
Smith is still trying to get his football legs underneath him, and it shows. He has a stat line of 8-83-0 through two appearances, despite seeing the most snaps of Ravens receivers. Perhaps he'll slide into the end zone this outing, but don't bank on it ... he's a sketchy WR3/flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kamar Aiken, BAL @JAC 002200000 ***
Aiken has been on the field for only 46.9 percent of the offensive plays for Baltimore this season, and it shows in his stats. Regardless of the matchup, he cannot be utilized until more playing time comes his way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dennis Pitta, BAL @JAC 004501000 **
Welcome back, Dennis Pitta! After two catastrophic hip injuries in successive seasons, the talented pass-catching tight end has returned to form. Look, he's as risky as anyone, so know what you're getting into with a waiver addition. Jacksonville gave up a short touchdown to Antonio Gates last weekend but has given up only 10 tight end targets in two games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @JAC 1122 ***
Field goals don't keep pace with Jacksonville's potentially explosive offense.

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
RB Jamaal Charles 80,1 5-30
WR Jeremy Maclin 3-40

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 NYJ 0000026021 ***
This could be a fine time to deploy Smith. He may have to pass more than usual and finds the seventh easiest matchup in Week 3. Toss him into DFS lineups at a minimum.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Spencer Ware, KC NYJ 5014300000 ***
Only seven teams have been tougher against RBs than New York, but that is somewhat because the Jets have been so easily exploited aerially. Ware stumbled a bit in Week 2 for fantasy purposes, and he's probably not 100 percent healthy. Check high expectations at the door, but let him in on the party.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, KC NYJ 0071001000 ***
It can be presumed Maclin will draw Darrelle Revis, which isn't exactly a fantasy death sentence anymore. Confidently play the receiver as a PPR WR2 or No. 3 in standard. NYJ has permitted the third most points to wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Conley, KC NYJ 004500000 ***
Conley has no value at this point in traditional formats, despite a great matchup. Maybe DFSers with a lot of brawn.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC NYJ 006601000 ***
The Jets present a strong defense of tight ends to the tune of 7-86-0 through two contests. Kelce doesn't deserve to benched and has a fair shot at scoring this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC NYJ 2233 ***
One tough defensive matchup and a midrange offense generally translate to field goal tries.

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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