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: CLE 13, NYG 30 (Line: NYG by 10)

Players to Watch: Any CLE receiver who actually catches the ball

Players Updated: Hakeem Nicks, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden, Martellus Bennet, Mohamed Massaquoi

The 0-4 Browns now head to New York in search of their first win but the 2-2 Giants just lost a close one in Philadelphia and will be primed to make this game a statement.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL -----
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT -----
4 @BAL 16-23 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG ----- 14 KC -----
6 CIN ----- 15 WAS -----
7 @IND ----- 16 @DEN -----
8 SD ----- 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: Sure, the Browns have not won any games. But they have certainly been in most games and there are enough positives to hope for better times ahead, if only in 2013. Brandon Weeden has been genuinely impressive with over 320 passing yards during the two road efforts in Cincinnati and Baltimore. He only has three touchdowns against seven interceptions but given the number of dropped passes by several receivers it is a miracle he has the yardage he did. Weeden is getting better fast and trying to drag his band of mediocre receivers along with him.

Greg Little is thrown the most passes and has the most drops - by far. He let a touchdown go through his hands in Baltimore and this team has too few opportunities to let that happen. Amazingly, Weeden has two efforts over 320 yards and yet there are no receivers here that are worth a fantasy start. Josh Gordon has been a colossal flop so far. Travis Benjamin and Jordan Norwood help out when they too are not dropping passes. Mohamed Massaquoi has been marginal and that was when he was healthy.

Second-year tight end Jordan Cameron seemed to be on the rise with seven targets in week three that resulted in five receptions for 45 yards but then he was only able to hang onto one of his six passes in Baltimore while Benjamin Watson had his best game of the year of five catches for 52 yards. None of these receivers have any consistency if they even have one decent game.

Trent Richardson is pretty light on the rushing yardage but he has scored once in each of the last three games. Richardson has gained 222 yards on 64 runs for a 3.5 yard rushing average - not that bad considering how many times he is met in the backfield by a defender. He's propping up his fantasy value with around four or five catches per game.

No doubt going to New York after the Giants are coming off a loss will not make it any better. The Browns played a competitive game against the Ravens but this non-divisional matchup is going to be even harder. The Giants should have enough defense here to keep the Browns from making this into a close game. But once again, Weeden will need to throw early and often.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 29 12 25 23 17 9
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 21 11 22 8 14 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Baker Mayfield, CLE @DEN 0000030011 ***
The Broncos have gone in different directions with the strength of their defense over the last six or so weeks. The run D has stiffened, and the pass defense has struggled mightily in the last five games. No team has yielded more passing yards per game (357), but only one in 19 completions has scored a TD (sixth-lowest frequency). Mayfield should produce respectable stats for owners able or required to field two quarterbacks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Nick Chubb, CLE @DEN 8013400000 ***
Chubb has scored in five straight games and six of the last seven. He has only one game with more than 85 yards in that time on the ground, but his aerial work has helped offset the limited rushing gains. Denver has been night and day better against RBs since giving up 200-yard rushers in consecutive games. Since Week 6, no RB has scored on the ground, and only once it has come through the air. That includes several quality rushing attacks (ARI, KC, HOU, LAC, PIT, CIN, SF). This one could go either way, but Chubb deserves the benefit of the doubt at this stage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Callaway, CLE @DEN 003601000 ***
Callaway is far to erratic to trust with anything of consequence at stake. The rookie saw only one target and caught it for zero yards against a fantastic matchup last week, and he has only one game with more than three catches since Week 8. The matchup with Denver is prime for success, but can you trust him?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, CLE @DEN 005700000 ***
After a fairly quiet stretch, Landry has reemerged as a fantasy asset in recent weeks, landing a 6-103-0 line in Week 13 and scoring his first TD since Week 7 against the Panthers in Week 14. This time around, Denver is the target. Their secondary has regressed enough to make Landry a sure bet for double figures. The top scorer for each opponent this year has been no worse than 13.6 PPR points, and Denver has faced several horrendous passing offenses.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Breshad Perriman, CLE @DEN 002300000 ***
Perriman is not a fantasy thing, especially for owners in the playoffs. He has five targets in his last three games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE David Njoku, CLE @DEN 004500000 ***
No team has allowed more yardage to tight ends than Denver this year, and Njoku faces a defense that has permitted the third-most catches per game in the last five weeks. Erratic play is a concern, but he is a quality play for gamers willing to take the chance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Joseph, CLE @DEN 2222 ***
No writeup available

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN -----
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB -----
4 @PHI 17-19 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE ----- 14 NO -----
6 @SF ----- 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 310,3
RB Jonathan Stewart 30 3-20

Pregame Notes: Tough loss to the Eagles means the Giants are now 0-2 in their own division and have a tough slate looming once this game is over. A home game is not likely to become a trap after a loss and the Giants are losing any margin of error already this early in the season.

Eli Manning has again fallen short against a divisional rival but in fantasy terms has been no worse than solid. He passed for 309 yards and two scores on the Eagles and has never failed to score at least once each week. Manning is good enough that he doesn't miss Hakeem Nicks, he just switches over to whomever the replacement is that week and makes them a temporary fantasy stud.

Last week it was Domenik Hixon with six receptions for 114 yards and the previous game Ramses Barden ended with nine catches for 138 yards. Nicks has not yet practiced and suffered a setback with his knee which made him downgraded to doubtful and then not play. Until he can practice and looks good to go, Hixon will replace him. Victor Cruz comes off his second big game of the year when he posted nine receptions for 109 yards and a score on the Eagles and he remains the one consistent player for the Giants. He'll especially enjoy the absence of CB Joe Haden who continues to serve a suspension.

Last week was a disappoint when Martellus Bennett only came away with one catch for two yards after three straight weeks of scoring and gaining decent yardage. He had a 38-yard catch to open the game nullified with an unrelated penalty but then they shifted away from him. Bear Pascoe even scored a touchdown in his only catch in the game. Bennett will be back and is in no jeopardy of being phased out.

Fantasy hell happened too when Ahmad Bradshaw returned and he not only had a mediocre game of 39 rush yards and 38 receiving yards with no touchdowns, he completely killed off all value of Andre Brown (5-14). This is back to being Bradshaw's show and that one big game by Brown may not happen again if Bradshaw can somehow remain healthy,

The Browns secondary is not at full strength and has allowed nine touchdowns already this year and three games over 310 yards. Expect a strong showing here by the passing game and just moderate numbers from the rushing effort as the Browns have yet to allow any running back to rush in a score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 11 17 2 12 3 22
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 29 19 31 3 7 27

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG TEN 0000024020 ***
Even though the Titans haven't been big on intercepting passes of late, the defense has held quarterbacks in check since Week 9 (all year, in fact). The position has only six TD passes in the last five games while averaging 226.1 yards (22nd). Manning will have all he can do to muster QB2 stats if Odell Beckham Jr. doesn't play, and it will be tough sledding even if OBJ dresses.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Saquon Barkley, NYG TEN 11014301000 ***
Tennessee is the only defense not to allow a running back to catch a touchdown pass in 2018, covering 54 receptions. This defense also has allowed only six touchdowns on the ground and just one back over 100 yards. Most of the damage has come in the last five games, though, with the position scoring four times and averaging 104.2 yards per meeting. None of those backs were Barkley in that time, but this defense was able to hold Ezekiel Elliott to just 15.2 PPR points. This projection is a touch on the optimistic side of things, but it isn't in any way unwarranted with the way Barkley has destroyed the league.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG TEN 0051001000 *
OBJ (quad) remained sidelined in Wednesday's practice and is truly uncertain for Week 15 at this time. Check back Friday for an update as to his playing status for Week 15.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Russell Shepard, NYG TEN 002400000 ***
OBJ's status will dictate whether Shepard has any notable role. Even if he plays, despite a good matchup, gamers should look at other options with advancing to the championship round hanging in the balance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG TEN 003300000 ***
Shepard would be the de facto No. 1 for Eli Manning if Odell Beckham cannot play again. The Titans have been beatable by receivers this year and have allowed 17 TDs in 13 games, with the opponent's top receiver scoring at least 19 PPR points in four of the last five.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Evan Engram, NYG TEN 004300000 ***
Tennessee has been the strongest defense of tight ends in 2018, and no other team has done as fine of a job of keeping the position out of the end zone -- no scores over 50 grabs this year. Engram is absolutely no better than a low-end consideration for desperate gamers.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Aldrick Rosas, NYG TEN 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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