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 Tyrod Taylor, CLE NYJ 40100022011 ***
New York has yielded 234 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game while intercepting five balls in two games (four in the opener). Taylor always is a threat with his legs, but his weaponry is weaker with the loss of Josh Gordon. He's a low-level gamble in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, CLE NYJ 5011100000 ***
One in the last 46 touches has found the end zone against the Jets by a running back, which is the 12th-toughest figure. Running backs have mustered only 56 rushing yards an outing, although Miami and Detroit aren't known for their ground attacks. Hyde has a low-tier matchup, on paper, which could be deceiving.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Nick Chubb, CLE NYJ 200000000 ***
Chubb just isn't seeing enough work to matter in fantasy. Keep him in reserve.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Callaway, CLE NYJ 003501000 ***
A week after being blanked in the opener, the rookie caught a 3-81-1 line on four grabs. The Jets haven't buckled easily vs. receivers trying to score touchdowns, giving up one in 15 catches, or the sixth-lowest ratio in the league. Overall, it is a positive-leaning opponent for Callaway, whose role will greatly expand with Josh Gordon now out of the mix.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, CLE NYJ 0081000000 ***
The matchup is favorable for receptions (11th best) and decent enough for yardage (13th), but the Jets have limited receivers to the sixth-lowest touchdown frequency in this young year. The veteran receiver will be tasked with picking up some slack now that Josh Gordon is a Patriot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rashard Higgins, CLE NYJ 002300000 ***
Higgins was brilliant all summer in practices and will see a few looks now that Josh Gordon is in another uniform. The 2017 leading receiver for Cleveland has a middling matchup and could benefit from added attention paid to Jarvis Landry. However, Higgins should be in reserve.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE David Njoku, CLE NYJ 004300000 ***
Despite a hearty 14 targets, Njoku has only seven catches for 33 yards. The total stat line by tight ends in two games against the Jets: 3-31-1. There is little reason to expect much from the second-year tight, but at least the Jets' opponents didn't exactly favor the position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Joseph, CLE NYJ 1133 ***
Kickers have made only 33 percent of their field goal attempts against the Jets and four of five PATs. Joseph replaces Zane Gonzalez and shouldn't be utilized at this time.

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 @HOU 0000025011 ***
This is the sixth-worst matchup for Week 3, and Manning is among the poorest fantasy choices. Until the offensive line plays markedly better, he's a bench or even waivers player.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Saquon Barkley, NYG @HOU 6017500000 ***
This is the worst matchup for offensive touchdowns by RBs among the teams to have allowed a score on either the ground or in the air (about half of the league had not given up a receiving TD to RBs in the first two games). Barkley has a good matchup for rushing yards (7th) but little else is ideal. None of the 59 rushing handles have broken the plane.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG @HOU 005700000 ***
Houston has given up 20 catches (26th), 192 yards (31st) and a TD every 10 grabs (20th) in matchups with Tennessee and New England. Houston has permitted the fifth-fewest fantasy points in both prominent scoring formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG @HOU 005500000 ***
Shepard fantasy a Texans defense that has allowed averages of 10-96-1 to the position over the last two games, amounting to the second-fewest yards granted. While the matchups before hadn't exactly featured prominent wideouts (NE, TEN), Shepard is a risky start due to the number of weapons in New York's struggling passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Evan Engram, NYG @HOU 006501000 ***
Tight ends have snagged nine balls for 138 yards and a score against the Houston defense -- overwhelmingly from Gronk in Week 1. Tennessee didn't have a tight end game last week after losing Delanie Walker in Week 1. Engram showed up in Week 2 and has a good shot a relevance in this one.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Aldrick Rosas, NYG @HOU 1122 ***
The way New York's offense is barely moving, keep away from Rosas, even with this reasonably good 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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