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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: CIN 20, CLE 23 (Line: CIN by 2.5)

Updated Players: Jordan Norwood

This is a repeat game. The 3-2 Bengals already won 34-27 at home in week two. The difference this time is the venue and the fact that all the 0-5 Browns rookies are a month more experienced. The Bengals have won seven of the last eight but this is going to be the Browns best chance to get a win until week 14 unless they get the obligatory trap game.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG -----
2 CLE 34-27 11 @KC -----
3 @WAS 38-31 12 OAK -----
4 @JAC 27-10 13 @SD -----
5 MIA 13-17 14 DAL -----
6 @CLE ----- 15 @PHI -----
7 PIT ----- 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 10 280,2
WR A.J. Green 5-80,1
WR Greg Little 2-20
TE Jermaine Gresham 4-40
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bengals have played inconsistently at best this year and come off a home loss to the Dolphins which should have been one of the softer games of the year. The Bengals have to resist the urge to look past this to the Steelers match-up in week seven because the Browns came within one touchdown of tying in Cincinnati.

Andy Dalton has also calmed down from his initial 300 yard, three touchdown games in weeks two and three. Against the Jaguars he only threw for 244 yards and two scores and then 234 yards with one touchdown against the Dolphins. Dalton passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting in Cincy.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been a fantasy frustration after starting out with 91 rushing yards on 18 runs and scoring once on the Ravens. Since then he has averaged less than three yards per carry and ran for only 75 yards on 21 runs at home against the Browns. Bernard Scott is gone now and that may help BGE a little but Scott was only a very minor player anyway. The lack of a decent rushing effort still plagues the Bengals.

Jermaine Gresham has been solid each week with around five catches but he only has one touchdown on the season and turned in just four catches for 37 yards in the previous Browns match-up.

A.J. Green is on a four game scoring spree with solid yardage and receptions in each. That started against the Browns when he caught seven passes for 58 yards and one score. Oddly his best two games and only ones over 70 yards were both on the road. Andrew Hawkins also scored in week two with just two catches for 56 yards and one very impressive scamper through the defense for a touchdown. But these last two weeks, Hawkins has only produced less than 50 yards per week with no scores. Armon Binns and Brandon Tate are both non-factors.

It is easy enough to expect week two to repeat and the Browns come off a thrashing in New York. But this one is at home for the Browns and one of the best chances for them to finally get a win. The Bengals cannot take this one lightly.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 13 27 2 21 14 16
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 27 24 31 3 13 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN JAC 0000026020 ***
You'd think Dalton would be an automatic start against the Jags, but they've actually been a decent defense of late--especially against the pass, but that's because opposing QBs are averaging just 33 passing attempts against the non-threatening Jags. Hue Jackson doesn't need an excuse to run more, so this is less about the matchup and more about Dalton simply handing off too much to be of fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN JAC 8011100000 ****
Hill has scored in three of four at home, where he's averaging 10 carries a game. Surprisingly facing the Jags is not a favorable statistical matchup for opposing backs, but you know Hue Jackson is going to run the ball right down Jacksonville's gullet so there should be ample opportunity for Hill to be a fantasy helper as well.
Update: With Giovani Bernard ruled out, Hill steps up as the Bengals feature back this week. He's proven up to handling the workload and zooms up the weekly rankings to borderline must-start status.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Cedric Peerman, CIN JAC 200000000 ***
Update: Peerman and Rex Burkhead will handle complementary back duties while Jeremy Hill steps up to Giovani Bernard's feature back workload. There's garbage time potential here; if you're in a larger league where backs are tough to come by, a dozen late carries against the Jags might be enough to get Peerman on your fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN JAC 004801000 *
Green returned to practice this week but you needn't rush to get him back in your lineup as Jacksonville is not the cream puff matchup you might expect; they've allowed just one WR TD in the past month. No reason to over-extend Green until he's needed, so there's a good chance he'll get some token snaps while the ground game and Mohamed Sanu do the heavy lifting. It's certainly worth revisiting on Friday, in case Green is lights out in practice.
Update: Green practiced on a limited basis all week and is officially listed as questionable for this tilt. He's demonstrated the ability to play through pain, but he's been down for close to a month so at minimum expect a little rust.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN JAC 006800000 ***
Sanu is a solid wingman who sparkled when asked to fill AJ Green's shoes as the Bengals feature receiver. With Green back at practice Sanu returns to wingman duties, and a matchup with a surprisingly effective Jacksonville secondary suggests he's a fringe fantasy play at best this week.
Update: With AJ Green potentially back Sanu shifts from WR1 to WR2... unless the Bengals are using Green as a decoy. Either way Sanu's upside takes a hit so plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Greg Little, CIN JAC 003300000 ***
With AJ Green returning to action there's no need to dig any further down the Bengals' WR depth chart than WR2 Mohamed Sanu.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN JAC 004300000 ****
Over the past three games Gresham has 23 targets, 20 catches, and zero TDs. Jacksonville is a decent matchup for TEs so if you're in a bye week bind he's better than a sharp stick in the eye, but don't go overboard with your expectations.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN JAC 1133 ****
Everybody gets their kicks against the Jags, who have allowed multiple field goals in seven of eight and an average of 10 kicker points per game. Nugent should be no exception.

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 27-41 14 KC -----
6 CIN ----- 15 WAS -----
7 @IND ----- 16 @DEN -----
8 SD ----- 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Ben Tate
WR Miles Austin 6-60,1
WR Josh Gordon 3-50,1
WR Andrew Hawkins 3-50,1
TE Jordan Cameron 3-40

Pregame Notes: The strain of losing is no fun but the Browns are pretty much accustomed to it anyway. They have been in every game this year at least for a while before it gets irretrievably out of reach. Brandon Weeden has already proven a big upgrade by throwing for around 300 yards three times this year including 322 yards and two scores in Cincinnati using virtually no NFL-quality receivers. Weeden has just five scores against nine interceptions but had no turnovers in the previous meeting with the Bengals

Trent Richardson still has a career best mark of 109 rushing yards on 19 runs when he played in Cincy and he scored twice in that game. Richardson has scored at least once in each of the last four games and adds five or six receptions as well. His season high in carries has been 19 which again came when facing the Bengals. His yardage has been nothing spectacular so far but he has always scored and his dual role helps support his fantasy value.

The tight ends are little used and never score for the Browns. Benjamin Watson has been more productive lately though just last week ended with only one catch in New York. Jordan Cameron had a touchdown there called back on a penalty and has been little used otherwise. Weeden occasionally relies on them but a lack of scoring or consistent use means no real fantasy value here.

Greg Little had his only touchdown on the year with his five receptions for 57 yards in Cincy but has since mostly been dropping passes and frustrating Weeden. Little has the ability to get open and the speed to do some damage. It is just that whole "while holding the ball" thing that has been a problem. Mohamed Massaquoi had the big game of 90 yards in the last meeting with the Bengals but has since been out with a hamstring strain. Jordan Norwood is getting more playing time from the slot and turned in nine catches for 81 yards versus the Giants. Just as important - Norwood caught all nine of his passes.

The Bengals defense let the Browns score 27 points in Cincy. The receivers are less certain for the Bengals but Richardson goes against a defense that has allowed five different runners to score on them - including Richardson... twice.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 26 10 23 23 15 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 19 27 5 21 16 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Brian Hoyer, CLE TB 0000023010 ***
Hoyer has bounced between ordinary and bad fantasy-wise, but this may be an opportunity to get well against a Bucs' secondary that's allowed multiple TD tosses and 300-plus passing yards in all three road games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ben Tate, CLE TB 802000000 ***
Tate continues to undeservedly get the bulk of the carries in Cleveland; he's averaged 2.5 yards per tote over his last 56 attempts, encompassing three games. Fortunately for Tate's fantasy owners, Mike Pettine hasn't figured out just how bad Tate is yet. Also, the Browns have gotten Tate close enough to score three touchdowns in those three games. And the Bucs have allowed all eight backs who received at least 14 carries against them to score and/or top 60 yards. It won't be pretty, so don't watch the game; just check the last column of Tate's box score late Sunday and you'll be fine.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE TB 007901000 ****
No team has allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than the Bucs, and the closest thing to a consistent contributor among Cleveland's wideouts has been Hawkins. How's that for a ringing endorsement?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Miles Austin, CLE TB 003500000 ***
Multiple wideouts have posted fantasy helpers against the Bucs in five straight games, but you're tempting fate digging this deep into the Browns' inconsistent receiver rotation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, CLE TB 003500000 ***
The Bucs have allowed multiple receivers to either score or top 55 yards or both in each of the past five games. There isn't much of a discernable pecking order to Cleveland's receiving corps, but Gabriel has been coming on of late with 60-plus yards in three of the past five games so if you're throwing a dart he's worthy of consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jim Dray, CLE TB 001100000 ***
The Bucs aren't a particularly favorable fantasy matchup for tight ends, and Dray isn't a particularly exciting fantasy plug-in for the injured Jordan Cameron.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Billy Cundiff, CLE TB 2233 ****
Cundiff's been building to his first double-digit points game, which came last week against the Raiders. Now hosting a Bucs' squad that's served up multiple treys in three straight outings you have to like his chances of a repeat.

WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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