Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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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
  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
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.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 13 27 2 21 14 16
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 27 24 31 3 13 26

QB Andy Dalton, CIN @PIT 0000027021 ***
The Steelers have given up 300-plus passing yards in three straight games and multiple touchdown tosses in eight of the last nine. That stretch includes Dalton's 302 and 2 (with a rushing TD to boot), though in two subsequent games Andy has a total of 263 and 2. The tiebreaker is Dalton's penchant for coming up small in big games, so while there's upside in the matchup you'll likely want to find fantasy help elsewhere.
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @PIT 9001100000 ****
Hill averaged almost six yards a carry in limited work against the Steelers in the earlier matchup; since then he's racked up a pair of 140-yard games--still at a six-yards per carry pace. Hill is on a roll, and while Pittsburgh has been relatively solid against the run they've shown a weakness for bigger backs like Arian Foster, Mark Ingram... and, this week, Hill.
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @PIT 2003200000 ***
Gio has become the complimentary guy, and in a tough matchup he's a far riskier fantasy play than the Bengals' current bell cow, Jeremy Hill.
WR A.J. Green, CIN @PIT 005801000 *
Green gashed the Steelers for 11-224-1 just three weeks ago. He's banged up coming out of the win over Denver, but all indications are he'll play--and against a secondary that's allowed three 130-plus yard receivers in the past month, all indications are he'll perform well.
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN @PIT 004500000 ***
It was all AJ Green the last time Cincy faced Pittsburgh, and that's become typical of the Bengals passing game as Sanu hasn't scored since Week 12 or topped 50 yards since Week 9. He's never broken 40 yards against the Steelers; no reason to believe that changes here.
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN @PIT 005601000 ***
There's hope for Gresham this week against a Steelers defense that's allowed six TE TDs in the past eight games. Gresham has scored in two of the last three, including last week and the earlier matchup with Pittsburgh. At this juncture there's no WR2 to AJ Green, so Gresham could fill that opening.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN @PIT 2222 ***
The Nuge is coming off his best two-game stretch of the season; the Steelers have allowed six field goals in their last two. Almost makes you believe he's a safe bet to improve upon his three point performance in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh in Week 14. Almost.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  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 Shaun Draughn 20 2-20
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.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 26 10 23 23 15 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 19 27 5 21 16 28

QB Connor Shaw, CLE @BAL 10000016002 ***
The undrafted rookie is taking all the first-team snaps in practice and will likely make the start in Baltimore in place of the injured Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer. An undrafted rookie, activated off the practice squad, starting in Baltimore against a Ravens team that needs to win. Yeah, that's going to end well.
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @BAL 500000000 **
With the Browns starting a third-string quarterback in Week 17 for the fifth straight season--talk about a cursed franchise--the onus will be on the ground game to carry the offensive load. The problem there is that feature backs average 45 yards per game in Baltimore, and the Ravens have allowed only one RB rushing score in Baltimore this season--and a total of six RB TDs altogether. Crowell saw the bulk of the carries last week with Terrence West pinned to the bench due to lack of practice effort, but if the upside is less than 50 yards you'll want to look elsewhere.
WR Taylor Gabriel, CLE @BAL 004600000 *
It's been tough finding fantasy wideouts in Cleveland all year, let alone when they're scraping the bottom of the quarterbacks barrel in Week 17 on the road facing a Baltimore squad in a do-or-die situation. So... nah.
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @BAL 003200000 *
It's tough to be a PPR threat when there are few "R"s to go around, and with Cleveland's quarterback issues this week that's likely to be the case.
Update: Making matters worse is that Hawkins is listed as questionable with a thumb injury. He practiced only on a limited basis this week and doesn't have the upside to offset the risk of little or no game action here.
WR Josh Gordon, CLE @BAL 00000000 *
No matter how good Gordon is, he can't throw the ball to himself. And between a banged-up Brian Hoyer, journeyman Tyler Thigpen and undrafted rookie Connor Shaw the Browns have all kinds of issues at quarterback. So much for that big late-season push after stashing Gordon, eh?
TE Jordan Cameron, CLE @BAL 003300000 *
It took until Week 16 but Cameron finally delivered on expectations last week with 88 yards and a touchdown. Now he'll face a tough matchup--the Ravens have allowed just five TE TDs on the year--while saddled with quarterback issues. Tough to bank on him for fantasy help this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Garrett Hartley, CLE @BAL 1100 **
Hartley has been a solid addition since replacing Billy Cundiff, though the Johnny Manziel-led offense hasn't provided a ton of opportunities. Cundiff had three points in the earlier meeting with Baltimore; tough to bank on Hartley providing a dramatic upgrade, especially if it's undrafted rookie Connor Shaw at quarterback for the Brownies.

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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