FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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
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 ATL 0000028010 ***
The Bengals weren't nearly as run-heavy as anticipated under new OC Hue Jackson, but that was more a function of the opponent. Expect a little more running and a little less passing this week, though not enough to relegate Dalton to certain fantasy bench duty.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN ATL 9015400000 ****
Gio didn't get quite the extensive workout fantasy owners had hoped for under Hue Jackson, but that should change against an Atlanta defense that surrendered 183 combo yards to backs last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN ATL 301000000 **
Hill was lightly used in his NFL debut, a product of the opponent as much as anything else. Now he'll face a Falcons defense that surrendered three RB rushing scores in Week 1; as Cincy's goal line guy you have to like his odds of slicing off a piece of that pie for himself.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN ATL 0061201000 ****
Mildly surprising that Green didn't have at least as many targets as the rest of Cincy's wideouts combined last week, but not surprising that he thoroughly outproduced them. The Falcons couldn't contain either Marcus Colston or Brandon Cooks last week, unlikely they'll find a way to slow Green's roll here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN ATL 004500000 ***
Until the Pips start producing consistently, which may not be until Marvin Jones returns, AJ Green is the only member of Cincy's wide receiving corps worthy of fantasy attention.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN ATL 003300000 ***
Gresham inherits at least some of the looks vacated by the injury to Tyler Eifert, though he's still a long shot to turn those extra looks into fantasy-relevant productivity.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN ATL 3333 ***
The Nuge got his kicks last week--five of them, in fact, on six attempts--and it's unlikely Atlanta keeps the Bengals off the scoreboard so he's a decent fantasy bet again this week.

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 NO 0000019012 ***
Not that Hoyer can't keep up in a shootout, but that's not likely to be the Browns' game plan heading into this contest--especially if Josh Gordon remains suspended and Jordan Cameron sits out with his shoulder injury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE NO 301000000 ***
Crowell capitalized on Ben Tate's injury to turn five touches into 32 yards and a pair of scores. He should have an expanded role this week with Tate out, but he's still the junior partner in the Cleveland backfield and as such a riskier fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, CLE NO 600000000 ***
The best way for the Saints to slow the Browns' ground game will be to get up top quickly and force them to play catch-up--though the Pittsburgh game followed a similar path and yet Cleveland ran the ball 28 times. West wound up being the lead dog in that committee and remains in that role here, with a modicum of fantasy upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE NO 007800000 ***
Brian Hoyer is no Matt Ryan, and neither is Hawkins the equal of Julio Jones or Roddy White. But if Devin Hester (5-99) and Harry Douglas (6-69) can put up decent numbers on tertiary targets the last remaining viable option in Cleveland's passing game at least warrants fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Cameron, CLE NO 00000000 *
Cameron is no lock to suit up this week after dinging his shoulder in the Kickoff Weekend loss to Atlanta. If he plays he's a solid start as the most familiar target in Cleveland's passing game, but you'll have to wait at least until the Friday injury report to get a better read on his availability.
Update: Cameron did not practice all week due to a shoulder injury. He'll be a game time decision against the Saints.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Billy Cundiff, CLE NO 2122 ****
You'd think that you can't match the New Orleans offense with field goals, and yet the Saints have allowed multiple field goal attempts in nine of their last 11 games. Still, this doesn't feel like a great opportunity to trot out Cundiff in your fantasy lineup.

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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