FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

Prediction: CLE 24, IND 27 (Line: IND by 3.5)

Players Update: Greg Little, Montario Hardesty, Trent Richardson

Players to Watch: Brandon Weeden, CLE RB's, Andrew Luck

This could be a fascinating game since both teams have defensive problems and there should be several players with unusually productive games this week. The 2-3 Colts are 2-1 in home games while the 1-5 Browns are 0-3 on the road and come off their first win of the season. The only two really good players in this game are Reggie Wayne and Pat Haden and they go against each other.

The Browns beat the Colts 27-19 in week two of last year.

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 34-24 15 WAS -----
7 @IND ----- 16 @DEN -----
8 SD ----- 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE @ IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 80,1 200,1
WR Josh Gordon 4-80,1
WR Andrew Hawkins 3-50

Pregame Notes: The Browns finally notch their first win of the season with scores from their rushing, passing and defense but may have lost Trent Richardson this week since he is day-to-day with a rib cartilage injury. We'll know more from practices through the week but the Browns offense has come to life in just the last two weeks against decent defenses. No one is having a truly big game but all the parts are adding up better and at least for one week - it was enough to grab the "W".

Brandon Weeden should be in consideration for Rookie of the Year and not because his seven touchdowns are that impressive. It is not even that he has thrown for over 290 yards three times. It is that he has done this with a terrible cast of receivers who end up mostly injured anyway.

Travis Benjamin and Jordan Norwood are out. Greg Little is playing volleyball. Mohamed Massaquoi is out. Josh Gordon is the best receiver even though he only played one year in college, took a year off and now is in the NFL. Gordon has scored three times in the last two weeks and his career so far is just a 62-yard and a 70-yard touchdown catch and run when he got behind the safety. The running backs contribute as much as receivers as the wideouts have in most games. The tight ends rare amount to more than a few catches and last week was the first time any of them scored. Ben Watson's touchdown came during his two catches for six yards.

If Richardson cannot play, Montario Hardesty will get the start and should have a bigger role this week even if Richardson can guy out a start. Hardesty gained 56 yards on 15 runs and scored once on the Bengals subbing for Richardson last week. Chris Ogbonnaya chugs along with a few catches per week. This would be a great week to start a healthy Richardson against the same injury-ravaged defense that made Shonn Greene look like a superstar.

The Colts defense is in a bad way with so many injured players and that should at least support more points for the Browns. Brandon Weeden has been impressive in recent weeks as he gets a better grasp of the offense. He faces a secondary that has allowed at least two passing scores in all but one game.

The rushing defense fell apart last week but after 32 runs it was going to break because of the injuries. Back at home they should be better this week and the Browns are not at full strength anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 26 10 23 23 14 6
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 18 27 24 1 16 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cody Kessler, CLE @WAS 0000024011 ***
Kessler was rotating with wide receiver/former quarterback Terrelle Pryor Sr. in Week 3. The third-string quarterback entering the season, Kessler isn't a fantasy-worthy option, even with a slightly positive matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @WAS 8012100000 ***
Crowell is a rock-solid RB or DFS play this week in all scoring formats. No team has granted more touchdowns to running backs on the ground than Washington. This is the fifth best matchup for fantasy backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE @WAS 3004300000 ***
For as much of a marshmallow Washington is against running backs on the ground, this defense does a reasonable job at limiting the position through the air -- where Johnson finds his value its highest. He's a fringe consideration in PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr., CLE @WAS 2006800000 **
Pryor is a WR3 play in most fantasy setups. He won't go nuts like he did last week. The former quarterback is in for a fine matchup against fantasy's third softest matchup of his position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @WAS 003300000 ***
Hawkins has PPR appeal for truly desperate gamers, but that is where it ends. Washington has given up 43 catches, but Cleveland's offensive deficiencies make Hawkins far too risky.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Gary Barnidge, CLE @WAS 006501000 ***
It's understandably difficult to consider Barnidge as being starter-worthy between his slow beginning to the year and difficult matchup. Last week, he posted double-digit fantasy points and is clawing back to respectability. Washington hasn't allowed a touchdown to the position, but its starting free safety is now done for the year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, CLE @WAS 2222 ***
Parkey replaced Patrick Murray last week and hit only three of his six three-point attempts. The Redskins are the 10th easiest matchup for fantasy feet.

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC -----
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE -----
3 JAC 17-22 12 BUF -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET -----
5 GB 30-27 14 TEN -----
6 @NYJ 9-35 15 @HOU -----
7 CLE ----- 16 @KC -----
8 @TEN ----- 17 HOU -----
9 MIA ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 20 300,3
RB Frank Gore 60,1 4-30
WR T.Y. Hilton 4-50
TE Dwayne Allen 2-20
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Last week was certainly one of those games. The Colts were on the road for only the second time and faced a wounded Jets team looking for anyone they could beat. A few more defensive losses to injury and the Colts were steam rolled by Shonn Greene which was something that no one knew was even possible. Coming back home with time to regroup, the Colts face this as the easiest game left on the schedule and a chance to notch another win.

Andrew Luck was unable to score last week - a few dropped passes did not help the effort - but he has been on a two-touchdown streak with solid yardage in each game. Luck still passed for 280 yards in New York and that was his lowest yardage since week two. Luck looks very much like a young Manning only without as many interceptions or Marshall Faulk or a young Marvin Harrison. Not unlike Weeden for the Browns, Luck has cobbled together a solid passing effort every week while getting only minimal support from the run game.

With Donald Brown out, the Colts have turned to the rookie Vick Ballard but he was limited to only eight carries in New York since the rushing effort was abandoned early on. The Colts as a team have only one rushing touchdown by a running back but face one of the weaker units in the league that just lost LB Scott Fujita last week.

Luck uses both Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen though both remain well below fantasy consideration with usually less than 30 yards per game each. Allen scored twice this year while Fleener has yet to reach the endzone.

Reggie Wayne was about as "handled" as it gets when Antonio Cromartie held him to five catches for 87 last Sunday, Wayne has been prolific in most recent games and while the Browns will throw Pat Haden into this mix, he was already burned last week and the Colts will seek to constantly move Wayne around the offense to get a better matchup. He may not line up in the same spot two plays in a row. Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton are still minor players here but no one approaches the contribution of Wayne. Not even combining their production.

Both teams have defensive problems but the Browns have allowed multiple touchdowns to every quarterback they have faced. Four of those topped 300 yards against them. Expect a big effort here by Luck and that drags Wayne into the mix regardless of Joe Haden. The Colts need a bounce back game from last week and this is the perfect scenario.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 10 32 6 11 17 26
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 30 22 32 5 15 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andrew Luck, IND @JAC 20100025021 ***
Luck is missing one of his top targets in Donte Moncrief, but as T.Y. Hilton showed in Week 3, speed kills. Luck heads to London to face a division rival that he hasn't played since 2014. Jacksonville is the eighth easiest matchup for quarterbacks.

Update: Compounding the loss of Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett is questionable. Luck's upside is scant this weekend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND @JAC 5003200000 ***
Six teams have been kinder to running backs than Gore's Week 4 opponent. The matchup, along with his limited use and marginal effectiveness, call for a trip to the bench in regular situations. Desperation only.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @JAC 007901000 ***
Hilton showed last week that one big play can turn things around. He was having an OK day until ripping off a monster TD catch-and-run. He should be started in all formats, and this matchup is two thumbs up in his favor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Phillip Dorsett, IND @JAC 003500000 ***
The speedster crosses the pond and has a fine matchup. Jacksonville ranks eighth against wideouts, giving up five touchdowns on 41 grabs. Dorsett has limited fantasy appeal and is best used in non-PPR leagues.

Update: Dorsett is questionable and did not fully practice Friday. This is the earliest game Sunday (9:30 ET), so make sure he's active before taking what is notable risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jack Doyle, IND @JAC 003201000 **
Doyle is becoming a playable commodity in fantasy circles, and it's coming at Dwayne Allen's expense. Doyle played in 74 percent of the snaps last week, compared to Allen's 82 percent. Jacksonville is a bottom-10 matchup for tight ends.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @JAC 003300000 ***
Allen is a tough sell for any fantasy starting lineup ... this week, the going gets rougher. Jacksonville has allowed a line of 11-86-1 to the position. Keep Allen in reserve until he has a better matchup and a larger role.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @JAC 3322 ***
A trip to London brings a meeting with the fifth easiest kicker matchup. Jacksonville has ceded seven field goals and nine extra points at a 100 percent accuracy clip.

WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

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