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 Robert Griffin III, CLE CIN 20000018011 *
While the QB situation has yet to be cleared up, it stands to reason that Griffin should start this week. Cleveland has to get some idea of what he offers in the long run. The Bengals have given up only five TD passes in the last four games, intercepting seven passes along the way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE CIN 4005300000 *
For backs of Crowell's ilk, the Bengals are a thoroughly midrange matchup. This defense ranks as the 14th most exploitable overall but mostly through yardage and catches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE CIN 2004200000 *
Receiving backs have snared 6.3 balls for 39.3 yards a game versus the position in the last four games. Johnson has limited flex appeal in PPR setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr., CLE CIN 004601000 *
Cincinnati ranks 17th in receptions allowed, 29th in yards per game, 28th in touchdown efficiency, and 28th in PPR points allowed ... Pryor is a risky start in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Corey Coleman, CLE CIN 004500000 *
The quarterback situation is unsettling, and the matchup isn't much better. Only four teams have allowed fewer fantasy points to receivers over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Gary Barnidge, CLE CIN 004400000 *
RG3 is expected to start, and Barnidge has modest upside. The Bengals are a good matchup, giving up the most TE receptions a game since Week 8. Risky, sure, but you could do worse.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, CLE CIN 2211 ***
Kickers have converted 14 of 15 combined kicking chances, which registers as the ninth worst matchup for the position.

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 HOU 20000027021 ***
Incidentally, only Indy has granted TDs with more ease than Houston. The Texans have allowed QBs to average 2.5 touchdown strikes per contest in the last five weeks, while giving up 252.8 yards per. Luck threw for a matching 252 yards in their Week 6 tilt, scoring once on the ground and throwing a TD pass. He was picked off once.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND HOU 10001100000 ***
Houston ranks as the 19th best matchup against running backs over the last five weeks. In Week 6, Gore ran for 106 yards without a score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Robert Turbin, IND HOU 101000000 ***
Turbin does not belong on any fantasy rosters.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND HOU 004501000 ***
Fantasy has a new Cris Carter -- all Moncrief does is score touchdowns! The Texans have given them up with frequency, too, having allowed one every 8.8 grabs in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND HOU 007800000 ***
Houston has given up the ninth highest per-game fantasy points figure to receivers in the last five weeks. The position has scored six times in the last four games, which comes at a clip of once per 8.8 catches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Phillip Dorsett, IND HOU 002300000 ***
Dorsett has appeal only in DFS formats given his terribly limited role.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND HOU 004501000 ***
Allen exploded last week. A sign of things to come? Possibly. The Texans have given up TE TDs at the 11th easiest rate in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jack Doyle, IND HOU 002200000 ***
Doyle has no place in a fantasy lineup at this time.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND HOU 1133 ***
This is a terrible matchup for kicking field goals, but the Colts shouldn't have too much trouble finding the end zone a few times.

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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