FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

Prediction: DEN 31, CIN 17 (Line: DEN by 3)

Players to Watch: Willis McGahee, Andy Dalton

The 4-3 Broncos served notice to the league when they shredded the Saints while Peyton Manning looks as dangerous as a guy who just figured out how to drive a M1 Abrams tank. The 3-4 Bengals are on a three game losing streak and looking like the Bengals of old. Only with A.J. Green instead of a young Chad Johnson. The Bengals are only 1-2 at home but are coming off their bye week.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 31-19 10 @CAR -----
2 @ATL 21-27 11 SD -----
3 HOU 25-31 12 @KC -----
4 OAK 37-6 13 TB -----
5 @NE 21-31 14 @OAK -----
6 @SD 35-24 15 @BAL -----
7 BYE ----- 16 CLE -----
8 NO 34-14 17 KC -----
9 @CIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DEN @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 300,3
WR Emmanuel Sanders 3-40
WR Demaryius Thomas 6-90,1
TE Jacob Tamme 2-20

Pregame Notes: Apparently it only requires three weeks for Peyton Manning to join an entirely new team with questionable receivers and turn it all into a scoring machine. He is setting records now with four straight games with over 300 passing yards and three touchdowns. He not only threw 17 touchdowns so far, he has only had one interception in the last five games. He doesn't even get sacked anymore. The scariest thing of all is that he not only has his new versions of Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison, but he also enjoys his best rushing support in many years. Oh yes, and this has to be the best defense he has ever played with. Add it all together and one guy in every league is giggling about the fourth round pick he made in his fantasy draft.

Willis McGahee continues to provide solid rushing in every game and when he doesn't, he becomes a receiver with as many ass six catches in a game. He evolved into a near lock for 100+ total yards every week and just shifts the amount of rushing and receiving yards around. Ronnie Hillman ran for 86 yards on 14 runs against the Saints but that was just letting the little brother kick the bully when he was already down. Hillman has no reliable fantasy value yet.

The tight ends always figure in at least a little every week but there is no way to discern if it will be Jacob Tamme or Joel Dreessen. Last week it was Virgil Green for the first time. Sadly no reliable fantasy value here.

Simply put, Manning has made both Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker into must start receivers every week. Decker is on a four game scoring streak and has five touchdowns on the year. He is the lesser used of the wideouts but still has been just a lock for a score for the past month and usually decent yardage as well. Thomas only scored four times on the year and just twice in recent weeks but already logged four efforts over 100 yards. Brandon Stokley also scores on occasion but Decker and Thomas are the primary duo for the offense.

Manning won't post 300 yards and three scores every week. But then again he might. The Bengals are solid against the pass but the only quarterback they faced of any real note was Ben Roethlisberger (278, TD). Otherwise it has been Brandon Weeden (twice), Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco, Robert Griffin and Blaine Gabbert. None in the same class as Manning.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 6 10 2 6 19 6
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 16 28 8 27 21 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Peyton Manning, DEN MIA 0000030030 ***
Forget last week's aberration in St. Louis; Manning is money at home, with at least three TD tosses in every game and an average of 318 yards per home contest. The Dolphins haven't allowed so much as a 300 yard game this year, but it's Manning so anything's possible.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Anderson, DEN MIA 7006600000 ***
Looks like Anderson will be the lead dog in Denver this week, against a Miami defense that hasn't let a back go for 50 yards against them in a month. Expect him to pick up a little fantasy help in the passing game, which combined with his share of the run game makes a tidy little fantasy package.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN MIA 0081101000 ***
With or without Emmanuel Sanders, whether or not Brent Grimes plays him man-up the entire game, Thomas is an every-week fantasy starter.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Wes Welker, DEN MIA 005500000 ***
Welker could see some extra looks with Emmanuel Sanders out with a concussion, but it's going to take no Sanders in the lineup for Welker to warrant fantasy attention.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Caldwell, DEN MIA 004500000 ***
The Broncos have options if Emmanuel Sanders can't go, with Caldwell being one of them. He'd warrant fantasy attention if Sanders is ruled out; otherwise he's just going to remain a fantasy afterthought.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, DEN MIA 003301000 ***
It isn't a great matchup, but if Thomas recovers from his ankle injury in time to play he's an every-week fantasy starter. No Thomas, no need to reach for his backups.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN MIA 2133 ***
Tacking on points for Peyton Manning's offense hasn't been as productive as you might think--just one double-digit points game in the past six and only two all year. So keep your expectations in check with McManus and you'll be just fine.

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 24-34 15 @PHI -----
7 PIT 17-24 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 230,2
WR A.J. Green 5-60,1
WR Greg Little 5-80,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 6-60,1
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: At 3-4 and on a three game losing streak, the Bengals are flirting with the return to mediocrity. The schedule is no less challenging either so they need to figure out how to produce more points and expand an offense that has become little more than Andy Dalton passing to A.J. Green. It has been great for Green owners but less so for the actual Bengals.

Dalton's been a nice surprise again this year with scores in the last six games and a total of 13 passing touchdowns with ten interceptions. He scores more than once in most games and other than the 105 yard flop in week seven to the Steelers, Dalton has produced good to great yardage every week. He's another one of the quarterbacks that can really go off when facing a weak defense but isn't good enough yet to post a big game on a good defense.

The rushing game has been of minor help to the offense with only three rushing touchdowns scored this year and none for BenJarvus Green-Ellis since week three. He still has yet to break 100 rushing yards this year despite taking nearly all the carries for the Bengals. He rarely is used as a receiver so all he really offers is just around 60 or so rushing yards in most games. Not exactly acceptable for a primary back who doesn't really share carries. Even Cedric Benson was markedly better than this.

The entirety of the passing game revolves around A.J. Green who is on a six-game scoring streak but finally was held to just one catch by the Steelers. He's been one of the most productive wideouts this year and generally commands ten to twelve passes per week. Armon Binns only seems to get worse and Andrew Hawkins settled down to more of a typical slot receiver with two or three catches per game. The intention was to try Marvin Jones out across from Green but he's been out for two weeks with a slightly torn MCL.

Jermaine Gresham rounds out the receivers and has become the second best target for Dalton. He's only scored twice but offers up around 60 yards in most games with much more consistency than any of the others.

The Broncos come in with a very good rushing defense to pit against the bad running of Green-Ellis. Dalton has to try to find secondary receivers because the Broncos can cover "one guy" passing schemes.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 13 27 4 19 17 18
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 15 18 7 30 6 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN @HOU 0000023022 ***
Dalton bounced back from his choke-job against Cleveland with three TDs in New Orleans. A Houston defense that's allowed multiple passing scores in seven of eight and 250-plus yards in six straight should allow Dalton to squeeze out another fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @HOU 5002200000 ***
Hill is more than capable of carrying the load himself if Giovani Bernard can't go again; even if Gio's back, Hill has carved out enough of a share of Cincy's backfield touches to warrant fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @HOU 4003200000 ****
You'd like to think Gio returns at full go here, but he'll likely have to split the workload as he eases himself back into the mix. Still, it's a favorable enough matchup that sharing touches or no Bernard is back in your starting lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN @HOU 0061101000 ***
Green has scored twice in three games since returning to action; safe to say he's regained his every-week-starter card.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN @HOU 005601000 **
The Texans have allowed multiple receivers to either score and/or top 90 yards in three of four and five of the last seven, so even with AJ Green back in the mix Sanu warrants fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN @HOU 005400000 ***
The Bengals--and fantasy owners--rediscovered Gresham just in time to have him face one of the tougher tight end matchups on the board. Don't chase last week's two TDs.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN @HOU 1122 ***
Nugent has been good not great; the Texans, on the other hand, have been stingy in allowing just one game with double-digit points over the past two months. You can probably do better, but at least with Nugent you're reasonably safe.

WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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