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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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Jamaal Charles 60,1 3-20
WR Emmanuel Sanders 3-40
WR Demaryius Thomas 6-90,1

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 Brock Osweiler, DEN @WAS 0000018002 *
Despite a quality showing in Week 15 relief, the starting job is up in the air at this point. The Broncos appear headed toward starting Paxton Lynch (ankle), should he be healthy enough to go. It matters nothing either way.

Update: Lynch fully practiced Friday and split reps with Osweiler. No starter has been named as of Friday evening, but it leans in the veteran's favor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Anderson, DEN @WAS 701000000 **
Only the Colts have yielded more rushing yards a game than the Redskins in the past five weeks, and it is by the nose of the football ... maybe even an index card's width. Anderson gashed those very Colts last week and could shine again in the title round. This is the 19th-best matchup for a ground score, and Paxton Lynch figures to start, so there's a little bit of risk.

Update: It looks like Brock Osweiler will start instead of Lynch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devontae Booker, DEN @WAS 3001100000 ***
While Booker has a fine matchup, Anderson quickly could steal the show once again. Washington is the fifth-best matchup in non-PPR and No. 12 in the reception-rewarding format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cody Latimer, DEN @WAS 003400000 ***
It appears Paxton Lynch (ankle) will get the start. It really doesn't matter; gamers need to stay away from Latimer with a title on the line.

Update: It looks like Brock Osweiler will start instead of Lynch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @WAS 003300000 **
Sanders has struggled mightily of late while trying to play through an ankle injury, and now he is likely to have another quarterback change to Paxton Lynch. The matchup is daunting. Washington has conceded only 9.8 receptions (27th) for 146.8 yards (16th) and a score every 24.5 snags (28th) in the past five weeks.

Update: Sanders is questionable and a gametime call. He sat the first two days of practice but gave it a limited go in Friday's session. It looks like Brock Osweiler will start instead of Lynch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @WAS 003200000 ***
The matchup is awful, and it looks like Paxton Lynch will start. The only Broncos wideout with a hint of upside is Thomas, though he must overcome fantasy's fifth-worst match up of the week.

Update: It looks like Brock Osweiler will start instead of Lynch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Virgil Green, DEN @WAS 002300000 ***
Green has four catches in his last four outings and belongs on the wire.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @WAS 3311 ***
Washington offers the second-best matchup of the week, primarily due to yielding the second-most field goal attempts (14-for-14) per game over the last five weeks.

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 Brandon LaFell

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 DET 0000021011 **
Detroit has averaged a pick per game and has allowed a touchdown pass every 14.9 completions (20th). This is the No. 7 matchup to exploit for yardage (265.8). All told, the struggling Dalton has fantasy's fifth-best matchup of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joe Mixon, CIN DET 6011100000 *
Mixon should be ready this week after fully going in Wednesday's session, which is usually a telltale sign of an imminent return. Detroit is among the four-best matchups of the week in both scoring formats. Running backs have scored once every 20 carries, which is No. 6, and this is a great matchup for versatile RBs.

Update: Mixon practiced in full all week and will play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DET 2003300000 ***
Bernard should take a backseat as Joe Mixon is poised to return after fully practicing Wednesday. The projections will be updated accordingly later in the week. The Lions present the fourth-best PPR matchup and second-easiest in standard.

Update: Mixon practiced in full all week and will play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN DET 005701000 ***
Detroit has been content to give up top-12 weekly figures in receptions (13) and yardage (167), but this defense has clamped down against permitting scores. None of the 65 opportunities over the last five months scored. Only Baltimore has been stronger. Look for Green to draw Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN DET 003400000 ***
The veteran possession man in this offense has two TDs in his last six games. Sanu has been targeted at least five times in each of those contests, and Detroit offers a promising matchup for his style of play. The Lions have permitted receivers to average 13 receptions (11th) for 167 yards (7th) a game. Zero of those 65 snares found the end zone, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN DET 003400000 ***
Detroit has been among the best tight end matchups to exploit for much of the season. In the past five games, TEs have scored once, on average, and this is a top-12 matchup for receptions and yards per game. It was Week 12 the last time he scored, and Kroft has taken advantage of good matchups, so there is hope he outplays his projection.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN DET 2222 ***
Kickers have found great success with extra points against the Lions, but Cincinnati has struggled putting the ball into the end zone. This is only the 22nd-best matchup for three-point opportunities.

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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