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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: OAK 20, BAL 27 (Line: BAL by 7.5)

Players Updated: Brandon Myers, Darren McFadden

Players to Watch: Marcel Reese

The 3-5 Raiders are only 1-3 in road games and just lost most of their backfield to a collective high ankle sprain. The 6-2 Ravens are a perfect 4-0 at home though their last three wins were all by less than one touchdown. Still, it is just the Raiders and they have no real backfield anyway.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL -----
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO -----
3 PIT 34-31 12 @CIN -----
4 @DEN 6-37 13 CLE -----
5 BYE ----- 14 DEN -----
6 @ATL 20-23 15 KC -----
7 JAC 26-23 16 @CAR -----
8 @KC 26-16 17 @SD -----
9 TB 32-42 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
OAK @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub 210,1
RB Darren McFadden
RB Marcel Reece 40 6-50,1
WR Denarius Moore 4-60,1
WR Rod Streater 3-40
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 2 XP
PK Justin Medlock 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Raiders have posted surprisingly good points this year though they often come against weak defenses or as junk yards and points at the end of losing games. Thanks to playing in the AFC West, the schedule is not too bad in the second half of the season but then again - it wasn't that tough in the first eight games and still only led to a 3-5 record.

What has been working is the passing of Carson Palmer who has yet to pass for less than 200 yards and comes off a season high 414 yards and four scores in the losing effort to the Buccaneers. Palmer has failed to score in only one game this year and most end up with 300+ yards.

Both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson suffered high ankle sprains against the Bucs. That's a problem because the only ones left are Taiwan Jones who they clearly do not trust and want to avoid, and fullback Marcel Reece. Once McFadden and Goodson were gone last week, Reece caught eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown but did not take any carries. Even McFadden ran just seven times for 17 yards in that game. Defensive injuries have caused the Ravens to be softer against the run but nothing the Raiders have appears capable of taking advantage. That should bode even better for the passing game since that is the only way the Raiders are going to advance the ball.

McFadden has not yet been officially ruled out but even if he plays he won't be 100% and he's been largely ineffective this year anyway.

Brandon Myers finally scored this year - twice in fact - when he caught a season best eight passes for 59 yards against the Bucs. he's been very consistent with around 50 yards per week and can break into the top ten for tight ends if the Raiders continue to use him in the red zone.

Darrius Heyward-Bey is also doing more in recent weeks with a score in Kansas City and turning in 70+ yards against both the Jags and Bucs. Denarius Moore fell off his three game scoring streak but still posted 66 yards on four catches last week. He's averaged right around 70 yards per game and scored four times this season. Myers, Moore and Heyward-Bey make up most of the passing production each week. Rod Streater and Derek Hagen have the decent showing every month or two.

The Raiders are likely to throw 45+ passes this week and that should benefit the main three receivers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 12 9 21 9 5 27
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 8 20 17 22 29 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Derek Carr, OAK @DEN 0000023022 ***
Carr threw for 192 and 2 in the earlier meeting with Denver. He's had multiple TDs in two of his last three games but the yardage has been substandard and facing a Broncos team looking to lock down a first-round bye won't help his prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @DEN 6002200000 ***
The Raiders hadn't gotten around to using Murray the last time they faced Denver; he saw just two of the teams 13 rushing attempts. Now he's the 20-plus carry lead dog, and all four 20-carry backs have all either scored or topped 100 yards against the Broncos. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @DEN 3001100000 ***
Wouldn't it be fitting if McFadden got hurt in his Raiders' swan song? One more trip through the training room, getting nostalgic with the whirlpool, all while watching Latavius Murray highlights on the TV.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @DEN 006401000 **
Jones has scored in back-to-back games, though his catches dwindled from eight to one last week. At that rate his prospects for this week don't look particularly good.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK @DEN 003300000 ***
No Raiders receiver topped 30 yards the last time they faced the Broncos, and only two have topped 60 in Denver's last seven. Holmes might be the most frequently targeted Raider, but the ceiling is pretty low for his fantasy prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @DEN 006501000 ****
Rivera might be the best (only?) fantasy play to emerge from the Oakland passing game this weekend. He scored in the previous meeting with Denver (part of a 6-64-1 showing), has 15-153-1 the past three games, and faces a Broncos defense that's given up TE TDs in back-to-back games and seven of their nine TE scores in the second half of the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @DEN 1122 ***
SeaBass goes 14 games without a fantasy helper, then drops 14 on an unsuspecting Buffalo defense. The Broncos aren't likely to be as friendly; they held Janikowski to something closer to his usual, five points in the earlier meeting, and are a good bet to do so again.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 44-13 10 OAK -----
2 @PHI 23-24 11 @PIT -----
3 NE 31-30 12 @SD -----
4 CLE 23-16 13 PIT -----
5 @KC 9-6 14 @WAS -----
6 DAL 31-29 15 DEN -----
7 @HOU 13-43 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE 25-15 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 260,1
WR Steve Smith 6-100
WR Torrey Smith 5-80,1
WR Brandon Stokley 2-20
TE Dallas Clark 2-20
TE Owen Daniels 4-40
TE Dennis Pitta 4-40
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens have a big problem this year in that they play well enough at home to win every game so far but on the road they are far less formidable. The defense has taken a step down thanks to significant injuries and the offense just never seems to hit a higher gear. That;s good enough to beat teams like the visiting Raiders but the remaining schedule includes two critical meetings with the Steelers and home games against the Broncos and Giants. There is a chance the Ravens are as good as they are going to get and that a downturn is imminent. But that won't be apparent yet this week.

Joe Flacco throws for a touchdown in almost every game but that is usually it. Just one score. He hasn't thrown for more than one touchdown since week three and his yardage keeps getting worse. After starting out with three of four games producing 299 yards or more, he's posted less than 190 passing yards in three of the last four. If this was graded on the quarter system, he would have been "A-" for the first four games and maybe a "C-" in the last four. As a schedule quirk, he did face weaker defenses to start the year and then more formidable opponents the last month. This game should be a good indicator since the Raiders are average against the pass only on a good day at home.

Ray Rice was inexplicably limited to only nine runs for 42 yards in week eight in Houston. He was appeased last week by running the ball 25 times for 98 yards and one score in Cleveland. Rice has been less productive in the last month though and even his role as a receiver has declined. Over the first four games, Rice caught 22 passes for 174 yards. In these last four weeks, he's only caught nine passes for 77 yards. Bernard Pierce was even allowed to come in and score the short touchdown last week. Rice is still productive and a must start back but his numbers have fallen off from last year and even the first month of the season.

The tight ends started out well with Dennis Pitta scoring twice and posting 50+ yards for the first three weeks but has since not been worth any fantasy consideration. You want consistency? Pitta gained 33 yards in each of his last three games.

Anquan Boldin hasn't scored since the season opener and varies wildly from as high as 131 yards and as low as just seven yards in a game. Torrey Smith's been mediocre with yards and catches this past month but did score twice. He has not topped 50 yards in a game since week four but his five receiving touchdowns lead the team.

This week will be interesting because a home game versus the Raiders should be an indicator of what the best situation for the Ravens can produce.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 11 19 17 10 10
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 23 31 14 18 30 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL CLE 0000022010 ***
Flacco was ordinary (217 and 1) in the earlier meeting with Cleveland, and there's little in his season stats, history with the Browns, or Cleveland's season thus far suggest he'll stray far enough from ordinary to warrant fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL CLE 12022100000 ***
After giving up 154 RB rushing yards (63 to Forsett on 11 carries) to the Ravens in the earlier meeting, the Browns have allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushers the past two weeks. Forsett has been showing signs of wearing down, but in a must-win for Baltimore expect him to get enough touches--and do enough with them--to be a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL CLE 004601000 *
After ceding WR1 duties to Steve Smith to start the season, Torrey has been the more productive wideout over the past two months. He's scored six touchdowns in seven games, including two last week in Houston. Maybe he draws Joe Haden this time around, or maybe he capitalizes on not getting Haden with another solid effort. Either way, he's a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL CLE 004500000 ***
Steve bettered Joe Haden to the tune of 105 yards in the earlier meeting, so aside from expected pedestrian numbers from the Baltimore passing game there's no need to fear this matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL CLE 003300000 ***
The Browns limited Baltimore tight ends to 20 yards in the earlier meeting, and Daniels has done nothing since to warrant fantasy consideration here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL CLE 1133 ***
Tucker reached double-digit points in Cleveland; chances are he'll meet or beat that performance when the Brownies limp into Baltimore with nothing to play for.

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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