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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
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 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 @NE 0000020013 ***
Carr has been meh through his first two games, and aside from garbage time there's no reason to expect him to outperform Matt Cassel (202 & 1) or Ryan Tannehill (178 & 2) against the Patriots.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @NE 4003200000 ***
McFadden's best bet, assuming he gets the snaps because Maurice Jones-Drew and his bum hand can't go, is some sort of receiving score; the Pats have allowed RB receiving TDs in back-to-back contests. Otherwise, nothing compelling about McFadden's ground potential against the Pats this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @NE 005501000 ***
Jones has scored in each of his games as a Raider, but all that means is Darrelle Revis will be acutely aware of where Jones is at all times. Nothing says you have to start a Raider this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Denarius Moore, OAK @NE 003400000 ***
Moore is clinging to the fringe of fantasy relevancy as he battles Andre Holmes and Rod Streater for looks in Oakland's unproductive passing game. If you're using him here you're playing the "not being covered by Revis" card. Good luck with that.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @NE 003300000 ***
Rivera has posted matching 31-yard performances thus far, so if 31 yards gets you bonus points in your fantasy league... he's your guy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @NE 1111 ***
No kicker has fewer fantasy points; 30 have more. You can do better.

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
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 10000024021 ***
The Browns haven't been shut-down defensively against the pass, but they haven't exactly been pushovers either. Flacco threw for two TDs the last time they met, but it was his first multiple-passing TD game against them in his last four. That 250 and 2 feels like his ceiling here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bernard Pierce, BAL @CLE 701000000 ****
Should be a decent outing for Pierce against a Browns' defense that's giving up better than five yards a carry and has particularly struggled with power backs like Le'Veon Bell and Mark Ingram.
Update: Though officially listed as questionable, Pierce practiced in full on Friday and should be available to take what is becoming his regular role in the Baltimore backfield rotation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL @CLE 5004200000 ***
Given that the Browns are allowing 192 combo yards per game to opposing backs, Forsett's share of the Ravens' backfield workload should be worth a little something in fantasy circles this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL @CLE 006600000 ***
Smith is turning "Napoleon Syndrome" and a dozen targets a game into a career rebirth in Baltimore. And while the Browns haven't erased opposing wideouts this year the prospect of Joe Haden draped all over Steve does dampen the fantasy enthusiasm a bit.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL @CLE 004500000 ***
Maybe the Browns tab Steve Smith as Cleveland's top threat and match him with Joe Haden. Maybe that opens up Torrey for more targets, which he could turn into a typical productive matchup against the Browns--he's scored or topped 75 yards in four straight meetings. Of course, until Steve stops hogging more than half the Ravens' WR targets it's all theory and tough to trust in a fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dennis Pitta, BAL @CLE 006701000 ****
The Ravens love to force-feed their tight end, but Pitta is no Jimmy Graham. Then again, it's unlikely the Browns use Joe Haden on Pitta. Call it a wash and look for Pitta to turn his typical heavy target load into another productive fantasy outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL @CLE 003300000 ***
In PPR leagues Daniels has value, as the TE spillover in Gary Kubiak's offense is running in the 4-5 catches per game range. However, don't get used to the #TBT Kubiak unleashed on us last week with Daniels' pair of TDs; he's still TE2 in Baltimore and should be treated as such.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @CLE 1133 ***
Tucker has had multiple field goal attempts in each game this season, and in every road game dating back to Week 9 of last year. The Browns have a bend-don't-break defense, which should lend itself well to more opportunities for Tucker this week.

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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