FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 @SEA 0000017012 ****
Carr's had a couple of decent fantasy efforts during his rookie campaign; asking him to go to Seattle and pull one off... well, that's a bit too aggressive.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @SEA 4004200000 ***
McFadden is unlikely to dent the Seahawks on the ground, but he could salvage fantasy value via the air against a Seattle defense that's allowing almost 50 RB receiving yards per game over the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, OAK @SEA 40130000 ***
MJD's last two game have seen him carry the ball nine times for 14 yards. Ugh.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK @SEA 005600000 **
Holmes will get his targets; the key will be holding on to them. Not enough upside here to warrant a start against a secondary that could very well throttle the life out of Oakland's passing game without blinking an eye.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @SEA 003400000 ***
The Seahawks haven't allowed a WR TD since Week 5 or a WR TD at home since the season opener. Oakland's cast of characters doesn't feel like the group that's going to crack that code.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenbrell Thompkins, OAK @SEA 002300000 ***
If you were wondering where Kenbrell Thompkins ended up... well, here he is. He saw eight targets last week, but given this matchup with Seattle's secondary that number--as well as what Thompkins can do with those catches--is likely to dwindle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @SEA 003201000 *
Maybe the Raiders' best hope for fantasy value this week comes in the form of Rivera, who posted 7-83 on nine targets last week. He'll have a chance to exploit the lone fantasy weakness in this defense, an inability to defend tight ends. Seattle has surrendered eight TE TDs already this season; if Oakland is to get one, Rivera's probably the best bet.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @SEA 1111 ***
Seabass has yet to hit double-digit points, and Seattle seems like an unlikely venue for him to reach that milestone.

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 @PIT 0000024021 ****
In 15 career meetings with the Steelers Flacco has thrown multiple touchdowns exactly thrice--just once in the past six games, his 166 and 2 in the home meeting earlier this year. His average outing in Pittsburgh? 195 yards, one TD. He has just one total TD in two road games against AFC North foes this year, so even though he has three multiple TD outings in the past five games (two at home, one against the hapless Bucs) don't expect big things here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL @PIT 6014200000 ****
Forsett had a junior share of the workload in the earlier meeting, yet he still produced 72 yards from scrimmage on a dozen touches. He's the lead dog now, against a Steelers D that's allowed six RB TDs, three 75-yard rushers and a 50-yard receiver in just the past three games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, BAL @PIT 2002200000 ****
Bernard Pierce carried 22 times for 96 yards in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh. Taliaferro has taken Pierce's gig, and while 22-96 seems aggressive as the Ravens' goal line guy he should at least be able to capitalize on a Steelers D that's allowed six RB TDs in just the past three games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL @PIT 006801000 ***
Smith is the Ravens' WR1 but he's no fantasy lock this week. He tallied 6-71 on 10 targets in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh and is coming off a rough 3-35 on nine targets against Cincy last week. The upside is that the Steelers allowed multiple WRs to score and top 100 yards last week, but this one isn't likely to be the 85 point shootout that was so dial back expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL @PIT 003400000 ***
Torrey had one catch in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh and was shut out in Cincy last week. He can take solace in the fact that the Steelers allowed multiple WRs to score and top 100 yards last week, but this won't be a shootout like that game turned into so keep your expectations in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL @PIT 005301000 ****
You may remember Daniels from his two-TD outing against the Steelers in the earlier meeting. He was the TE2 that game, as Dennis Pitta was still healthy; now Daniels is working his way back from an injury of his own so he's no lock to take the field this week. It's a favorable matchup against a Pittsburgh D that's allowed three more TE TDs since Daniels pulled his double, so if Owen is healthy enough to go he deserves a fantasy look-see.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @PIT 1133 ***
Remember when Heinz Field used to be a nightmare for opposing kickers? This season every visiting kicker has tallied at least nine points in Pittsburgh. Tucker has multiple treys in four straight and six of seven; a visit to the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers shouldn't be a deterrent.

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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