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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 BUF 0000017002 ***
This is the defense that tamed Peyton Manning and whitewashed Aaron Rodgers; how do you think they'll do with the rookie Carr?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK BUF 6012100000 **
The Bills are stout against the run, so even the potential of Latavius Murray here isn't enough to raise eyebrows.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK BUF 003300000 ***
Holmes has the most upside of any Raiders receiver, but given the way the Bills have put the kibosh on opponents the suggestion is you just pack up and go.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK BUF 006300000 ***
Jones has the last two WR TDs for the Raiders, though it took five weeks to raise that total to two. And that's about the extent of Jones' upside this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK BUF 003200000 ***
Rivera is an inconsistent producer who can't be banked on for fantasy help at this point in the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK BUF 1111 ****
SeaBass went off script last week with seven points, his first non-six point game in a month. If you're into steady mediocre numbers, Janikowski's your bobo.

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 @HOU 0000024020 ****
Mostly "meh" trends here, as the Texans are neither a bad nor great matchup, Flacco's a little worse on the road but not awful, etc. You'll be okay starting Flacco, but at this juncture hopefully you've got some "wow" arsenal at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL @HOU 9012200000 ***
The key number is 20 carries. Forsett hasn't been there for a couple games, and not coincidentally Forsett's three-game streak of 100-yard games came to an end at that juncture. The Texans have allowed only three 100-yard rushers on the year, and not coincidentally they've faced only three players who received 20 carries. Yes, the same three. If Forsett was healthy enough to get 16 carries against Jacksonville last week he should make it to 20 this weekend--with appropriate results.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bernard Pierce, BAL @HOU 400000000 ***
No reason for Pierce to handle too many touches here, and he'll need some fortunate timing for them to carry any fantasy weight.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL @HOU 006801000 ***
Smith likes facing the Texans: he's scored in all three career games against them while averaging a robust 108 yards per outing. More recently, the Texans have been giving up big yardage to primary receivers but letting secondary targets find the end zone. Hard to tell which Smith is which in any given week for the Ravens, but suffice it to say both have reasonably high fantasy expectations here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL @HOU 004601000 *
Only two teams have allowed more WR TDs than the Texans, so if Smith is healthy enough to play he's a quality fantasy start; the question is whether or not he or Steve Smith will take a turn as Joe Flacco's favorite.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL @HOU 002300000 ***
Daniels, fresh off returning to the end zone last week, against his former team--who just allowed a TE TD last week. Not a particularly strong trend in Daniels' favor, but who's gonna know how to get a tight end open against that defense better than Gary Kubiak?
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @HOU 1144 ***
Tucker's been solid, with multiple field goals in three of his last four overall and three of his last four at home. Don't expect Houston to disrupt Tucker's flow; in fact, the Texans' QB issues might make it that much easier for the Ravens to play defense and settle for field goals.

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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