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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 @CLE 0000020011 ***
Carr flashed a couple weeks back against the Chargers, but that was an island of competency in a season-long sea of no fantasy help whatsoever. Not that the Browns' secondary has been particularly good this season--quite the opposite--but you shouldn't bank on the rookie for help here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK @CLE 5004200000 ****
Four of six feature backs to face the Browns have rushed for at least 80 yards and a touchdown; with enough touches McFadden could very well do the same. He's a sneaky fantasy play if you're desperate for running back help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, OAK @CLE 50000000 ***
MoJo's next fantasy-relevant moment as a Raider will be his first. Could happen in this favorable matchup, but right now it appears as if they're willing to ride Darren McFadden right up to his next injury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK @CLE 005501000 **
No need to fear Joe Haden anymore--or Buster Skreen, for that matter. Jones is the closest thing the Raiders have to a reliable contributor in the passing game, so he's the best bet to capitalize on this dramatically underachieving secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK @CLE 003500000 **
Holmes whetted appetites before dashing hopes with a couple of drops last week. It's a favorable matchup against an underachieving secondary, but it will be tough to trust Holmes with a fantasy lineup spot until he demonstrates some consistency.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brice Butler, OAK @CLE 002300000 ***
Butler might be becoming the Raiders new favorite "go deep" guy. Against a secondary that's struggled as much as the Browns have, there's fantasy value in that role this week. High risk, but there's definitely home run potential here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK @CLE 002100000 ***
Jimmy Graham scored the only two TE TDs the Browns have allowed, but that's probably because Joe Haden was covering him. No need to extend that courtesy to Rivera, who is still looking for his first TD--or 35-yard game--of the year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @CLE 2211 ***
SeaBass's next double-digit game will be his first, and he's averaging an anemic four points per game. You have better options.

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 @CIN 0000027020 ****
Flacco threw for 345 and one in the earlier meeting. Now he rolls in with multiple TD tosses in two straight and three of four, facing a Cincy D that's allowed multiple touchdowns in three straight. What's not to like?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL @CIN 4006501000 ***
Forsett racked up 84 combo yards and a TD in the season opener against Cincy; he remains a solid fantasy bet against a Bengals defense that's allowed RB TDs in four straight.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bernard Pierce, BAL @CIN 301000000 ***
Working in Pierce's favor is that the Ravens inexplicably prefer him to Lorenzo Taliaferro, and that other sluggish backs such as Shonn Greene and Stevan Ridley have found the end zone against Cincy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL @CIN 0051001000 ****
Steve has hit triple digits three of the past four times he's faced the Bengals, including 118 and 1 in the season opener against Cincy. While Torrey Smith has seen an uptick in production of late, Steve remains the go-to receiver and top fantasy bet in this passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL @CIN 004800000 ****
Torrey produced 3-50 in half the targets of Steve Smith back in the season opener against Cincy. His role in the Baltimore offense has expanded of late, so expect an improvement on those numbers this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Crockett Gillmore, BAL @CIN 003300000 **
Update: With Owen Daniels out, Gillmore gets the call as the Ravens' tight end. He's more of a blocker, though the team has thrown to him more frequently of late. Tough to bank on him for production right out of the gate, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL @CIN 00000000 *****
Daniels scored last week and is seeing plenty of targets in an offense he's intimately familiar with. That should serve him well in an extremely favorable matchup against a defense that's served up four TE TDs and let five different TEs top 50 yards in just the past three games.
Update: Daniels surprised everyone by having a knee procedure on Friday. He'll miss this week's game, leaving third-stringer Crockett Gilmore as the Ravens' tight end.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @CIN 1133 ****
Cincy has surrendered almost 14 kicker points per game over the past month, while Tucker is averaging double-digit points per game for the season and has multiple field goals in every road game. He's a rock-solid fantasy kicking option again 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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