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David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: BAL 17, PIT 16 (Line: PIT by 3.5)

Players Updated: Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman

Players to Watch: Ray Rice, Byron Leftwich

This was to be the battle for the AFC North. The 7-2 Ravens are on a two game winning streak and have a one game lead on the Steelers that could be whittled away with a win here. But the 6-3 Steelers are on a four game winning streak and just lost their franchise quarterback when Ben Roethlisberger was injured in the Monday night game against the Chiefs. That should prove significant to this week.

The Ravens swept the Steelers last year, winning 35-7 in Baltimore and later 23-20 in Pittsburgh..

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 44-13 10 OAK 55-20
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 @ PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 10 190,1
WR Devin Hester Sr. 2-30
WR Steve Smith Sr. 6-100,1
WR Mike Wallace 4-50
TE Dennis Pitta 4-40
TE Benjamin Watson 2-20
PK Justin Tucker 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens remaining schedule just got a whole lot easier looking. With Ben Roethlisberger out this week and potentially more, playing the Steelers twice in three weeks could not have possibly come at a better time. The rest of the schedule is no cakewalk with DEN, NYG and @CIN ending the regular season but the only real competitor in the AFC North is the Steelers anyway.

Joe Flacco comes off his best game of the year when he passed for 341 yards and three scores on the Raiders and he added a rushing touchdown. That was his first effort over 240 yards in five weeks and the first multiple touchdown production in the last six weeks. When at home against a really weak secondary, Flacco really shines. All others - not so much. He's been stuck at sub-200 yard outings in his last three road trips and now faces the #2 defense against quarterbacks.

Ray Rice salvaged some fantasy value with a touchdown last week but only ran 13 times for 35 yards in a game the Ravens won by 35 points. In Houston in week seven he only was allowed nine runs for 42 yards. The Ravens use of Rice has been a surprise this year given his wild success last year and he's still gaining 4.6 yards per carry now. Rice has to be bitter about getting just 13 carries against a Raiders team that yielded 251 yards to Doug Martin the previous week.

Dennis Pitta popped up again in the Oakland game when he scored on his five catches for 67 yards but he was on a five week string of games that never produced more than 33 yards. It was just one decent game and he only scores when at home anyway.

Torrey Smith's not tearing up opponents like he did last year since he only has the one effort against the Patriots when he topped 100 yards but to his credit he has become the preferred scoring target for Flacco. Smith already scored seven times this year and three in just the last two games. His yardage remains low with nothing over 70 yards since week four but he's recorded a score in five of the last seven games. Anquan Boldin produces like a tight end and not even a very good one. He's been held to fewer than 60 yards since week six and has minimal fantasy value.

This game seems destined for a low score and moderate stats at best for the Ravens players who all face top three defenses against their position.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 17 11 18 14 8 6
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 2 3 2 12 12 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL MIA 0000027011 ***
A dozen teams have allowed more fantasy points per game than Miami over the last five weeks, but the Dolphins have made quarterbacks work for their points. They rank 21st in points per play, 20th in yards per attempt, and 23rd in yards per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenneth Dixon, BAL MIA 4004300000 ***
This matchup is soundly in the camp of neutrality. Miami has given up one touchdown on the last 22 receptions faced, so there is potential for Dixon as a receiver out of the backfield.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, BAL MIA 5003200000 ***
West hasn't exactly instilled a lot of confidence of late, but Miami offers a reasonable matchup if you're looking to (or have to) play him. The Dolphins have allowed the 14th most points per game in PPR leagues over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith Sr., BAL MIA 006601000 ***
Smith has a tough matchup, but there is some hope. Miami has allowed three TDs in the last four games. Otherwise, any expectations of a big game should be reconsidered.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL MIA 005600000 ***
Miami rates among the toughest six teams in overall matchup index, fantasy points allowed (PPR), and receiving touchdown efficiency for wideouts using data over the last five games. Without breaking free, Wallace's contributes figure to be nominal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Breshad Perriman, BAL MIA 003400000 ***
The matchup is harsh, and Perriman is consistently involved enough to justify taking a shot on him in fantasy circles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dennis Pitta, BAL MIA 005400000 ***
This is a quality matchup if you want to take a shot that Pitta finds the end zone, as no team has given up TDs with the frequency that Miami has since Week 7. However, this is a neutral matchup otherwise.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL MIA 2222 ***
Fresh off of being a fantasy superhero, Tucker faces a midrange Miami matchup. The Dolphins have granted the 16th most points per game to kickers since Week 7.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC 16-13
2 NYJ 27-10 11 BAL -----
3 @OAK 31-34 12 @CLE -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL -----
5 PHI 16-14 14 SD -----
6 @TEN 23-26 15 @DAL -----
7 @CIN 24-17 16 CIN -----
8 WAS 27-12 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG 24-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger
RB Daryl Richardson 40 2-20
RB DeAngelo Williams 30 3-20
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 3-40

Pregame Notes: The injury to Ben Roethlisberger could mean everything to the Steelers fortunes. He was said to have separated his shoulder, then just sprained his shoulder but it was enough to prompt the Steelers to bring him to the hospital that night. Some sources say that Big Ben has just a sprain and will merely be questionable for this week. Others speculate the injury is more significant and that his throwing shoulder will prevent him form playing for at least a few weeks. With the two meetings with the Ravens coming in the next three weeks this could not be timed worse.

Obviously he'll be tracked all week because the Steelers need him. HC Mike Tomlin says that it is a sternoclavicular sprain which is when the collarbone popped in front/behind sternum. It almost has to keep him out at least this week and could linger. It is the same injury that ended Brett Favre's 297 consecutive starts.

Antonio Brown remains questionable this week because of his ankle sprain and Rashard Mendenhall will also be questionable because of his strained Achilles.

Byron Leftwich is expected to take the start and that makes no one happy. Leftwich only completed seven of 14 passes for 73 yards versus the Chiefs and is a major step down from Big Ben.

The Steelers go with the hot hand at running back and there should be much more focus on the rushing effort if Big Ben is out since the Ravens are weaker versus the run than the pass. Isaac Redman gained 147 yards and a touchdown in week nine but Jonathan Dwyer proved better in the rain and was given 19 carries for 56 yards last Monday night while Redman was limited to eight runs and 21 yards. At best these runners just diminish each other and only producing 77 combined rushing yards against the Chiefs was a very disappointing surprise. It was the first time in four games that one of the two did not rack up over 100 rushing yards.

The rainy weather was not conducive to passing last week but Leftwich was unable to generate anything promising as a passer. That has to downgrade both Mike Wallace and Heath Miller.

This game needs to be a defensive battle because neither offense is likely to do much.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 14 15 14 7 6 31
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 9 21 22 18 28 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT NYG 0000027011 ***
The Giants have allowed the fourth fewest points per game on the 11th highest opportunity rating. On the plus side for Big Ben, quarterbacks have posted the highest yards per completion and ninth most yards per game versus the G-men since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT NYG 8018700000 ***
New York has allowed running backs to score at the fifth easiest rate on the through and eighth easiest overall, but the position has posted only 115 offensive yards a game in the last five weeks against the Giants.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT NYG 0071001000 ***
AB faces a tough task this week -- which probably means he scores only once instead of three times -- with the Giants owning fantasy's fourth most difficult matchup for receivers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eli Rogers, PIT NYG 004300000 ***
There isn't much upside in playing Rogers this week. The Giants have allowed the fourth fewest points per game to PPR receivers, and only two of the last 43 receptions face have gone the distance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Ladarius Green, PIT NYG 004400000 ***
Green draws a Giants team that has allowed the most yards per game on the 11th highest yardage figure, but only one of the 21 catches went for a touchdown over the past five games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chris Boswell, PIT NYG 2233 ***
The Giants have given up the fifth most FGAs per game and 25th most XPAs on average since Week 7, translating to the 10th highest fantasy points per game provided to the position.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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