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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: BAL 20, SD 13 (Line: PICK)

Players Updated: Ed Dickson

Players to Watch: Ryan Mathews, Joe Flacco

The 8-2 Ravens are only 3-2 on the road with a three game winning streak and head to San Diego where the 4-6 Chargers are only 2-2 at home and on a two game losing streak. The Ravens lost 14-34 in San Diego last year.

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 13-10
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 @ SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 230,1
WR Devin Hester Sr. 1-20
WR Steve Smith Sr. 6-90,1
WR Mike Wallace 4-70,1
TE Benjamin Watson 4-40
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The most remarkable aspect of the Ravens is how did they lose to the Eagles? They are now two games up on the Steelers and will play them again next week in Baltimore where the AFC North division can realistically be assured to stay in Baltimore. The ending schedule has only games against the Broncos and Giants to worry about otherwise and both of those will be at home.

Ed Reed was able to get his one-game suspension overturned and replaced by a $50,000 fine. With Lewis out, Reed's presence means even more to the defense.

For being in an offense that was supposed to let Flacco loose this year, it's all played out like a dog tied to your front porch that you eventually set free and he just lays down on the porch and stays. if anything, Flacco has been worse in recent weeks and aside from the home game against the Raiders, he only threw four scores in the other six most recent games. Flacco has never thrown for more than one touchdown in a road game or posted more yardage than the 232 yards he had in Philly in their loss there.

Ray Rice comes off a predictably bad game in Pittsburgh but he's been disappointing this season considering the expectations he had last summer. Rice scored seven times this year but only topped 100 rush yards twice. He's been stuck at right around 100 total yards in most games. Bernard Pierce does spell him five to ten times each week which doesn't help his stats.

Dennis Pitta suffered a mild concussion in the Steelers tilt but is expected to be fine this week. His symptoms cleared up at the game last week. He's been consistent at around 30 yards in most games but scored just once in the last seven weeks.

Torrey Smith is the leading scorer for receivers with seven touchdowns but his yardage has really waned with the lower passing efforts of Flacco. Smith has not topped 70 yards in any game since week four and failed to reach even 50 yards in four different matchups. He's still easily the preferred scoring target for Flacco who relies on Anquan Boldin for a handful of possession catches in most weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 11 21 17 7 4
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 16 17 20 5 1 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL @NE 0000027011 ***
A week after shelling Miami, Flacco heads to New England. Aside from the Russell Wilson game, New England has done fairly well at slowing quarterbacks. This is a neutral matchup for fantasy owners.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, BAL @NE 4003200000 ***
No RB has scored in the last 79 rushing attempts faced over a four-game period. The Pats have allowed the fifth fewest points per game to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenneth Dixon, BAL @NE 3001100000 ***
The Pats have stamped out running backs of late, giving up the fifth fewest points and no rushing touchdowns in the last four games (79 attempts). RBs have averaged five catches for 49.3 yards and 0.25 aerial scores, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith Sr., BAL @NE 006701000 ***
This is a good matchup when including the damage by Doug Baldwin's three-TD game several weeks back. Removing it, though, makes for a decidedly negative opponent. Smith gets the benefit of the doubt in a game that could feature ample passing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @NE 005600000 ***
The Patriots have given up the second highest average of points per reception but largely because of given up the fourth fewest catches and a three-TD game to Doug Baldwin in the last five weeks. This is a negative matchup otherwise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Breshad Perriman, BAL @NE 002400000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kamar Aiken, BAL @NE 003300000 ***
Aiken has been involved more of late but has no business being on a fantasy roster.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dennis Pitta, BAL @NE 004300000 ***
New England is a solidly harsh matchup for fantasy tight ends using data since Week 8. Pitta could be started but not without assuming a good deal of risk.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @NE 2211 ***
Since Week 8, New England has afforded 15 total kicking tries over the last four games. Tucker could be a solid play if Baltimore can't quite punch it in, and he obviously is good from distance when called on.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @OAK 22-14 10 @TB 24-34
2 TEN 38-10 11 @DEN 23-30
3 ATL 3-27 12 BAL -----
4 @KC 37-20 13 CIN -----
5 @NO 24-31 14 @PIT -----
6 DEN 24-35 15 CAR -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @NYJ -----
8 @CLE 6-7 17 OAK -----
9 KC 31-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 260,1
RB Ronnie Hillman 60 2-20
RB Danny Woodhead 10 3-20
WR Stevie Johnson 6-80,1
TE Antonio Gates 5-50

Pregame Notes: It is bad enough to know that the Chargers are 4-6. It is even worse to realize that was opening season wins over the Raiders and Titans, and then two wins over the Chiefs to break up the six losses. The only remaining game that should safely be a win is the home stand against the Raiders in the season finale'. The only time the Chargers have faced a really good defense like the Ravens was when they lost by 24 points to the visiting Falcons.

The bad mojo has set in on the Chargers and all concerned expect a coaching upheaval in the offseason. Philip Rivers has been able to maintain at least moderate fantasy value with six of the last seven games containing two or three touchdowns but again - those were facing mostly weak defenses. And Rivers has become a turnover machine. He threw 17 touchdowns so far. He also has tossed 14 interceptions and lost four fumbles and was sacked 26 times. He's getting beaten up and losing the ball with regularity.

Ryan Mathews has to be part of any retrospective of the 2012 season for the Chargers. He was destined to become a true workhorse according to Norv Turner this summer. Turner gained 1091 rush yards and 455 yards on 50 catches last year. This season he is getting benched for fumbling, mixed in with Ronnie Brown and even Jackie Battle and last week was held out of the first two series because, according to Turner, he had missed two practices because of his neck. Apparently only in San Diego do practices equate to availability for specific offensive series. Mathews has been held to less than 18 carries in each of the last three games but has seen some uptick in receptions.

In the 2011 meeting with the Ravens, Mathews rushed for 90 yards and two scores on 26 carries and caught two passes for 19 yards.

Antonio Gates comes off his worst game of the year with only 17 yards in Denver... no wait,,, he had just 14 yards in Cleveland... 19 yards in New Orleans... Gates has the look of a player who has already taken the final turn. He's topped 60 yards only once this year and scores only against the weakest of opposing secondaries. He is just another tight end now.

Vincent Brown remains out and Malcom Floyd has spent the year miscast as the primary receiver but at least these last two weeks have discovered Danario Alexander to be healthy and productive. In Tampa Bay, he turned five catches into 134 yards and a score. In Denver last Sunday, he gathered seven receptions for 96 yards and two more scores. In this offense, that's astronomic and the only positive development this year.

The visiting Ravens are solid against the pass and weaker against the run. Mathews already had success against them last year but there is little confidence that he will be used correctly this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 19 6 30 11 18 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 8 20 16 15 26 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Philip Rivers, SD @CAR 0000028022 ***
Carolina has given up 277.8 passing yards and 1.2 TDs per game to quarterbacks over the last five weeks. The position has average a TD every 23.5 completions, which is the second stiffest figure in the league.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Melvin Gordon, SD @CAR 7005500000 ***
Gordon, of course, is a lineup fixture. The Panthers have permitted the ninth most points per game in PPR, and only two teams have allowed more catches per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyrell Williams, SD @CAR 003601000 ***
Carolina rates as the 12th most exploitable matchup entering Week 14, and while Williams is not 100 percent, he can still contribute. Toss him in as a flex play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD @CAR 006900000 ***
Carolina has surrendered the seventh highest average of catches per game since Week 8. Add in the Panthers being the 13th worst at stopping yardage and 12th at fantasy points ... Inman looks all right.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Travis Benjamin, SD @CAR 002300000 ***
Benjamin hasn't been right since spraining his knee. Keep him in reserve this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD @CAR 003301000 ***
This is soundly a top-12 matchup to exploit for tight ends. Since Week 8, the Panthers have granted three touchdowns on 29 catches and 63.6 yards a game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Hunter Henry, SD @CAR 002200000 ***
The matchup is worthy, but Henry has been shaky in the last month or so ... without a touchdown, his usefulness in fantasy is non-existent. The looks just haven't been there, despite scoring in two of his last three outings.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD @CAR 2222 ***
No team has surrendered more field goal tries (3.2 per game) than Carolina in the last five weeks, and the position is 10-for-10 on extra point kicks since Week 8.

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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