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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: CIN 22, SD 23 (Line: SD by 3)

Players Updated: Mohamed Sanu

Players to Watch: Mohamed Sanu, Antonio Gates, Ryan Mathews

The 6-5 Bengals are on a three game winning streak and are 3-2 in road games. The Chargers are 4-7 and have lost their last three games including a 2-3 home record. This is a real toss-up sort of game since the Chargers are overdue for a win and the Bengals are probably not as good as their record suggests.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG 31-13
2 CLE 34-27 11 @KC 28-6
3 @WAS 38-31 12 OAK 34-10
4 @JAC 27-10 13 @SD -----
5 MIA 13-17 14 DAL -----
6 @CLE 24-34 15 @PHI -----
7 PIT 17-24 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN 23-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 270,2
RB Cedric Peerman 40 1-10
WR A.J. Green 7-110,1
WR Brandon LaFell 4-60

Pregame Notes: The Bengals are three games in back of the Ravens and highly unlikely to catch them with only five games left to play. But there is still a shot at a wildcard since there are only three winning records in the AFC after the divisional leaders. The remaining schedule is pretty brutal though and the Bengals have only beaten one team with a winning record. This will be the only road trip out west for the Bengals this season.

Andy Dalton's had a very good sophomore season with 23 passing touchdowns but his yardage has scaled back in recent weeks. He hasn't topped 300 yards in five games and while he threw nine touchdowns over the last three games, none contained more than 230 passing yards. That mostly reflects how well games have been going for the Bengals and that the rushing effort has recently been much better.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis comes off a season best 129 yards on 19 runs against the Raiders and he rolled up 100 yards on the Chiefs in the previous game. But he rarely went over 60 yards in other games and scored only three times over the first nine games. Three of his five scores came in road games. Notable too is that Cedric Peerman is becoming a bigger factor in the backfield with eight carries in each of the last two games. He gained 61 yards in Kansas City and then 75 yards against the Raiders. Peerman is running with speed and moves that BGE simply does not have. These final games of the year is an audition of sorts to see if Peerman can ever become more than just a back-up in Cincy. Chances are that BGE won't take the same primary role in 2013.

A.J. Green gained 111 yards on three catches last week but failed to score for the first time all year. The Raiders loaded up to deny him a touchdown and in the process gave up two scores to Mohamed Sanu who only caught five passes for 29 yards. That makes three straight games with a score for Sanu who still has yet to break 50 yards in any game.

The Bengals defense has really shined in recent weeks though mostly against weak opponents. The Chargers are only average on defense but play better when at home. They've allowed only two rushing touchdowns in San Diego and no runner has topped 100 rushing yards against them including Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice and Chris Johnson. Look for Dalton to need to do more to keep this game competitive.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 10 24 3 15 18 17
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 17 15 22 5 2 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN BAL 0000024012 ***
The Ravens have given up the ninth highest yardage average (272.8) since Week 11, but that is about where the fun ends for quarterbacks. Seven interceptions later, we're looking at a low-end matchup for quarterbacks in better positioning to succeed than Dalton. The Red Rifle threw for an unimpressive 283 yards, one TD and no picks in Week 12.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rex Burkhead, CIN BAL 4003200000 ***
Burkhead is not even a fringe play in the deepest of leagues. He doesn't factor enough into the game play to deserve attention.

Update: Burkhead could see more work if Jeremy Hill (questionable) is limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN BAL 3002200000 *
Hill managed six catches in the last one to salvage some PPR value, which is uncharacteristic. He's a weak play against an otherwise strong defensive opponent.

Update: Hill is a game-time decision but is expected to see the field. He could be limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN BAL 005601000 ***
LaFell has put together a fine season. In Week 12 versus the Ravens, he snared only three of nine targets for 38 yards in what was one of his worst showings of the season. He has been too good to ignore, so slot him as a WR2 or a third.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN BAL 005700000 ***
The rookie caught six balls for 70 yards in Week 11 against the Ravens in Week 12. A.J. Green won't play again, so Boyd has a more prominent role. He is a PPR flex play against this midrange matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE C.J. Uzomah, CIN BAL 004300000 ***
Uzomah gets to showcase his skills with Tyler Eifert on IR. The Ravens have given up the eighth most catches, yards, and fantasy points per game, as well as being eighth in TD efficiency, since Week 11.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN BAL 2211 ***
The Ravens consistently have been one of the toughest groups against kickers in fantasy this year. Over the last five weeks, only seven teams have been stronger against the position.

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 13-16
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 CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 240,2
RB Ronnie Hillman 20
RB Dexter McCluster 20 2-20
RB Danny Woodhead 10 3-20
WR Stevie Johnson 6-90,1
TE Antonio Gates 4-50,1

Pregame Notes: The Chargers are better than their record, at least at home where they nearly beat the Ravens last week and clobbered the Chiefs in the previous home venue. This team is not going to the playoffs and has to be a lock for a coaching overhaul in the offseason at the very least. That may play a role in future road efforts but at home the Chargers are still trying to bring it and will be at least competitive in this game.

Philip Rivers usually throws two scores in every game but his 18 touchdowns go against 14 interceptions and four lost fumbles. His yardage tends to be moderate and rises only when faced with a very weak secondary. Rivers has topped 260 passing yards only once in the last six games.

Ryan Mathews is the primary back but that only means around 17 or so carries per game and maybe three or four catches. Mathews scored only once all year and that week five touchdown was the only running back score in the last seven games. Ronnie Brown plays third downs for a few catches and carries but this is a Norv Turner offense that amazingly devoid of a decent backfield. They won't run Mathews more than about 18 times per game ever though he is clearly the best player for the job. Brown may pass block well but has no burst and no way to tack on any yards after he catches the ball.

The downward spiral of Antonio Gates continues with a season low two receptions for 13 yards last week. Unless the Chargers are facing a seriously weak secondary, Gates has just been little more than a blocker. He and Malcom Floyd are the only receivers of any consistent note each week. Floyd scored three times over the last four games and usually ends up right around 60 yards in most games. With Gates in such a decline, the two starting wideouts have to provide almost all the receiving production that doesn't end up with the running backs.

The Bengals secondary has been very good and ranks top ten in most categories. They've only allowed 13 passing scores in ten games and only once allowed over 300 passing yards. Their weakness is much more against the run but the Chargers have only a mediocre offense for rushing.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 19 13 26 11 20 6
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 24 5 23 19 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Philip Rivers, SD KC 0000027021 ***
The Chiefs went through a stretch of being awful versus quarterbacks, but the ship as righted, and KC is a bottom-five opponent over the last five games. The Week 1 meeting saw Rivers go for 243-1-0 for 17.1 fantasy points at Arrowhead.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Melvin Gordon, SD KC 500000000 *
Gordon is a likely game-time decision but sits only three yards away from 1,000 on the year. San Diego may want to give him a few carries to get there. The Chiefs are a top-12 fantasy matchup in PPR and have allowed 109 rushing yards a contest to the position in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyrell Williams, SD KC 004701000 ***
Williams caught two for 71 in the first meeting, and he has a much more reliable role this time around. The promising young wideout is a WR2 as the Chargers host the midrange KC defense of his position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD KC 005600000 ***
Inman was a non-factor in the Week 1 meeting, but he has a larger role these days. Consider him as WR3 or flex in PPR, but not without some risk involved. KC is a negative-leaning matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Travis Benjamin, SD KC 003400000 ***
KC has given up only four WR touchdowns in the last five games, and they held Benjamin to 32 yards on seven grabs in their earlier meeting. He's a flier, at best, in deep setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD KC 006501000 ***
KC has blanked TEs on the last 20 catches from finding the end zone. Gates authored a 3-20-0 line in the last meeting with the Chiefs. Kansas City has suffered several linebacker injuries and are not at full strength.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Hunter Henry, SD KC 001200000 ***
Henry catches TD passes and does almost nothing else at this stage of his young career. KC doesn't allow TD passes (only two all season to TEs). Look elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD KC 1122 ***
This is a neutral matchup, but far more field goals come against this defense than touchdown-toppers. Lambo has modest upside in this one.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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