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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 Marvin Jones 3-40
WR Mohamed Sanu
TE Jermaine Gresham 5-40,1
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP

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 @PIT 0000027021 ***
The Steelers have given up 300-plus passing yards in three straight games and multiple touchdown tosses in eight of the last nine. That stretch includes Dalton's 302 and 2 (with a rushing TD to boot), though in two subsequent games Andy has a total of 263 and 2. The tiebreaker is Dalton's penchant for coming up small in big games, so while there's upside in the matchup you'll likely want to find fantasy help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @PIT 9001100000 ****
Hill averaged almost six yards a carry in limited work against the Steelers in the earlier matchup; since then he's racked up a pair of 140-yard games--still at a six-yards per carry pace. Hill is on a roll, and while Pittsburgh has been relatively solid against the run they've shown a weakness for bigger backs like Arian Foster, Mark Ingram... and, this week, Hill.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @PIT 2003200000 ***
Gio has become the complimentary guy, and in a tough matchup he's a far riskier fantasy play than the Bengals' current bell cow, Jeremy Hill.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN @PIT 005801000 *
Green gashed the Steelers for 11-224-1 just three weeks ago. He's banged up coming out of the win over Denver, but all indications are he'll play--and against a secondary that's allowed three 130-plus yard receivers in the past month, all indications are he'll perform well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN @PIT 004500000 ***
It was all AJ Green the last time Cincy faced Pittsburgh, and that's become typical of the Bengals passing game as Sanu hasn't scored since Week 12 or topped 50 yards since Week 9. He's never broken 40 yards against the Steelers; no reason to believe that changes here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN @PIT 005601000 ***
There's hope for Gresham this week against a Steelers defense that's allowed six TE TDs in the past eight games. Gresham has scored in two of the last three, including last week and the earlier matchup with Pittsburgh. At this juncture there's no WR2 to AJ Green, so Gresham could fill that opening.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN @PIT 2222 ***
The Nuge is coming off his best two-game stretch of the season; the Steelers have allowed six field goals in their last two. Almost makes you believe he's a safe bet to improve upon his three point performance in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh in Week 14. Almost.

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 Donald Brown 30 3-20
RB Ronnie Brown 10 4-20
RB Ryan Mathews 60 3-20
RB Danny Woodhead 10 3-20
WR Malcom Floyd 4-60,1
TE Antonio Gates 4-50,1
PK Nick Novak 3 FG 2 XP

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 0000024022 **
Rivers has multiple touchdowns in five straight meetings with the Chiefs, as well as multiple scores and/or 300-plus passing yards in six straight visits to Kansas City. The Chiefs haven't seen a ton of great quarterbacks, but they did hold Ben Roethlisberger to 220 and 1 last week and Peyton Manning to 179 and 2 a month ago, so it won't be easy. But history--and San Diego's lack of a running game--suggest Rivers can still get it done.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Branden Oliver, SD @KC 4002100000 ***
With no Ryan Mathews the Chargers' backfield has become a committee affair; at least Oliver's touches suggest he's the committee chair. However, that role hasn't amounted to much in the way of fantasy production for any of the committee members, and a date with a Chiefs defense that's allowed only four RB TDs all year isn't going to help matters.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Donald Brown, SD @KC 2003200000 ***
Brown wasn't even the best Brown on his own team last week, as retread Ronnie Brown was more effective. There's no fantasy value to be found here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD @KC 005600000 **
Let's face it, if your season boils down to Dontrelle Inman doing something for you in Week 17 you need to take a step back and re-evaluate things.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD @KC 003400000 ***
Floyd and Eddie Royal are tag-team replacing Keenan Allen as the Chargers' WR1, both doing enough to remain on the fantasy radar even in what looks to be a pretty tough matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD @KC 003400000 ***
No Keenan Allen? No problem, as Royal and Malcom Floyd stepped up their respective games. The Chiefs haven't given up many big games to opposing wideouts, but that doesn't mean Royal can't carve out a fantasy helper here--something along the lines of the 7-72-1 Antonio Brown took KC for last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD @KC 007702000 ***
Gates (and short-yardage TE John Phillips) scored against the Chiefs in the earlier meeting, but that's to be expected: in 19 career games against KC Gates has found the end zone 15 times. He's also scored in each of his last two games, and with Keenan Allen out--and a playoff spot on the line--he's Philip Rivers' go-to guy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD @KC 2222 ***
Novak's eight points in the earlier meeting with KC are indicative of his season, as he's hit double-digits just once in the past three months. But that eight is also indicative of what the Chiefs have been giving up to opposing kickers, so it's one of those high floor/low ceiling opportunities.

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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