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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: CLE 20, OAK 23 (LINE: OAK by 1)

Players Updated: Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, Brandon Weeden

Players to Watch: Darren McFadden

Here is one of those ugly games. Both teams are 3-8 on the season with the Raiders on a four-game losing stretch and the Browns coming off a rare win. The difference is that the Browns actually have a defense of sorts and yet not a great offense. The Raiders have no defense as far as can be proven and an offense that sputters on a good day. Coin toss game that could have all sorts of mistakes that impact the outcome.

The Raiders won 24-17 when the Browns visited last year.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL 20-23
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT 20-14
4 @BAL 16-23 13 @OAK -----
5 @NYG 27-41 14 KC -----
6 CIN 34-24 15 WAS -----
7 @IND 13-17 16 @DEN -----
8 SD 7-6 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL 15-25 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Shaun Draughn 20 2-10
WR Miles Austin 4-50
WR Josh Gordon 4-60,1
TE Jordan Cameron 2-20
PK Garrett Hartley 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Browns are winding down their season with a few decent opportunities to post points before wrapping up with road games to Denver and Pittsburgh that likely are not going to go well. The defense has been very good recently by holding the last six opponents to 24 points or less but the offense never scores that many points and hence the fundamental problem. Adding a quarterback and running back in the NFL draft still looks like a good idea. They just need receivers for the quarterback and not just some guy they scraped off the supplemental draft.

Brandon Weeden suffered a concussion last week and needs to pass his tests this week in order to play. If he cannot, Colt McCoy gets to reprise the reason why the Browns were even worse in 2011. Weeden's status will be clearer at the end of the week. If he cannot play, the offense takes a big hit that it hardly can survive.

Trent Richardson may be lagging Doug Martin but not by all that much. He's scored seven touchdowns and remained above 100 total yards in each of the last four games with a trip to meet the #30 defense this week. He's stepped up his role as a receiver as well with 16 reception over just the last three weeks. Richardson gives the Browns a solid core for the offense and a great fantasy play for this week.

Jordan Cameron finally caught his first NFL touchdown but has been a nonfactor all year after getting talked up in the summer. Ben Watson hasn't been fantasy relevant either though he had a freakish two touchdown game in Dallas.

This lackluster passing attack is now using for different wide receivers every week and there is simply not enough production combined to merit fantasy attention. Josh Gordon remains the best by far but that only equates to around 50 yards per game for the last month. His string of three straight scoring games is a dot in the rear view mirror by now and Greg Little declined down to a single catch last week. Weeden suggests that he could handle the job with better receivers but that help is not coming this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 29 18 29 25 19 10
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 28 30 21 27 31 17

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Johnny Manziel, CLE @CAR 30100018001 **
It can't get much worse than last week for Johnny JamBoogie, and there's not much upside to be gleaned from a matchup with a Carolina defense that's given up just two passing scores the past two weeks. If you want to find a hook to hang your fantasy title hopes on, it's that the Panthers just let Josh McCown rush for a touchdown against them. Yeah, pretty thin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @CAR 4011000000 **
The Panthers haven't given up a running back touchdown in more than a month, and with Crowell splitting the workload with Terrance West there's not much to like here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, CLE @CAR 300000000 ***
West is splitting the touches and the production with Isaiah Crowell. When there's 40 carries to split that means plenty of fantasy success to go around. When there's a dozen carries, like last week, and the threat of Johnny Manziel swiping a rushing score looms, and the matchup isn't particularly favorable... well, half of not much isn't going to help your fantasy squad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, CLE @CAR 005600000 **
Until we see proof Johnny Manziel can pass, it's tough to trust any Cleveland receiver with a fantasy start. Even Gordon. Doesn't help that Carolina's secondary has given up just one 100-yard receiving game in the past two months.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @CAR 004400000 ***
Tough to be a PPR helper when your quarterback is running for his life, running after the first couple of reads, and has yet to prove himself as an NFL passer. Oh yeah, and Josh Gordon has taken over as the top target in Cleveland as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Cameron, CLE @CAR 002200000 ***
Cameron wasn't exactly a hot target for Johnny Manziel last week, with one target on the afternoon. Carolina isn't a favorable matchup for the position, so there's no compelling reason to reach for Cameron this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Garrett Hartley, CLE @CAR 1111 ***
Hartley is still waiting for his first opportunity as a Brown, as Cleveland was blanked last week by the Bengals. Don't expect much of an uptick from the Johnny Football-led offense, nor a helping hand from a Panthers' D that's held four straight foes to only one field goal per game.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL 20-55
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO 17-38
3 PIT 34-31 12 @CIN 10-34
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 vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub 220,2
RB Darren McFadden 60 1-10
RB Marcel Reece 40 3-20,1
WR James Jones 3-40
WR Denarius Moore 4-70,1
PK Sebastian Janikowski 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Raiders are having the worst of problems currently since their current four game losing streak has them allowing an average of 42 points per opponent and yet the offense has only once been better than 20 points. Their last three losses were all by at least 21 points. The offense is capped in what it can accomplish but there is apparently no end to how bad the defense can play.

Carson Palmer had a very uncharacteristic bad game when he only threw for 146 yards and one score against an inspired Bengals team. But he was scoring multiple touchdowns in the four previous games and passed for over 300 yards in three of those. Palmer has a bit of a problem with turnovers and totals 12 interceptions and four lost fumbles so far. But he delivers plenty of yards and usually two scores in most recent games.

Darren McFadden may return this week from his ankle injury after missing the last three weeks and allowing Marcel Reece to actually play well. This would be an opportune week for him to return against the Browns defense but it depends on how he practices and how well he can shoulder much of the load. Updates as information becomes available later in the week. With three home games ahead and then week 16 in Carolina, this is a very opportune time for him to make a showing on fantasy teams. For this first week, it may be impossible to know how much McFadden can play and now much Reece still helps out. It has only been three weeks since he got his high ankle sprain which is short unless it was very mild.

Joe Haden should end up on Darius Heyward-Bey who was just shut down in Cincinnati to no catches. Brandon Myers gets to face the #1 defense against his position so the passing game is going to need to go through Denarius Moore over any other receiver. This can be made much easier if McFadden plays and makes the Browns respect the run more. As with all Oakland games, there could be several outcomes possible here and the one that happens will probably involve the lowest fantasy points from an offense that has really slipped and appears to be reaching that part of the season where "oh screw it" sets in.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 13 21 17 10 10 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 20 20 25 1 9 13

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Derek Carr, OAK BUF 0000017002 ***
This is the defense that tamed Peyton Manning and whitewashed Aaron Rodgers; how do you think they'll do with the rookie Carr?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK BUF 6012100000 **
The Bills are stout against the run, so even the potential of Latavius Murray here isn't enough to raise eyebrows.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK BUF 003300000 ***
Holmes has the most upside of any Raiders receiver, but given the way the Bills have put the kibosh on opponents the suggestion is you just pack up and go.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK BUF 006300000 ***
Jones has the last two WR TDs for the Raiders, though it took five weeks to raise that total to two. And that's about the extent of Jones' upside this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK BUF 003200000 ***
Rivera is an inconsistent producer who can't be banked on for fantasy help at this point in the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK BUF 1111 ****
SeaBass went off script last week with seven points, his first non-six point game in a month. If you're into steady mediocre numbers, Janikowski's your bobo.

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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