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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
CLE @ OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 50,1 250,2
WR Josh Gordon 4-60,1

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 Cody Kessler, CLE @MIA 0000018002 *
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound rookie is Cleveland's third starter in as many weeks. Chemistry will be an issue with the receiving corps -- there's only so much changing a team can do at this position. Starting Kessler in fantasy may lead to drinking unhealthy amounts of his namesake whiskey.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @MIA 7011100000 ***
Miami doesn't know how to stop running backs, so there is a positive in Cleveland's offense after all. The Dolphins have yielded the 10th most fantasy points to RBs, including four touchdown runs in two games. Crowell showed some wheels in Week 2. There's hope. Crowell is a low-end RB2 or capable flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE @MIA 2003300000 ***
Involved in only 46 percent of Cleveland's plays, Johnson's role is limited to that of a pass-catcher and third-down option. Miami has given up only eight catches for 28 yards. Play him only if you must, but there's an outside chance he's a strong PPR play if quarterback Cody Kessler plays the dink-and-dunk game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr., CLE @MIA 003400000 *
Pryor is a home run weapon but offers little more than that for gamers despite seeing the most snaps among all Cleveland receivers. The matchup is sweet enough to take a high-risk flier, though.

Update: Even with Corey Coleman (hand) out of action, Pryor shouldn't be consider anything more than the wildest of DFS gambles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @MIA 003300000 ***
Hawkins is a PPR weapon who may see more work with Corey Coleman injured. Avoid the slot receiver in any normal league formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Gary Barnidge, CLE @MIA 004500000 *
The Dolphins have given up the eighth most fantasy points to tight ends in two games of play. Barnidge could be the safety blanket for rookie QB Cody Kessler in the passer's first start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, CLE @MIA 1111 ***
A rookie third-string quarterback leading the offense ... no thanks.

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Marcel Reece 40 3-20,1
WR Michael Crabtree 4-60,1
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 @TEN 0000028021 ***
We're looking at a tough matchup for Carr, facing a defense that has allowed only one TD to quarterbacks. While Tennessee has just one pick, they rank seventh at stopping fantasy passers. Carr has to be started with lowered expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @TEN 4005300000 ***
Murray's start has been respectable. This week, he could run into a brick wall. The Titans are the stiffest matchup for fantasy backs. No TDs allowed, only five catches, and 156 rushing yards ... Play Murray with diminished results in mind.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK @TEN 004601000 ***
Crabtree sees single coverage and is doing a great job of taking advantage of those one-on-ones. He is a WR3 in standard, a second in PPR, against this Titans defense ranking 12th vs. wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Amari Cooper, OAK @TEN 0051000000 ***
Cooper belongs in any lineup where he was drafted. He's better in PPR. Tennessee ranks 12th against fantasy receivers in this scoring format, allowing 27 receptions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Seth Roberts, OAK @TEN 003300000 ***
Roberts sees a only handful of targets and thus has no fantasy relevance at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clive Walford, OAK @TEN 005601000 ***
Tennessee has given up the 12th fewest points to the position. Walford came to life last week, so this one is really a toss up. We side with the offense.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @TEN 3222 ***
Tennessee has given up the most field goal attempts to kickers, so there's some hope here.

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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