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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: PIT 6, BAL 20 (LINE: BAL by 3)

Players Updated: Ben Roethlisberger

Players to Watch: Johnathan Dwyer, Ray Rice

This is a replay of week 11 when the Ravens won 13-10 in Pittsburgh. You can be sure that no matter what, there are not going to be many points in this game. The Ravens have won the last three meetings. The Ravens already have a three game lead on the Steelers in the AFC North and are on a four game winning streak. The Steelers have lost their last two and are likely without Ben Roethlisberger again.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC 16-13
2 NYJ 27-10 11 BAL 10-13
3 @OAK 31-34 12 @CLE 14-20
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL -----
5 PHI 16-14 14 SD -----
6 @TEN 23-26 15 @DAL -----
7 @CIN 24-17 16 CIN -----
8 WAS 27-12 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG 24-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger
RB Felix Jones 20 3-30
WR Antonio Brown 4-50
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 4-50
WR Lance Moore 5-80
TE Heath Miller 5-50
TE Matt Spaeth 2-20
PK Shaun Suisham 2 FG

Pregame Notes: The loss of Big Ben really took the wind out of the offensive sails. The last three weeks have seen the Steelers never score more than 16 points and that included hosting the Chiefs. While some reports have Roethlisberger at "50/50", others speculate that there is no way the he will play this week and that he would be so limited and playing in such pain that he would be of little use and only open himself for further injury.

That's a problem this week since they'll face the Ravens in Baltimore with nothing more than Charlie Batch who threw three interceptions last week in Cleveland. Ends up that keeping Batch around for ten years as a third stringer maybe wasn't as prudent as it seemed just because he knows the playbook. His 199 yards last week severely degrades all the fantasy value on the team.

Jonathan Dwyer has been promoted to the top of the depth chart which means absolutely nothing on this offense that uses a committee backfield, rarely runs and doesn't do it that well when it tries. Dwyer only gained 19 yards on nine carries in Cleveland. He gained 55 yards on 12 runs against the Ravens in week 11. Rashard Mendenhall has apparently been demoted and Isaac Redman is rarely used anyway. This group only matters when at home against a really bad defense and two of the three are out injured. As a group they only rushed in four touchdowns all year.

To further compound the offensive problems, Mike Wallace is now only the co-split end along with Emmanuel Sanders. Wallace has rubbed the coaching staff the wrong way with less than stellar efforts in recent games. He only managed one catch for nine yards last week and since Big Ben left has yet to gain more than 24 yards in any game. Antonio Brown is expected back this week.

Playing in Baltimore is tough enough but the passing effort has fallen apart since Big Ben left and that drags down the rushing production as well. If any of these players manage more than moderate fantasy points this week it will be a miracle. Troy Polamalu may return this week which will at least help the defense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 15 19 20 7 13 29
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 8 19 12 9 28 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT CLE 0000024020 ***
The Browns have allowed multiple passing scores in 10 straight games, a stretch that includes Big Ben's 217 & 2 in Week 12. Roethlsiberger's yardage has been subdued of late, but he has multiple TD tosses in five of six and will stick around as long as it takes with the Steelers' playoff hopes still clinging to life support.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT CLE 7014300000 ***
Bell rushed for 80 yards in the earlier meeting with Cleveland. Since then the Browns have softened a bit, surrendering 100-yard outings in back-to-back games. Bell rushed for 124 yards last week in Green Bay and has scored in back-to-back games; he also has a couple 50-yard receiving games in that span as well. With the Steelers still playing for something, Bell's about as good a fantasy back bet as there is this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, PIT CLE 601000000 **
Prior to last week's aberration against the Dolphins, the Bills allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushers. They also served up 162 rushing yards to the Patriots in the earlier meeting this season; unfortunately, after Shane Vereen (if healthy) takes his bite off the top the leftovers will be split between Blount and Stevan Ridley--and only Bill Belichick knows who'll get the money shots.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT CLE 005801000 ***
With 92 yards and a TD in Cleveland earlier this season, Brown ain't 'fraid of no Haden. He's scored in three straight and five of six and is consistently Big Ben's favorite target so don't sweat the Iron Haden.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Lance Moore, PIT CLE 002200000 ***
Moore has to battle Kenny Stills and Robert Meachem for secondary looks behind Marques Colston in an offense that throws to the tight end and running backs more than the wideouts. That's not a recipe for fantasy success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Heath Miller, PIT CLE 003200000 ***
The Steelers have one TE TD in the past nine games, and it went to Matt Spaeth, not Miller. Heath had 5-41 in the earlier meeting with Cleveland, a game sandwiched in between outings in which the Browns gave up multiple touchdowns. So there's at least a glimmer of hope here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shaun Suisham, PIT CLE 2233 ***
Suisham tallied nine in Cleveland last month and has 20 points over the past two games. With the Steelers clinging to playoff hopes, Suisham will be pressed to put points on the board once again.

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 16-13
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 vs PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 200,1
RB Justin Forsett 20
RB Ray Rice 60,1 5-60
WR Torrey Smith 3-40
WR Brandon Stokley 5-50
TE Dallas Clark 5-50,1
TE Owen Daniels 4-60,1
TE Dennis Pitta 1-20
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: At 9-2 the Ravens currently have the #2 seed and a one game lead over the Patriots and Broncos. The remaining schedule is no cake walk but the toughest games all come at home so it is not unthinkable that they could run the table. Ray Lewis is also being talked up as potentially returning before the season ends. The offense is still little more than Ray Rice and the Ravens barely scratched out the last two wins by a field goal each. This is a good time to host the Steelers.

Not a great sign that not only has Joe Flacco struggled to throw for more than one score or over 200 yards in most games, but his worst game of the year was two weeks ago when he only passed for 164 yards and no scores in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have not allowed more than one passing score in the last seven games. At least this one goes off at home but Flacco is not going to change any trends this week.

Ray Rice only accounted for 40 yards on 20 runs in Pittsburgh but added dive catches for 53 yards. Last week in San Diego, he ran for 97 yards and added eight receptions for 67 yards as well. Bernard Pierce offers relief work but never enough for any fantasy consideration. Rice should see more carries and more success in this home version of the matchup, especially with the Steelers offense struggling.

In the previous meeting with the Steelers, the only receiver with any appreciable stats was Anquan Boldin's eight catches for 79 yards which was roughly double his normal weekly production. Torrey Smith was blanketed and only managed one catch for seven yards that week. He's been very productive in recent weeks except for this matchup.

The Steelers play very well at home but less so on the road. They have allowed six rushing touchdowns away from home along with better yardage. The passing defense remains stout - ranked #1 against quarterbacks and wide receivers. This should be the fourth straight win by the Ravens over the Steelers but once again - it's not going to contain many points.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 11 14 18 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 1 4 1 10 13 16

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL @CIN 0000022012 ****
Flacco has just one multiple touchdown outing in his past six games, or since he threw for 140 & 2 against the Bengals back in Week 10. Cincy has allowed only one multiple touchdown since then as well, plus they've surrendered only eight passing scores in seven home games. Last year Flacco came through in the clutch; this season, expectations are diminished.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ray Rice, BAL @CIN 3006300000 ****
The Bengals have allowed exactly one RB TD in Cincinnati this year, and Rice isn't having the kind of season where he would be a good bet to buck that trend. He's essentially splitting carries with Bernard Pierce and only posting helpful fantasy numbers when an easy matchup is at hand. This is not that matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bernard Pierce, BAL @CIN 200000000 ***
Pierce is seeing a larger share of the workload, but neither he nor Ray Rice are doing anything with those touches--and the matchup isn't particularly favorable, either.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL @CIN 004501000 ***
Smith scored in the earlier matchup with Cincy, though it took 15 targets for him to do so. The Bengals have allowed five WR TDs in the subsequent five games, and with Smith still the top-targeted Raven wideout he's the best bet of the passing game to score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jacoby Jones, BAL @CIN 004500000 ****
Jones and Marlon Brown continue to alternate adequate showings as Baltimore's secondary target. That has some fantasy value in a favorable matchup, but this isn't a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marlon Brown, BAL @CIN 003400000 ***
Brown and Jacoby Jones continue to alternate adequate showings as Baltimore's secondary target. That has some fantasy value in a favorable matchup, but this isn't a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dennis Pitta, BAL @CIN 004300000 ***
Pitta is still splitting looks with Ed Dickson; against a Bengals defense that's shut out three straight tight ends, there's just not enough to go around here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @CIN 3311 ***
Tucker has been feast or famine of late: three triple-digit games, wrapped around a couple minuscule single-digit efforts. He posted eight points in the previous meeting with Cincy, and this one is likely to play out in a similar fashion as the two teams battle for playoff spots.

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)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t