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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
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 KC 0000026020 ***
Big Bern has been north of 350 yards three straight and north of 340 six of the last seven. He's been a little more sporadic with the touchdowns, but the yardage serves as insurance to keeps his fantasy value high
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT KC 10016701000 ***
Bell's run of games with 200-plus combo yards came to a halt last week, but Bell augmented his 119 yards from scrimmage with a pair of touchdowns. He's a viable starter regardless of matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT KC 007901000 ***
High volume, high yardage, the occasional touchdown... unless you're in a TD-heavy scoring system Brown is an elite receiver. The Chiefs have allowed only three 100-yard receivers all season, but the high volume guys seemed to make a fantasy mark. Count Brown in that expected category.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Martavis Bryant, PIT KC 003400000 ***
Bryant is the complimentary target and oversized red zone threat. But the Chiefs don't give up many WR TDs and Bryant generally isn't rolling in the yardage. Plus, the Chiefs have yet to allow multiple WR TDs in the same game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Heath Miller, PIT KC 004600000 ****
On the surface the matchup looks favorable, with Miller coming off a 68-yard game and the Chiefs having allowed eight TE TDs on the year. But only one of those scores has come in the past two months, and Miller is too inconsistently targeted to be banked on for a fantasy contribution.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shaun Suisham, PIT KC 2233 ***
Suisham has multiple treys in five straight and at least nine points in four consecutive games; the Chiefs have allowed multiple field goals in three straight and five of the last six games. It adds up to Suisham being a solid fantasy start this week.

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
WR Steve Smith 4-70,1
WR Torrey Smith 3-40
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 @HOU 0000024020 ****
Mostly "meh" trends here, as the Texans are neither a bad nor great matchup, Flacco's a little worse on the road but not awful, etc. You'll be okay starting Flacco, but at this juncture hopefully you've got some "wow" arsenal at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL @HOU 9012200000 ***
The key number is 20 carries. Forsett hasn't been there for a couple games, and not coincidentally Forsett's three-game streak of 100-yard games came to an end at that juncture. The Texans have allowed only three 100-yard rushers on the year, and not coincidentally they've faced only three players who received 20 carries. Yes, the same three. If Forsett was healthy enough to get 16 carries against Jacksonville last week he should make it to 20 this weekend--with appropriate results.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bernard Pierce, BAL @HOU 400000000 ***
No reason for Pierce to handle too many touches here, and he'll need some fortunate timing for them to carry any fantasy weight.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL @HOU 006801000 ***
Smith likes facing the Texans: he's scored in all three career games against them while averaging a robust 108 yards per outing. More recently, the Texans have been giving up big yardage to primary receivers but letting secondary targets find the end zone. Hard to tell which Smith is which in any given week for the Ravens, but suffice it to say both have reasonably high fantasy expectations here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL @HOU 004601000 *
Only two teams have allowed more WR TDs than the Texans, so if Smith is healthy enough to play he's a quality fantasy start; the question is whether or not he or Steve Smith will take a turn as Joe Flacco's favorite.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL @HOU 002300000 ***
Daniels, fresh off returning to the end zone last week, against his former team--who just allowed a TE TD last week. Not a particularly strong trend in Daniels' favor, but who's gonna know how to get a tight end open against that defense better than Gary Kubiak?
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @HOU 1144 ***
Tucker's been solid, with multiple field goals in three of his last four overall and three of his last four at home. Don't expect Houston to disrupt Tucker's flow; in fact, the Texans' QB issues might make it that much easier for the Ravens to play defense and settle for field goals.

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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