FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

Prediction: BAL 24, WAS 20 Line: (Pick)

Players to Watch: Ray Rice, Robert Griffin III

The 9-3 Ravens dropped an important game to the Steelers but are 4-2 in road games. The 6-6 Redskins are on a three game winning streak but each went against a divisional opponent.

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 20-23
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 @ WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 220,2
RB Justin Forsett 20 2-10
RB Bernard Pierce 20
WR Steve Smith 6-80,1
WR Torrey Smith 5-90,1
TE Owen Daniels 4-50,1
TE Dennis Pitta 4-30,1
PK Justin Tucker 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Ray Lewis may return to practice this week but he remains on the new IR and might be back to play in week 15. Terrell Suggs tore his triceps last week but has not been ruled out. The Ravens defense has been dominating in most games and held half of their previous opponents to only one offensive touchdown. The biggest concern this week is that the offense has sputtered every time it leaves Baltimore and the offensive play calling has been a head scratcher lately.

Joe Flacco continues to play out his disappointing season that has only thrown nine touchdowns over the last nine games and while he has a few 300 yard efforts, almost half his games end up with under 200 passing yards. Over six road games this year, Flacco has only thrown four touchdowns and never more than one per game.

The fantasy community has issued a common question asked by every Ray Rice owner - "what the hell?"

Rice was only given 12 carries in the loss to the Steelers though he scored once and gained 78 yards. Bernard Pierce really stepped up his workload with eight runs last week though he only gained 34 yards. Pierce ran nine times in San Diego the week prior when Rice was give 22 runs for 97 yards. Odder still was that Rice had five catches for 53 yards in the first meeting with the Steelers just three weeks ago and then only had one catch for five yards last Sunday. This all makes predicting what Rice will do very hard since his role is unrelated to his success. Coming off a great 2011 season, Rice has been mostly a disappointment this year and too rarely a difference maker.

The Ravens receivers are nothing special thanks mostly to Flacco and the play calling. Anquan Boldin scored against the Steelers but it was his first since the season opener. Torrey Smith came into the year with much promise and while he has scored in five games and topped 100 yards twice, he is just as inconsistent as the offense around him. He's not only been as bad as one catch for seven yards and as good as seven catches for 144 yards, but those came in consecutive weeks. It all makes projecting a tough call but at least this week they will face the Redskins and their bad secondary.

Don't over value what happened with the Redskins the last three weeks inside their own division every time. This is a game where Flacco must take advantage and Rice reprise at least his role as a receiver.

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 WAS 31 10 32 31 22 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL CLE 0000022010 ***
Flacco was ordinary (217 and 1) in the earlier meeting with Cleveland, and there's little in his season stats, history with the Browns, or Cleveland's season thus far suggest he'll stray far enough from ordinary to warrant fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL CLE 12022100000 ***
After giving up 154 RB rushing yards (63 to Forsett on 11 carries) to the Ravens in the earlier meeting, the Browns have allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushers the past two weeks. Forsett has been showing signs of wearing down, but in a must-win for Baltimore expect him to get enough touches--and do enough with them--to be a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL CLE 004601000 *
After ceding WR1 duties to Steve Smith to start the season, Torrey has been the more productive wideout over the past two months. He's scored six touchdowns in seven games, including two last week in Houston. Maybe he draws Joe Haden this time around, or maybe he capitalizes on not getting Haden with another solid effort. Either way, he's a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL CLE 004500000 ***
Steve bettered Joe Haden to the tune of 105 yards in the earlier meeting, so aside from expected pedestrian numbers from the Baltimore passing game there's no need to fear this matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL CLE 003300000 ***
The Browns limited Baltimore tight ends to 20 yards in the earlier meeting, and Daniels has done nothing since to warrant fantasy consideration here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL CLE 1133 ***
Tucker reached double-digit points in Cleveland; chances are he'll meet or beat that performance when the Brownies limp into Baltimore with nothing to play for.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI 31-6
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL 38-31
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG 17-16
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL -----
6 MIN 38-26 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG 23-27 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT 12-27 17 DAL -----
9 CAR 13-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 30 240,1
RB Alfred Morris 70,1
WR Pierre Garcon 5-80,1
WR Santana Moss 2-30
WR Andre Roberts 4-50
TE Logan Paulsen 1-20
PK Kai Forbath 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Maybe it was the rest from the week ten bye. Maybe it was just facing the weak NFC East. But for three weeks now, the Skins are winning games and getting much better production from all facets of the offense. One must suffer through a constant barrage of RG3-love by announcers to watch their games, but a lackluster team has finally reached .500 on the season with the promise of ending on a high note since they'll face the Eagles and Cowboys again in the final two weeks. This game is clearly their biggest challenge left on the schedule.

Robert Griffin III has four game left to play and has already set the record for rushing yards by a rookie quarterback with 714 yards, breaking the record of 706 yards set just last year by Cam Newton. RG3 rolled up eight passing scores against the Cowboys and Eagles but settled for just one last week and only 163 pass yards as well. He currently has 17 passing touchdowns on the year against only four interceptions. He's managed to avoid facing a good defense this year other than the Steelers who held him to 177 yards and one score as a passer and just eight yards as a rusher. This week will be interesting given the apparent breakthrough of the last three weeks.

Alfred Morris is on a two game stretch of 100+ rushing yard efforts but he's been much less productive in previous efforts and he has just six receptions on the year. Morris is a play for moderate rush yards in most weeks and scored only once in the last six games.

The receivers for the Redskins remain a mish-mash of mediocrity though Pierre Garcon is trying to change that with a score and 85+ yards in each of the last two games. He's roared back after missing eight games this year and apparently killed off Santana Moss who was scoring the best and yet never had a pass last week. Garcon is a must start now but no other wideouts or tight ends are.

Griffin has a chance to really cement his rookie season as a wild success with a win here. He's been largely average as a passer but added plenty of stick-moving rushing to the equation. Then he was a great passer for two weeks. Now he faces a top defense and gets a chance to prove himself outside of his own division.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 1 22 12 19 14 7
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 8 20 12 9 28 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Robert Griffin III, WAS DAL 0000026011 ***
RG3 threw four TDs in his first game against the Cowboys, back in November 2012; in 57 attempts he hasn't thrown one since, though he did run for one in the back end of the 2012 series. Colt McCoy couldn't crack the Cowboys for a scoring strike (though he did run one in) in the earlier meeting this season; sensing a theme here? RG3 came close to a rushing score in Week 15, but he'll need one to be a fantasy factor this week--and he hasn't had one since that 2012 Week 17 game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS DAL 701000000 ***
Alf has scored in all five of his career meetings with the Cowboys, including a TD in the earlier meeting which, at 18-73-1, was actually his least productive effort against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed seven RB TDs in the past five games, so Alf should have ample opportunity to extend his streak here--unless Darrel Young swipes his scores again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS DAL 0051101000 ****
Jackson dropped 136 yards on the Cowboys in the front end of this season series, but he hasn't caught a touchdown pass against them since December of 2010--and he's been in their division for years. Bank on the yardage--DJax just posted 126 on his former mates from Philadelphia last week--but don't count on a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS DAL 003500000 ***
The last time Roberts had fantasy value was right after the Redskins signed him to start opposite Pierre Garcon. Much has happened since then, none of it beneficial to Roberts' fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS DAL 004500000 ***
Garcon has shown moderate signs of life, but his biggest outing came when DeSean Jackson was out of the lineup so when the Redskins are at full strength he's clearly a second banana. Look for a first banana before settling this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS DAL 005500000 ***
Reed split 67 yards with Niles Paul in the earlier matchup with Dallas, but he's made the tight end position his own over the past month. That makes him the most likely to take advantage of a Dallas defense that's allowed 10 TE TDs on the year as well as six games of 50-plus yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS DAL 2222 ****
Forbath has actually been adequate of late, if you're into something in the eight-point neighborhood. That seems to be the ceiling, however, so you can likely do better elsewhere.

WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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