Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*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.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 11 14 18 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 31 10 32 31 22 2

QB Joe Flacco, BAL @PIT 0000024021 ****
In 15 career meetings with the Steelers Flacco has thrown multiple touchdowns exactly thrice--just once in the past six games, his 166 and 2 in the home meeting earlier this year. His average outing in Pittsburgh? 195 yards, one TD. He has just one total TD in two road games against AFC North foes this year, so even though he has three multiple TD outings in the past five games (two at home, one against the hapless Bucs) don't expect big things here.
RB Justin Forsett, BAL @PIT 6014200000 ****
Forsett had a junior share of the workload in the earlier meeting, yet he still produced 72 yards from scrimmage on a dozen touches. He's the lead dog now, against a Steelers D that's allowed six RB TDs, three 75-yard rushers and a 50-yard receiver in just the past three games.
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, BAL @PIT 2002200000 ****
Bernard Pierce carried 22 times for 96 yards in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh. Taliaferro has taken Pierce's gig, and while 22-96 seems aggressive as the Ravens' goal line guy he should at least be able to capitalize on a Steelers D that's allowed six RB TDs in just the past three games.
WR Steve Smith, BAL @PIT 006801000 ***
Smith is the Ravens' WR1 but he's no fantasy lock this week. He tallied 6-71 on 10 targets in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh and is coming off a rough 3-35 on nine targets against Cincy last week. The upside is that the Steelers allowed multiple WRs to score and top 100 yards last week, but this one isn't likely to be the 85 point shootout that was so dial back expectations accordingly.
WR Torrey Smith, BAL @PIT 003400000 ***
Torrey had one catch in the earlier meeting with Pittsburgh and was shut out in Cincy last week. He can take solace in the fact that the Steelers allowed multiple WRs to score and top 100 yards last week, but this won't be a shootout like that game turned into so keep your expectations in check.
TE Owen Daniels, BAL @PIT 005301000 ****
You may remember Daniels from his two-TD outing against the Steelers in the earlier meeting. He was the TE2 that game, as Dennis Pitta was still healthy; now Daniels is working his way back from an injury of his own so he's no lock to take the field this week. It's a favorable matchup against a Pittsburgh D that's allowed three more TE TDs since Daniels pulled his double, so if Owen is healthy enough to go he deserves a fantasy look-see.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @PIT 1133 ***
Remember when Heinz Field used to be a nightmare for opposing kickers? This season every visiting kicker has tallied at least nine points in Pittsburgh. Tucker has multiple treys in four straight and six of seven; a visit to the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers shouldn't be a deterrent.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
  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.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 1 22 12 19 14 7
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 8 20 12 9 28 4

QB Colt McCoy, WAS @MIN 0000026011 **
If RG3 can't make it out of practice this week and McCoy gets the nod he's not exactly a fantasy lock; the Vikings have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @MIN 8011100000 ****
RG3's return would be a boon for Morris, as his two best showings came with the threat of RG3 in the same backfield. Morris has 12 or more carries in every game; the seven backs to hit that mark against Minnesota average 70 yards a game and have accounted for four TDs as well. Give those numbers the RG3 boost and this is at minimum a solid opportunity for Alf.
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @MIN 006901000 ***
The Vikings typically have trouble with speed receivers--like Sammy Watkins, who torched them for 9-122-2 a couple weeks back. That bodes well for DJax, as done the return of RG3 to the helm.
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @MIN 005600000 ***
Garcon saw enough early-season volume with RG3 at the helm that his return bodes well for Pierre's stats in PPR formats; also doesn't hurt that the Vikings have allowed multiple WRs to score and/or top 60 yards in four of their last six games.
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @MIN 004300000 ***
If the season opener is any indication, Roberts runs a distant third in Washington's WR pecking order when RG3 is at the helm. No reason to reach for him here.
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @MIN 004500000 ***
Mike Zimmer has tightened up a Vikings D that traditionally was torched by tight ends; this year they've allowed only two TE TDs and no tight end to top 56 yards against them. Those aren't fantasy-friendly numbers for Reed; add in the fact he's still sharing looks with Niles Paul and he's a fringe fantasy play at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @MIN 2122 ***
Won't be easy for Forbath to get his kicks against a Minnesota defense that either rolls over and gives up PATs (zero field goals, 13 XP attempts Weeks 3-5) or shuts the door altogether (just 47 points allowed total over the past three weeks). Plus, his fantasy prospects are a bone to be chewed when the gales of November come early.

*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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