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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

Prediction: CIN 27, PHI 20 (Line: CIN by 3 )

Players to Watch: Nick Foles, BenJarvus Green-Ellis

This is the Thursday night game that features the 7-6 Bengals who are probably as close to a wild card as they will be this season and the Eagles fresh off their latest win that is separated from their other recent win only nine games before that. The Bengals are 4-2 in road games and the Eagles probably cannot get that lucky two weeks in a row.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG 31-13
2 CLE 34-27 11 @KC 28-6
3 @WAS 38-31 12 OAK 34-10
4 @JAC 27-10 13 @SD 20-13
5 MIA 13-17 14 DAL 19-20
6 @CLE 24-34 15 @PHI -----
7 PIT 17-24 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN 23-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 10 250,2
WR A.J. Green 5-80,1

Pregame Notes: Like much of the rest of the league, the Bengals were off their game last week and this was painfully obvious when A.J. Green out right dropped several passes including one sure touchdown. This week is a short one with a Thursday night game and then comes the two big games to end the season - at Pittsburgh and then home versus the Ravens. Losing last week should help keep the Bengals focused here and besides, Thursday night games are usually won by the team with the most talent since there is so little time to prepare.

Andy Dalton hasn't thrown for many yards this year and certainly not in the last five games where he has remained at 230 yards or less. Still he has scored at least once in every week since the opener and half his efforts end up with multiple touchdowns.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been impressive this past month with three straight games over 100 rushing yards and even last week when he was limited to just 12 carries he still gained 89 yards and caught three passes for 13 more versus the Cowboys. He should see even more work than usual this time because Cedric Peerman is nursing a sore ankle and likely won't suit up by Thursday night. With only Brian Leonard to mix in, Green-Ellis should end up with 20+ carries yet again. This is likely his final good game of the season.

Jermaine Gresham was limited in practices last week because of his hamstring but still played and produced a standard four receptions for 43 yards. While Andrew Hawkins accounted for six catches for 44 yards and the only passing score, Marvin Jones is starting to get notice in the flanker spot with three receptions for 45 yards and an end-around that covered 37 yards last week.

This is a must win for the Bengals and A.J. Green has done the unthinkable by going three games without a touchdown. The Eagles are likely still giddy about the win last week and are still without all their key players.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 11 25 4 15 14 16
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 27 10 22 15 27 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN DEN 10000019011 ***
There is no way Dalton should be in a fantasy lineup this week. Denver will stifle the passing game if A.J. Green gets bottled up again this week. Dalton was sacked seven times by the Jets -- a number Denver may come close to matching.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN DEN 5012200000 ***
Gamers get nothing in return from Hill without a touchdown. This doesn't line up to be a good setting to deploy him, considering Denver has given up only one touchdown on the ground to the position in 2016.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DEN 2007600000 ***
Denver has given up 10 catches, 53 yards and a touchdown to running backs through the air, which at least gives a glimmer of hope for Bernard. He stood out in Week 2 in a similar situation -- A.J. Green was locked down, forcing Andy Dalton into the checkdown game. PPR owners must include Gio in their RB2 plans.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN DEN 004500000 ***
Boyd was in on 79 percent of the snaps in Week 2 and will be looked to when A.J. Green is doubled. The rookie has PPR appeal as a WR3 or flex option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN DEN 004400000 ***
Didn't see that one coming ... Green was blanketed and removed from the passing attack a week ago versus the Steelers. Green has an even tougher matchup this time out. Play him if you must, but his production should match that of a flex choice.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN DEN 003200000 ***
LaFell saw the playing time (95% of snaps) and targets (8) last week but couldn't catch more than three balls for 39 yards. His true value resides in PPR leagues and in the flex neighborhood. Unfortunately, no team has been better vs. WRs than Denver. The Broncos have allowed only 16 catches to wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN DEN 004401000 **
Denver's secondary forces quarterbacks to take shots to their tight ends, which is partly why the position has averaged nine targets per game this young season. Kroft is returning from injury and is a terribly risky play, despite the upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN DEN 3322 ***
Nugent's leg should be busy as Denver's defense is likely to stall out Cincy's offense with regularity.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL 23-38
2 BAL 24-23 11 @WAS 6-31
3 @ARI 6-27 12 CAR 22-30
4 NYG 19-17 13 @DAL 33-38
5 @PIT 14-16 14 @TB 23-21
6 DET 23-26 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL 17-30 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO 13-28 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Ryan Mathews 90,1 2-10
RB Darren Sproles 20 5-50,1

Pregame Notes: Any time a team ends an eight game losing streak, it is big news at home. Sadly the season ticket holders have not seen a win since late September and are not likely to see one here. Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy are getting better and had a limited practice but with an early Thursday night game they are not expected to play. Next week - maybe. Though Foles will continue to be the starting quarterback.

Nick Foles finally put together an impressive showing when he passed for 381 yards and two scores in Tampa Bay and even added a rushing touchdown as well. He has been much improved since his first rocky start in Washington a month ago and will get a chance to compare next week when they visiting the Eagles for the final home game of the year.

The Bryce Brown Magical Mystery Tour took a major detour last week when instead of rushing for 165+ yards and two scores like the two previous weeks, he was held to only six net yards on 12 runs in Tampa Bay. It does make it harder when they can see you coming. At least this week Brown is back to facing below average rushing defenses. Dion Lewis on takes a couple of carries per game. Brown will take almost all carries for the Eagles and get whatever is there to get each week. Once McCoy returns - assuming he does at all this year - Brown will continue to be involved in the backfield and then the offseason will have to sort this all out with a new coaching staff.

With DeSean Jackson out, Jason Avant is making good use of his extra opportunities and after posting 79 yards on four catches in Dallas, led the team with seven receptions for 133 yards in Tampa Bay. Jeremy Maclin also managed to gained 104 yards and a score in that game after being held in check for three weeks.

Foles is coming around and has already likely bought himself a starting gig next year. These next two home games will be good to sell himself to the hometown crowd.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 17 14 20 22 22 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 23 3 22 20 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Wentz, PHI PIT 0000025011 ***
The second overall pick has looked the part. Stats haven't necessarily shown it for fantasy owners, but he more than passes the eyeball test. Wentz has a bright future but is not a smart fantasy start this week. Quarterbacks have hurled nearly 700 yards worth against Pittsburgh but only one touchdown pass.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI PIT 3011100000 ***
The matchup is quite positive, which is great, but can Carson Wentz keep defenders out of the box? Will he be outschemed? Mathews faces the 23rd-ranked defense of running backs, propelled by 15 catches for 162 yards and a score through the air.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI PIT 2003200000 ***
Here's a fair opportunity to toss Sproles into a PPR lineup if you can take the risk. Pittsburgh has been trampled through the air by receiving running backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI PIT 006901000 ***
Matthews has been on the field for 95 percent of Philly's offensive snaps. Receivers have caught 32 balls against the Steelers, but none of them have crossed the stripe. Matthews could be the first and best be in all traditional lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI PIT 004600000 ***
Agholor could turn in a fine game, but trusting in him is so difficult. Pittsburgh's defense ranks 16th against the position. This stems from 32 catches for 405 yards, with zero touchdowns afforded to the position. Truly bend but don't break.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, PHI PIT 002300000 ***
His only real hope for fantasy production is by finding the end zone against a pass defense that hasn't given up a touchdown to receivers yet. That's not a risky owners should be willing to take.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Trey Burton, PHI PIT 004400000 ***
Seven targets, five catches, 49 yards and a score. Not too shabby for the third-year H-back. The Steelers have granted tight ends 14 catches for 128 yards, ranking as the 22nd strongest defense of this position. Play Burton if you like taking unnecessary chances.

Update: Zach Ertz has been ruled out this week, solidifying Burton's role as a total flier.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI PIT 1122 ***
Sturgis has no fantasy value for Week 3 in a matchup that shouldn't provide enough kicking chances.

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

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