FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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
WR Marvin Jones 3-40
WR Greg Little 4-60
TE Jermaine Gresham 5-50

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 0000023021 ***
No guarantee that attempting to keep up with Peyton Manning translates into helpful fantasy stats; didn't work for Derek Carr, Shaun Hill, Alex Smith or Philip Rivers over the past six weeks. Dalton's been too unreliable a fantasy contributor of late to not be lumped in with that mediocre grouping, especially given his penchant for coming up small in big games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN DEN 5004200000 ***
Tre Mason is the only back to find fantasy success against the Broncos. Not that the Bengals won't try with Hill, but his big games have come against bottom-feeding run defenses (New Orleans, Cleveland, and Jacksonville all rank in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to RBs). Dial your expectations back accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DEN 3003200000 ***
It's official: Gio's a complementary back. And with feature backs having enough trouble carving out fantasy value against the Broncos, no reason to reach for a secondary guy for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN DEN 005601000 **
It's not impossible for Green to carve out fantasy value against the Broncos, especially given the volume of targets he's bound to see. But it won't be easy, so keep your expectations in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN DEN 003300000 ***
Complementary targets have found the end zone against Denver while primary targets posted bigger yardage--as recently as Week 14, when Sammy Watkins did the heavy lifting with 127 yards while Chris Hogan found the end zone. However, multiple receivers have posted fantasy helpers on the Broncos only four times in 14 games, so Sanu's chances of warranting a spot in your lineup are slim.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Kevin Brock, CIN DEN 001101000 *
With Jermaine Gresham either pouting or hurt--or maybe both--Brock will get the minimal looks Cincy tight ends have been seeing and produce the limited fantasy value they've been posting.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN DEN 1122 ***
Since serving up 16 points to Greg Zuerlein and the Rams in Week 11 the Broncos have allowed a total of 17 kicker points in four games. The Nuge broke a two-game field goal drought with three against the Browns last week, but the overriding trend here is opposing kickers falling short against Denver. Plan accordingly.

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
PHI vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Nick Foles 230,1
QB Mark Sanchez 230,1
RB Darren Sproles 20 5-50,1
WR Riley Cooper 2-20
WR Jeremy Maclin 5-70,1

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 Mark Sanchez, PHI @WAS 0000028020 ***
Can Sanchez turn around his mini-slump of declining numbers? A Redskins defense that ceded 325 and 3 to Nick Foles back in Week 3 and has allowed multiple passing scores in three straight help point all signs towards "yes".
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @WAS 6001100000 ***
As far as we can tell McCoy is still the starter and feature back in Philly. Last week, however, he played in just 34 of the team's 55 offensive snaps, a two-year low for McCoy. It's a tough matchup to begin with, and if you're taking touches--especially goal line looks--off of McCoy's plate it makes things even more difficult.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @WAS 0081201000 ****
Maclin remains the man in Philly, with four straight 100-yard games against the Redskins capped by his 8-154-1 earlier this season. He's been the most consistently targeted Eagle, so no matter what shakes down he feels like the best bet for fantasy help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @WAS 004701000 **
Matthews vanished last week; one drop led to no more targets and zero catches on the day. We'll see if he returns to the coaching staff's good graces, but given what transpired last week he can't be banked on for fantasy help here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @WAS 004300000 ***
Cooper's targets have taken a turn for the better--second on the team among wideouts in looks each of the past four games--but the productivity hasn't climbed with the additional looks so he's still a risky play at best here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brent Celek, PHI @WAS 001100000 ***
It's a favorable tight end matchup, but Celek's presence only serves to cut into Zach Ertz's fantasy potential.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @WAS 002100000 ***
Ertz is the more dynamic target, but he isn't necessarily the most targeted tight end on the Philly roster and that makes him a difficult start at best. On the bright side, both he and Brent Celek will be facing a Redskins defense that has given up 11 TE TDs this year, including four in the past three games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @WAS 2233 ***
Parker produced 13 points the last time these teams met, the most Washington has allowed to an opposing kicker all year. It's not rare for Parkey, however, who has six games with double-digit points and is averaging 9.5 points per game on the year. Shouldn't be a hiccup here.

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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