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 BAL 0000024011 ***
Dalton has but one game north of 20 fantasy points this season; the Ravens have allowed only Andrew Luck to hit that marker against them. As if it weren't a difficult enough matchup already, Dalton will likely have to make do without AJ Green once again as well. No reason to expect a significant fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN BAL 6014300000 **
Won't be easy for Gio against a Baltimore defense that has held four straight foes without an RB TD or let a running back rack up triple-digit combo yardage since Week 2. That said, Bernard racked up 110 yards from scrimmage in the season opener against the Ravens and has found the end zone in every home game thus far this year so don't bet against him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN BAL 200000000 **
There's been barely enough for one back against Baltimore; no need to reach for Cincy's second backfield option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN BAL 005801000 **
The Ravens have allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in five straight, so even if AJ Green does play Sanu should hold at least a portion of his fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Tate, CIN BAL 002300000 ***
Update: With AJ Green doubtful Tate should get some more run this week--not necessarily enough to be a fantasy factor, but at least he'll be in the mix.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN BAL 002300000 *
Doesn't sound as if Green is going to go again this week, but he's productive enough when hurt that it's worth holdout out hope until he's officially ruled out.
Update: Green failed to practice all week and is listed as doubtful. Best course of action is to continue with whatever backup plan you've been using in his absence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN BAL 006500000 ***
While it's nice and all that Gresham has seen 19 targets over the past two games, he's a non-start against a Baltimore defense that's allowed only one TE TD on the year and no games north of 60 yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN BAL 2222 ***
The Nuge was shut out last week, and a Ravens' defense that's allowing less than five kicker points per game doesn't look to provide much of a bounceback opportunity.

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 Nick Foles, PHI @ARI 0000028022 ***
Foles has had one fantasy dog to blemish an otherwise solid season. The Cards held Derek Carr in check last week but for the most part have been a favorable matchup for opposing QBs. Bet on Foles to be more favorable than Carr-like this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @ARI 5004200000 ***
The Cards haven't allowed much on the ground this year, and they kept McCoy out of the end zone in last year's meeting so keep your expectations in check. That said, McCoy's volume and the 115 combo yards he posted against Arizona last year suggest he's still a solid fantasy play this week--especially if Darren Sproles remains sidelined with his knee injury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @ARI 2006400000 ***
Sproles is supposed to be back for this game, but after a limited practice session on Wednesday it remains to be seen if he'll make it to the field on Sunday. Best make a Plan B for now, and if Sproles shows signs of life during the latter half of the practice week you can always elevate him to your lineup.
Update: After a full practice on Friday Sproles is officially listed as questionable. It's not a tremendous matchup, but it sounds like Sproles will at least be an option for fantasy owners.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @ARI 004301000 **
Over the past month Coop has been a consistent provider of 30-50 yards and the occasional touchdown. It's a favorable matchup so he should be at the high end of that range, but he's still playing second fiddle to Jeremy Maclin in this passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @ARI 005600000 ***
Matthews has done little aside from that two-TD game. And while another double isn't out of the question here he's still battling Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Zach Ertz, and the running backs for looks so it's far from likely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @ARI 004500000 ***
Shouldn't matter who covers Maclin; none of the Arizona corners are having particularly good seasons. Speed receivers like DeSean Jackson have had success against the Cards so don't be surprised if, after a down week against the Giants prior to Philly's bye, Maclin storms back with a solid fantasy effort this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @ARI 004701000 ****
The Cards have allowed three TE TDs and four games of 65-plus yards to the position. So even though Ertz still has to share some targets with Brent Celek and James Casey he's a big enough part of this offense to be a reliable fantasy contributor--especially with the favorable matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @ARI 2222 ****
Parkey's been right around 10 points per game on a weekly basis, but the Cardinals don't allow much to opposing kickers so it'll be a battle of wills. Split the difference and hope for "above average".

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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