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
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 ATL 0000028010 ***
The Bengals weren't nearly as run-heavy as anticipated under new OC Hue Jackson, but that was more a function of the opponent. Expect a little more running and a little less passing this week, though not enough to relegate Dalton to certain fantasy bench duty.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN ATL 9015400000 ****
Gio didn't get quite the extensive workout fantasy owners had hoped for under Hue Jackson, but that should change against an Atlanta defense that surrendered 183 combo yards to backs last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN ATL 301000000 **
Hill was lightly used in his NFL debut, a product of the opponent as much as anything else. Now he'll face a Falcons defense that surrendered three RB rushing scores in Week 1; as Cincy's goal line guy you have to like his odds of slicing off a piece of that pie for himself.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN ATL 0061201000 ****
Mildly surprising that Green didn't have at least as many targets as the rest of Cincy's wideouts combined last week, but not surprising that he thoroughly outproduced them. The Falcons couldn't contain either Marcus Colston or Brandon Cooks last week, unlikely they'll find a way to slow Green's roll here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN ATL 004500000 ***
Until the Pips start producing consistently, which may not be until Marvin Jones returns, AJ Green is the only member of Cincy's wide receiving corps worthy of fantasy attention.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN ATL 003300000 ***
Gresham inherits at least some of the looks vacated by the injury to Tyler Eifert, though he's still a long shot to turn those extra looks into fantasy-relevant productivity.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN ATL 3333 ***
The Nuge got his kicks last week--five of them, in fact, on six attempts--and it's unlikely Atlanta keeps the Bengals off the scoreboard so he's a decent fantasy bet again this week.

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 @IND 0000028022 ****
Foles picked up right where he left off, tacking a 322 & 2 effort to a streak of eight straight games with the equivalent of multiple passing scores. An Indy defense fresh off surrendering 269 and 3 to Peyton Manning should help him run that string to double digits.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @IND 5006501000 ***
Shady got his triple digit combo yardage in the season opener but failed to find the end zone--ceding the score and 15 touches to Darren Sproles. No reason to think McCoy can't reclaim his touchdown here, and the yardage is all but a given as he's now topped the century mark in yards from scrimmage in eight straight regular season contests.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @IND 3004200000 ***
Sproles' running game role was a bit surprising, but you knew Chip Kelly would find a way to get him touches. Even if you can't bank on the consistent TD he's a PPR and yardage league fiend who warrants lineup consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI @IND 005801000 ****
Indy's secondary did a reasonably competent job of limiting Denver's wideouts in the season opener. Still, that shouldn't affect your plugging Maclin--the team's target leader last week--into your fantasy lineup with confidence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @IND 003400000 ***
There are more mouths to feed than ever in the Philly offense, and Cooper appears to have fallen behind Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles in the pecking order. That doesn't bode well for his fantasy prospects on a week-to-week basis, certainly when the position is deep during non-bye weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @IND 003400000 ***
Matthews remains mostly potential; until he moves into a more defined role in Chip Kelly's offense he's a fantasy non-entity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @IND 005801000 ****
Ertz is still splitting the tight end gig with Brent Celek, but he's doing more with his opportunities plus he gets to face an Indy defense that couldn't find Julius Thomas with a map and a flashlight last week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI @IND 3222 ****
Thus far Parkey is making the decision to jettison Alex Henery--as well as the decision to plug him into your fantasy lineup--look smart.

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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