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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: DEN 24, BAL 20 (Line: DEN by 3)

Players to Watch: Joe Flacco

The 10-3 Broncos remain in the fight for a first round bye with the 9-4 Ravens still not yet clinching the AFC North. The Broncos are on an eight game winning streak and are 5-2 in away games while the Ravens are on a two game losing streak but are 5-1 at home.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 31-19 10 @CAR 36-14
2 @ATL 21-27 11 SD 30-23
3 HOU 25-31 12 @KC 17-9
4 OAK 37-6 13 TB 31-23
5 @NE 21-31 14 @OAK 26-13
6 @SD 35-24 15 @BAL  
7 BYE ----- 16 CLE -----
8 NO 34-14 17 KC -----
9 @CIN 31-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Broncos are on a roll to be sure with eight wins in a row and only this week to provide a challenge for the rest of the regular season. This is a "load 'em up" week for the Broncos who could then go on to an eleven game streak to end the year with only home games against the Browns and Chiefs remaining. The only losses on the road so far were to the Falcons and Patriots in Manning's first two road efforts of the year.

Manning remains a lock for a score and high yardage every week. His last four games at home produced three touchdowns each along with decent yardage. The only scary part for Manning owners is if they start to protect him for the playoffs after this week. A need to continue to win to secure a bye and homefield advantage should keep him in the game but for how long against the Browns and Chiefs is needed to ensure a win?

Knowshon Moreno is living proof that running back is one of the most interchangeable positions on the playing field. He comes off a 119 yard effort in Oakland and catches four passes in every game as well. Moreno even showed great yards after first contact last week but it was only the Raiders. Still he has been pretty much "McGahee" good so far and the rushing effort has not evaporated just because the Broncos had to dust off Moreno and point him in the right direction.

Demaryius Thomas suffered a shoulder sprain that continues to be sore but he still played with it and ended with five catches for 83 yards in Oakland. It was his first non-scoring game since week ten and he remains one of the most productive wideouts in the league. Eric Decker came to life last week with 88 yards one eight catches thanks to the matchup but was much less used over the last month. Brandon Stokley is back from a wrist injury though he had no catches last Sunday.

Terrell Suggs did not play last week for the Ravens and may not here. His absence decreases the pass rush pressure and Manning doesn't need much help anyway. Ray Rice is eligible to return this week and would obviously give a spark to the defense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 8 21 2 8 16 3
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 10 22 12 12 28 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Trevor Siemian, DEN @JAC 10000022021 ***
It may continue to surprise gamers, but Jacksonville is the third toughest opponent since Week 7 when it comes to allowing fantasy points to QBs. While the Jags have not picked off a pass in this time, quarterbacks have accounted for only six touchdown passes in five games. Siemian's foot swelled after last week's game and led to him wearing a walking boot. Check back Friday for more details.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devontae Booker, DEN @JAC 7002100000 ***
Denver just has not been able to establish a running game since C.J. Anderson went down. Booker is talented, but the script hasn't played out as planned. The Jags present a reasonable shot at success. Running backs have averaged 104.8 rushing yards, 41.4 receiving yards, 4.6 catches and 24 PPR points since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @JAC 005701000 ***
Bay Bay has an overall weak matchup but could find success in the way of touchdowns, as the Jags have surrendered one every 10.8 grabs since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @JAC 005600000 ***
Sanders did his part last week in an explosive performance while the Chiefs blanketed Demaryius Thomas all night. This week, Jacksonville represents a difficult matchup on paper. The Jags have allowed the fewest catches and yards per game, as well as the least fantasy points on average, since Week 7. The upside is one of every 10.8 receptions have gone for scores, rating 12th.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE AJ Derby, DEN @JAC 004301000 **
Derby is up to speed after a crash course in the offense. Jacksonville has allowed only 4.6 catches per game to tight ends over the past five weeks, but the Jags have given up 58 yards and a TD per every 11.5 catches.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @JAC 1122 ***
McManus faces an evenly favorable matchup -- the third best, in fact -- in Week 13. There isn't enough resistance on Jacksonville's side, though, to suggest we'll see many stalled drives resulting in three-point kicks.

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 28-31
6 DAL 31-29 15 DEN -----
7 @HOU 13-43 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE 25-15 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 220,1
WR Steve Smith Sr. 5-70
WR Mike Wallace 5-90,1
TE Dennis Pitta 4-50,1
TE Benjamin Watson 4-40
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens may be the only team that dumped their offensive coordinator while sporting a 9-4 record and leading their own division. Cam Cameron was at odds with both Joe Flacco and HC John Harbaugh for the last two seasons and the loss in Washington provided that final straw. The Ravens offensive scheme has been hard to fathom this season since it was supposed to be the big "opening up" of the passing game, the breaking out of Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco taking the next step up to being an elite quarterback.

None of that happened.

What did happen was mediocre passing that was worse than last season, and then amazingly the under-use of Ray Rice while using Bernard Pierce in even measures at times. Rice has not had a bad year with nine touchdowns already but just not to the level of 2011. More than anything, he has been used inconsistently week to week.

Rice also suffered a hip pointer last week but continued to play with the injury in overtime and is not expected to be limited at all this week.

The firing of Cam Cameron throws the entire offense into an unpredictable state this week. He is replaced for now with Colts ex-head coach Jim Caldwell who was the QB coach. Again - not often that a 9-4 team dumps the offensive coordinator and how that plays out is going to be hard to predict. The move no doubt will be a positive to Flacco and Rice but how that plays out with the play calling this week may not be as good at first.

Anquan Boldin has suddenly if not mysteriously exploded the last two weeks with three touchdowns and at least 78 yards in both games but matches on Champ Bailey. The Broncos are also solid against the run which should limit Rice to some extent though they may use him more as a receiver this week. Just no way of knowing what changes are going to happen in this first week post Cameron.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 11 15 21 7 5
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 12 7 8 30 10 11

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL MIA 0000027011 ***
A dozen teams have allowed more fantasy points per game than Miami over the last five weeks, but the Dolphins have made quarterbacks work for their points. They rank 21st in points per play, 20th in yards per attempt, and 23rd in yards per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenneth Dixon, BAL MIA 4004300000 ***
This matchup is soundly in the camp of neutrality. Miami has given up one touchdown on the last 22 receptions faced, so there is potential for Dixon as a receiver out of the backfield.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, BAL MIA 5003200000 ***
West hasn't exactly instilled a lot of confidence of late, but Miami offers a reasonable matchup if you're looking to (or have to) play him. The Dolphins have allowed the 14th most points per game in PPR leagues over the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith Sr., BAL MIA 006601000 ***
Smith has a tough matchup, but there is some hope. Miami has allowed three TDs in the last four games. Otherwise, any expectations of a big game should be reconsidered.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL MIA 005600000 ***
Miami rates among the toughest six teams in overall matchup index, fantasy points allowed (PPR), and receiving touchdown efficiency for wideouts using data over the last five games. Without breaking free, Wallace's contributes figure to be nominal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Breshad Perriman, BAL MIA 003400000 ***
The matchup is harsh, and Perriman is consistently involved enough to justify taking a shot on him in fantasy circles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dennis Pitta, BAL MIA 005400000 ***
This is a quality matchup if you want to take a shot that Pitta finds the end zone, as no team has given up TDs with the frequency that Miami has since Week 7. However, this is a neutral matchup otherwise.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL MIA 2222 ***
Fresh off of being a fantasy superhero, Tucker faces a midrange Miami matchup. The Dolphins have granted the 16th most points per game to kickers since Week 7.

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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