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: 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
RB Jamaal Charles 100,1 5-40
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 Paxton Lynch, DEN @OAK 30000020011 *
Lynch will start but belongs on the wire, even against a spineless Raiders defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Anderson, DEN @OAK 5002100000 **
CJA's second-best game of 2017 came against the Raiders. He didn't play them last year. Oakland has surrendered a lone score on the past 87 carries. One in 16 receptions have scored to help make this the sixth-best PPR matchup (12th in standard).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devontae Booker, DEN @OAK 4003200000 *
Booker has seen a larger role of late. The Raiders offer a fine matchup for everything but rushing TDs. On the ground, this is the 10th-best place to look for rushing yards. It's the third-best for receptions a contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, DEN @OAK 2002100000 *
Charles should be avoided in all formats as long as Denver employs a three-back approach.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @OAK 005501000 *
Thomas caught just one pass for 11 yards in the Week 4 battle. Last year, he totaled only 19.3 PPR points in two games vs. the Raiders. Paxton Lynch will start, which makes Thomas even more of a wildcard.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @OAK 003500000 *
Oakland ranks sixth in receptions, fifth in yardage, third in non-PPR and fourth in PPR points surrendered per contest since Week 6. One in every 8.7 receptions goes for a touchdown, which is the fifth-softest clip. Sanders posted a paltry 4-27-0 line in Week 4 and wasn't much better in his lone meeting with Oakland last year. Paxton Lynch will make the start at quarterback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cody Latimer, DEN @OAK 003300000 ***
Latimer is not a fantasy consideration, especially without bye weeks and Paxton Lynch making the start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Virgil Green, DEN @OAK 002200000 *
Green isn't a fantasy option in any situation.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @OAK 2211 ***
The Raiders are tied for being the most scored upon team in fantasy by kickers. The matchup falls within the top six of each notable category.

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
RB Danny Woodhead 10 5-30
WR Jeremy Maclin 5-70,1
WR Mike Wallace 5-90,1
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 HOU 0000026021 ***
Without bye weeks, it's awfully tough to see a path to playing time for Flacco in fantasy lineups. The matchup is wonderful, so DFS players may want to take a flier as a contrarian move.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Danny Woodhead, BAL HOU 1005400000 **
Despite allowing the fourth-fewest receptions per contest, the Texans have permitted the seven-highest weekly receiving yardage figure. He's a so-so play as he works his way back into game shape. None of those catches scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alex Collins, BAL HOU 400000000 ***
Houston is the second-worst matchup in both scoring formats and has not allowed a touchdown on the last 73 rushing attempts. Collins is a sketchy play in any setup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL HOU 005801000 ***
Wallace turned in a masterful touchdown grab last week and now draws the best matchup to exploit in fantasy. Houston has provided the second-most receptions, most yards, most fantasy points in both formats, and a touchdown every 7.3 snares (3rd).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL HOU 007701000 ***
Despite an ideal matchup for his skill set last week, Maclin turned in a dud. This go of it, the Texans bring fantasy's best matchup for wideouts to the table. The position has scored twice a game on the second-most receptions per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Benjamin Watson, BAL HOU 005400000 ***
One in 5.3 receptions has scored, which is the best rate to exploit, but Watson is a huge risk in any fantasy format, even more so without bye weeks.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL HOU 3322 ***
All 21 kicks (8 FGAs) have connected, producing the seventh-best matchup. Only eight teams offer better theoretical matchups of possible points against.

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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