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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: WAS 24, CLE 20 (Line: WAS by 2.5)

Player Updated: Robert Griffin III

Players to Watch: WAS QB, Josh Gordon, Brandon Weeden

The Redskins are on a four game winning streak that has brought them to the bring of the playoffs. The Browns are only 5-8 but have won their last three games and are at home for the last time this year. This game goes smoother with Robert Griffin III under center but we may not be sure about that until late in the week.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI 31-6
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL 38-31
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG 17-16
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL 31-28
6 MIN 38-26 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG 23-27 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT 12-27 17 DAL -----
9 CAR 13-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Kirk Cousins 10 100,1
TE Vernon Davis 2-30

Pregame Notes: These last four games cements RG3 in the hearts of Redskins fans and coming back to beat the Ravens was almost as good as plowing under the entire NFC East division since the week 10 bye. The question of the week will be how healthy Griffin is and you can find any answer you want if you ask enough people. Some team mates have referred to Kirk Cousins has starting and others have insisted that Griffin will be good to go.

He injured his right knee when it whipped into a defender and caused a Grade 1 sprain to his LCL. The problem that this causes is that he may very well be good enough to play. But if he does, will he run? Will he be replaced mid-game by Cousins if the Skins are winning or losing badly? What if his knee gets popped again by a Cleveland defense that already has 34 sacks on the season?

It is all risk right when you do not want any.

Regardless who starts at quarterback, it is reasonable to assume that the Redskins will want to run more to protect the passer and Alfred Morris is on a three game tear with over 110 rushing yards in each and scores in two of them. Morris is hitting the end of the season strongly and erases any notion that the Skins need a better back. He's already gained 1228 rushing yards and seven scores with a healthy 4.9 yard average.

Any change at quarterback won't really change the passing picture much in fantasy terms. The only reliable player has been Pierre Garcon and he'll most likely end up on CB Joe Haden's dance card all game. The Skins need to run the table to reach the playoffs but this game will be tougher than it may seem at first. Much depends on which quarterback plays and that could be a changing situation even during the game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 1 22 11 23 17 8
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 20 18 26 6 6 14

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kirk Cousins, WAS NYG 0000030021 ***
In the past five games, the Giants have allowed a five TDs while picking off as many passes. This rates as one of the 10 worst matchups for Week 17. Cousins has the slight benefit of New York probably resting some of its key players since there is nothing on the line. He passed for 296 yards and a pair of scores in Week 3.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Robert Kelley, WAS NYG 6012100000 **
"Fat Rob" may have slim pickings against the Giants this week if they don't rest starters. New York has given up only one TD in the last 144 touches to RBs. With the Giants having nothing to play for, it isn't a bad time to toss Kelley out there.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Thompson, WAS NYG 2003200000 ***
Thompson isn't a reliable play and faces a tough matchup. The Giants may rest starters, but this group has allowed one offensive score to RBs in the last 144 touches faced.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, WAS NYG 005501000 **
Quick has fringe appeal for deep leagues. He isn't a volume receiver, and the quarterback play is sketchy. At least the matchup is worthwhile.

Update: Kenny Britt is doubtful, which makes Quick a playable option against the best matchup of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr., WAS NYG 005500000 **
Pryor faces a tough matchup and perhaps a tougher battle with his own team's quarterback woes. He's merely a flex against Pittsburgh this week. He caught a 5-97-0 line in Week 11 versus the Steelers, so there is a little hope.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS NYG 004500000 **
Crowder has fallen on hard times lately, and trusting him for a huge game is a bit much. The Giants should rest some starters, so there is some hope. Otherwise, this is a tough opponent for his position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, WAS NYG 003300000 ***
Davis will split work with the ailing Jordan Reed in what isn't the best of matchups. Just one of the last 27 catches by his position has scored on the Giants. Look for help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS NYG 001200000 *
Reed will gut it out once more with a playoff berth on the line. There isn't much reason to risk it. The Giants have allowed only one of the last 27 catches by tight ends to cross the stripe.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS NYG 2233 ***
This is the second lowest opportunity rating for kicking chances in Week 17. New York has provided just three opportunities for both XPA and FGA combined in the last five weeks.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL 20-23
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT 20-14
4 @BAL 16-23 13 @OAK 20-17
5 @NYG 27-41 14 KC 30-7
6 CIN 34-24 15 WAS -----
7 @IND 13-17 16 @DEN -----
8 SD 7-6 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL 15-25 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Kenny Britt 5-80,1
WR Josh Gordon 6-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Browns are playing out another losing season but there has been some progress made with the offense. Perhaps not quite enough to prevent the Browns from going after another quarterback in the draft or free agency - Michael Vick's name has been mentioned. The rookie Brandon Weeden has been a definite upgrade from Colt McCoy of 2011 but his 13 passing touchdowns are not enough to spawn confidence. Even the owner has chimed in that a new quarterback will yet again be in the plans and the reality is that Weeden probably makes a great backup.

Where there is contentment is with running back. Trent Richardson has scored ten times this year and while his yardage may not be gaudy yet, it is more on the team around him than his own effort. Richardson has been an effective receiver out of the backfield and a bull at the goal line. What's even better is that he's getting 20+ carries in almost every game since midseason. The only time he shares the ball is when the Browns get a big lead. Then Montario Hardesty comes in for ten runs. But that only happens when the Chiefs visit.

It is also apparent that the supplemental draft pick of Josh Gordon is going to stick and the big price they paid for such a risky move was actually warranted. Gordon has only five touchdowns on the season and only once broke the 100 yard mark but he is by far the best receiver on the team and the only one that offers any sense of consistency and production.

This is the final home game for the Browns and that often prompts a better effort than those cold road games looming in Denver and Pittsburgh. Not enough to take down the Redskins most likely but this could be a surprising game and the Redskins pass defense is still one of the worst in the NFL.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 27 18 25 24 15 10
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 30 8 31 32 23 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @PIT 4005300000 ***
Crowell was stifled in the Week 11 contest against Pittsburgh. The only hope this time around is if the Steelers rest key defenders. Keep your expectations in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE @PIT 2004300000 **
Johnson caught three passes for 46 yards in the Week 11 tilt against the Steelers. He's barely worth thinking about at this point, but Johnson could serve as a desperation flex in PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Corey Coleman, CLE @PIT 004400000 **
Coleman has no viable utility in Week 17. The Steelers are among the best at stopping wideouts, and the Cleveland QB situation is a disaster.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, CLE @PIT 2211 ***
Pittsburgh hasn't allowed many kicks in 2016. Using data from the last five weeks, this is the sixth worst matchup in Week 17.

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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