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: 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
WR Pierre Garcon 6-80,1
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 0000027012 ***
Cousins' rocky start won't get better in Week 3. On the road, facing the fifth strongest quarterback defense. Like his first two starts, copious yardage may come with limited touchdown action and more interceptions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Jones, WAS @NYG 4001100000 ***
Six teams are better than New York, statistically speaking, at slowing RBs. The G-Men have permitted one back to find the end zone on 50 total touches. Jones came through for gamers last week, but parking him on the bench is prudent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Thompson, WAS @NYG 1004200000 ***
Thompson's only value is in reception-rewarding designs. The Giants aren't a pushover in this area, but Thompson could be on right end of a lot of looks if New York's secondary bottles up the receivers. PPR DFS = OK.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @NYG 004600000 ***
The only playable receiver in Washington this week, D-Jax is hardly safe and only good in non-PPR. He lineups up against a tough defense -- one of the best secondaries no one seems to talk about. They do a great "bend but don't break" effort.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS @NYG 006500000 ***
A safe source for PPR points if you need something -- anything -- from your flex slot. He has hauled in six passes in each of the last two contests, and giving up receptions has been a hallmark of New York's defense (32 allowed to WRs).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Doctson, WAS @NYG 002300000 ***
Washington will give Doctson shots here and there, which can lead to points, but putting him into a fantasy lineup is a perilous decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @NYG 002300000 ***
Garcon should be waiting tables on your fantasy bench this week. Not enough looks and a tough matchup make him unplayable.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @NYG 008701000 ***
Twelve catches for 116 yards and no scores ... the stats from TEs vs. NYG in two games. Reed can take advantage of this matchup. Look for a strong effort.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS @NYG 3311 ***
Given the offensive struggles in Washington's offense, Hopkins should see more field goal attempts than one-pointers.

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
CLE vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 20 150,1
WR Josh Gordon 6-80,1
WR Andrew Hawkins 3-50,1

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
QB Cody Kessler, CLE @MIA 0000018002 *
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound rookie is Cleveland's third starter in as many weeks. Chemistry will be an issue with the receiving corps -- there's only so much changing a team can do at this position. Starting Kessler in fantasy may lead to drinking unhealthy amounts of his namesake whiskey.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @MIA 7011100000 ***
Miami doesn't know how to stop running backs, so there is a positive in Cleveland's offense after all. The Dolphins have yielded the 10th most fantasy points to RBs, including four touchdown runs in two games. Crowell showed some wheels in Week 2. There's hope. Crowell is a low-end RB2 or capable flex.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE @MIA 2003300000 ***
Involved in only 46 percent of Cleveland's plays, Johnson's role is limited to that of a pass-catcher and third-down option. Miami has given up only eight catches for 28 yards. Play him only if you must, but there's an outside chance he's a strong PPR play if quarterback Cody Kessler plays the dink-and-dunk game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr., CLE @MIA 003400000 *
Pryor is a home run weapon but offers little more than that for gamers despite seeing the most snaps among all Cleveland receivers. The matchup is sweet enough to take a high-risk flier, though.

Update: Even with Corey Coleman (hand) out of action, Pryor shouldn't be consider anything more than the wildest of DFS gambles.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @MIA 003300000 ***
Hawkins is a PPR weapon who may see more work with Corey Coleman injured. Avoid the slot receiver in any normal league formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Gary Barnidge, CLE @MIA 004500000 *
The Dolphins have given up the eighth most fantasy points to tight ends in two games of play. Barnidge could be the safety blanket for rookie QB Cody Kessler in the passer's first start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, CLE @MIA 1111 ***
A rookie third-string quarterback leading the offense ... no thanks.

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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