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David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: CIN 20, PIT 27 (Line: PIT by 4)

Players to Watch: Andy Dalton, Mike Wallace

This is a replay of week seven when the Steelers won 24-17 in Cincinnati. The 8-6 Bengals are 5-2 on the road this year and are currently the #6 seed wild card. The only team that is likely to challenge them for the final wildcard are the 7-7 Steelers since all other teams have a losing record in the AFC. The Steelers are only 4-2 at home but have beaten the Bengals for the last five meetings.

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 34-13
7 PIT 17-24 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN 23-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 220,2
WR A.J. Green 6-90,1

Pregame Notes: The Bengals need to win out if they are to get a wildcard and that's going to be really tough playing in Pittsburgh and then hosting the Ravens who are only 9-5 and leading the division. Their destiny is in their own hands but these last two games go against teams that have already beaten them this year. He has lost some receivers along the way but his matchups have not been that rough for the last month.

Andy Dalton only passed for 105 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Steelers and that was at home. He's doing himself no favors here at the end of the season since he has gone cold. He only passed for one touchdown in each of the last three games and not been better than 230 passing yards since week nine.

To the contrary, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has never been better. He has rushed for over 100 yards in four of the last five weeks and scored in three of those. He was held to 69 yards on 18 runs in the last meeting with the Steelers but has been on a tear for these last five weeks. After mediocre showings through week ten, he's somehow managed to turn it on and make a difference. He's playing himself into a job for 2013 which may be more than Dalton can say if he doesn't improve soon.

Not unlike the Bears or Lions, there is only one receiver that matters on this game A.J. Green went through a three game scoring drought but turned in 11th touchdown on the year last week in Philadelphia. His worst game of the year was when the Steelers showed up and he was held to just one catch for eight yards. And yet that was a touchdown in the middle of his nine game scoring streak. Andrew Hawkins helps out but is not above having no catches in a game. The same is true for Marvin Jones who was also blanked last week.

The Bengals want to see more out of Dalton but that's going to be hard in Pittsburgh where no visitor has passed for more than 200 yards all year. Green-Ellis will also face his toughest venue of the season. This is a must win game and yet is the worst place to try to secure a victory. Only A.J. Green has obvious fantasy value here and even that is likely to be marginal.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 12 26 5 15 7 12
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 1 5 5 5 17 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN DEN 10000019011 ***
There is no way Dalton should be in a fantasy lineup this week. Denver will stifle the passing game if A.J. Green gets bottled up again this week. Dalton was sacked seven times by the Jets -- a number Denver may come close to matching.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN DEN 5012200000 ***
Gamers get nothing in return from Hill without a touchdown. This doesn't line up to be a good setting to deploy him, considering Denver has given up only one touchdown on the ground to the position in 2016.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DEN 2007600000 ***
Denver has given up 10 catches, 53 yards and a touchdown to running backs through the air, which at least gives a glimmer of hope for Bernard. He stood out in Week 2 in a similar situation -- A.J. Green was locked down, forcing Andy Dalton into the checkdown game. PPR owners must include Gio in their RB2 plans.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN DEN 004500000 ***
Boyd was in on 79 percent of the snaps in Week 2 and will be looked to when A.J. Green is doubled. The rookie has PPR appeal as a WR3 or flex option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN DEN 004400000 ***
Didn't see that one coming ... Green was blanketed and removed from the passing attack a week ago versus the Steelers. Green has an even tougher matchup this time out. Play him if you must, but his production should match that of a flex choice.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN DEN 003200000 ***
LaFell saw the playing time (95% of snaps) and targets (8) last week but couldn't catch more than three balls for 39 yards. His true value resides in PPR leagues and in the flex neighborhood. Unfortunately, no team has been better vs. WRs than Denver. The Broncos have allowed only 16 catches to wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN DEN 004401000 **
Denver's secondary forces quarterbacks to take shots to their tight ends, which is partly why the position has averaged nine targets per game this young season. Kroft is returning from injury and is a terribly risky play, despite the upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN DEN 3322 ***
Nugent's leg should be busy as Denver's defense is likely to stall out Cincy's offense with regularity.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC 16-13
2 NYJ 27-10 11 BAL 10-13
3 @OAK 31-34 12 @CLE 14-20
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL 23-20
5 PHI 16-14 14 SD 24-34
6 @TEN 23-26 15 @DAL 24-27
7 @CIN 24-17 16 CIN -----
8 WAS 27-12 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG 24-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 250,2
RB DeAngelo Williams 80 3-30
WR Antonio Brown 5-60,1
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 4-40

Pregame Notes: The Steelers missed a great opportunity when the Ravens dropped their last three games because the Steelers lost their last two. Falling to the Chargers at home shows that a trap game can happen anywhere and then the overtime loss in Dallas was literally thrown away with the interception. At least the final two games are both at home and against teams that they have already beaten. The Steelers still need help to reach the playoffs but a win here will be all they can do to try to control their fate.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 278 yards and one score in the meeting in Cincy back in week seven. He also lost a fumble and threw one interception. Big Ben has scored in every game that he's played this year and posted healthy yardage in most weeks.

Jonathan Dwyer remains the starting tailback and he's still sharing with Isaac Redman but only for a few carries per week. Dwyer ran for 122 yards on 17 carries in the Cincy meeting for his best effort of the season. He's only scored twice so far though and Rashard Mendenhall may even show up this week having been suspended for one game for conduct detrimental to the team.

Heath Miller comes off a 92-yard effort in Dallas with a touchdown and he caught six passes for 53 yards and a score against the Bengals last time. He;s been a solid contributor all year though more likely to have a big game on the road when the Steelers have to pass more. Antonio Brown had his best effort of 2012 when he gained 97 yards on seven receptions in Cincy while Mike Wallace ended with eight catches for 52 yards. Wallace gained over 90 yards in these last two games with Big Ben back.

The Steelers have owned the Bengals every year other than 2009. This is a must win and played in Pittsburgh should be no worse than the road win in Cincy back in week seven.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 14 22 15 5 14 28
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 18 6 19 18 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @PHI 0000026011 ***
Cleveland and Chicago have been No. 1-ranked Philadelphia's opponents ... hardly a real ranking it would appear. The Steelers have the weaponry to take advantage of this system. Trust Big Ben once again, but maybe slightly less that usual in the event this defense is not a product of weak matchups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeAngelo Williams, PIT @PHI 8015400000 ***
The Eagles have given up 137 rushing, 62 receiving yards and two ground TDs. DAW is a fine play to continue his strong contributions in what should be his final start without Le'Veon Bell.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT @PHI 0061001000 ***
AB was shut down by his standards last week, which our projections accurately reflected if we may toot our own horn. The stud receiver will get back on track this week. The matchup doesn't agree on paper, but neither did Brown's history versus Cincy last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammie Coates, PIT @PHI 003700000 ***
Coates has been doing exactly what he does best -- big plays, averaging 38.5 yards per catch on just four grabs. He's an all-or-nothing type and has a place only in non-PPR leagues as a risky flex or a DFS wildcard. Philly has given up the fourth most plays of 40-plus to wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eli Rogers, PIT @PHI 004500000 **
Following a nice Week 1 debut, which was inflated by a deflected touchdown grab, Rogers disappeared in the sequel. He's back for another shot at it against this presumably fake pass defense. Don't chance it unless you have no other viable selections.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jesse James, PIT @PHI 003300000 ***
James scored in Week 1 and is a nice safety outlet for Ben Roethlisberger. Philly has been dominant against the position by holding Zach Miller and Gary Barnidge to six total catches for 42 yards. James is a wild gamble.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chris Boswell, PIT @PHI 2222 ***
Safe but unspectacular production should come from Boswell's accurate leg against the No. 27 PK defense.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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