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Predictions & Projections
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: NYG 20, BAL 24 (Line: NYG by 1)

Players Updated: Ahmad Bradshaw

Players to Watch: Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice

This will be an important game. The 8-6 Giants recent loss drops them into a three-way tie in the NFC East and currently there are four teams tied for two wild card spots - any loss is a bad loss now for the reigning Super Bowl champions. But the G-Men are only 3-4 away from home. The 9-5 Ravens are just one game ahead of the Bengals for the AFC North and 5-2 at home but on a three game losing skid. It's Big Boy time with no margin for error anymore.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN 13-31
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB 38-10
4 @PHI 17-19 13 @WAS 16-17
5 CLE 41-27 14 NO 52-27
6 @SF 26-3 15 @ATL 0-34
7 WAS 27-23 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL 29-24 17 PHI -----
9 PIT 20-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 260,1
RB Peyton Hillis 20
WR Victor Cruz 6-80,1
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Giants have lost four of their last six games to fall back into the pack and now are in real danger of further sliding. There was a concern that Eli Manning had a "tired arm" since his passing was so off after week five and he even went three games without any touchdowns. He seemed to bounce back with 249 yards and three scores on the Packers and yet was back to only one touchdown versus the Redskins. Last week all was well against the Saints when he passed for four scores.

Here is the problem this week. Manning on the road has thrown a total of one touchdown over the last FOUR away games. He had five interceptions in those matchups bit only score and three of the efforts were less than 220 yards. Take away the Philly game and Manning has only thrown for two touchdowns over seven road games this year. That's going to be a factor.

Ahmad Bradshaw may be back this week according to him and yet may not according to HC Tom Coughlin who would rather Bradshaw shut up about his status. It appears most likely that he will return and share the backfield with David Wilson provided his knee remains good in practices. This will be updated through the week as the situation changes. WIlson was a dud last week as he took the start but only because he only received 12 carries in the blowout loss. He still gained 55 yards.

Hakeem Nicks follows the pattern perfectly - he only has three touchdowns on the year and those made for his best games. And all were at home. Victor Cruz was better with plenty of success in all venues through week seven and then his only two scores came in the most recent home games.

This game is harder to call since both teams are not playing as well as they did earlier in the year. But it is hard to ignore the difference in the Giants between home and away.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 21 9 10 21 2 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 10 25 15 4 30 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG @JAC 0000027021 ***
Hard to tell if the Jaguars are a decent pass D or their numbers are kept down because teams don't want to run up the score on them. The Giants may not have such a luxury, and Eli tends to put up good fantasy numbers regardless of foe so he's at least a serviceable fantasy start here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @JAC 8014300000 ****
Jennings lost some red zone touches--and ultimately a touchdown--to Andre Williams last week. However, he still put together 120 yards from scrimmage and is a solid bet to continue that success against a Jacksonville D that's allowed two 100-yard rushers and four RB TDs in the past three games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG @JAC 300000000 ***
Williams did next to nothing when Rashad Jennings was out, then swiped a touchdown once Jennings was back in the mix. Hard to figure, and you certainly can't count on Williams as the Giants' backfield is definitely Jennings' gig.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG @JAC 0081002000 ****
After watching Beckham last week you get the feeling there's nothing he can't do. So he could certainly follow in the footsteps of TY Hilton (122 & 1 against Jacksonville last week) or Dez Bryant (158 & 2 against the Jags).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @JAC 006700000 ***
The Giants passing game has become Odell Beckham Jr.'s world, and Randle and others are just living in it. Jacksonville has allowed multiple fantasy helpers to WRs just once in the past seven games, so with Beckham taking his cut off the top it's tough to trust Randle for help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG @JAC 002200000 ***
The Jags have allowed only one TE TD in the past six games, and with Donnell sharing looks with Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson it's tough to bank on him for a fantasy contribution here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @JAC 2233 ***
The Jags could open the door for Brown, having already served up six double-digit points games this season. But would Brown know what to do? He's been between three and six points each of his past five games, no reason to think there's a big leap in store here.

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 17-34
7 @HOU 13-43 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE 25-15 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 250,2
WR Jacoby Jones 2-30
WR Steve Smith 6-90,1
WR Torrey Smith 4-60
TE Owen Daniels 4-40
TE Dennis Pitta 5-50
PK Justin Tucker 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens are on a three game losing streak, dumped their offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and then lost even worse to the visiting Broncos. The offense looked no better and maybe worse last week and yet again opted to little use Ray Rice while Joe Flacco completed only 20 of 40 passes. The Ravens cannot afford any more losses and even worse is the season finale that comes in Cincinnati against the team that they are only one game up on. For a 9-5 team, it all appears as dire as it gets. The defense has allowed over 30 points in the last two weeks and the offense is most often described as "inept".

Bernard Pierce sustained a concussion during Sunday's Week 15 game against the Broncos and may not play which would yield more opportunities for Rice. While Rice was limited to 12 runs last Sunday, Pierce still took five himself before leaving injured and in most weeks has eight or nine. This has to be a big game for Rice. He has scored in five of the last six games in Baltimore and can help keep the Giants pass rush from reaching Flacco so much after he has 15 sacks over just the last five games.

Dennis Pitta stepped up the last two weeks with one or more scores in each and 125 yards on seven catches in the Broncos loss. He may be needed yet again since Torrey Smith sustained a mild concussion last week and Anquan Boldin was held to no catches by Champ Bailey. Boldin scored in both of the previous two weeks though and gets a far better matchup this week. Smith has been a nonfactor since week 12 but mostly because the defenses specifically targeted to stop him. The Giants on the road have already allowed six passing scores to wideouts over just the last three road trips.

This is an equally important game for the Ravens who catch a break in playing at home instead of New York. The passing should be easier for Flacco who needs a decent showing but Ray Rice has to help control this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 19 12 19 10 11 9
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 26 10 29 15 16 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL SD 0000025020 ***
The only QB who failed to throw for at least 280 yards and multiple touchdowns when the Chargers came to town lost his starting job a couple months ago (EJ Manuel). The rest average a robust 295 and 3. Since Flacco seems to be better at home as well, you have to like his chances of being a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Justin Forsett, BAL SD 9012100000 ***
Forset has back-to-back 100-yard efforts, each with two TDs. Now he gets to host a Chargers D that's allowed at least 130 RB yards from scrimmage in every road game. You have to like Forsett's chances of making it three straight biggies.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bernard Pierce, BAL SD 200000000 *****
The utterly ordinary Pierce has apparently leapfrogged Lorenzo Taliaferro for between the tackles duty. It's been 10 weeks since Pierce produced more than 32 rushing yards, so unless you're banking on him getting some goal line love he has no place in any self-respecting fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL SD 005901000 ***
Last week was the first time since Week 6 both Smiths produced fantasy helpers. Expect lightning to strike again as the Chargers have allowed nine different wideouts to score and/or top 100 yards in five road games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Smith, BAL SD 005801000 ***
The Chargers have allowed nine different wideouts to score and/or top 100 yards in five road games; it's tough to see them slowing Smith from his appointed rounds in Baltimore this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Owen Daniels, BAL SD 002200000 ***
Daniels' targets have dipped dramatically over the past month; no reason to think he'll suddenly regain fantasy import here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL SD 1144 ***
Tucker's a solid option with just a couple fantasy dogs this season; he's a decent fantasy option with definite upside as well.

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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