FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: BAL 20, CIN 24 (Line: CIN by 2.5)

Players to Watch: Anyone who looks like they are trying

Ends up that this game that many thought might be for all the AFC North marbles really isn't for anything. The Ravens already own the division and the Bengals are locked into being a wild card team. That could mean either team may rest players since both will be playing in the first round. This is a replay of the season opener that the Ravens won 44-13 at home. This is a messy game to call and a good reason why week 17 is bad for fantasy football. Both coaches will say they want to win but what happens in the course of the game is very hard to call. HC Jim Harbaugh says they are going to Cincinnati to win and use all resources to accomplish that despite the fact that there is nothing to win and there is a chance these same two teams meet next week in the playoffs as well.

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 33-14
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE 25-15 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 230,1
WR Jeremy Maclin 6-70,1
TE Benjamin Watson 3-30
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens come off a solid win over the Giants and are glad to have won the division since they are only 4-3 in road games this year and play much less effectively when away from home. Going to Cincinnati would have been interesting if the division was still up for grabs but now becomes essentially a scrimmage. These two teams already know each other very well anyway.

Joe Flacco passed for 299 yards and two scores in that season opener in Cincy and he's managed to score nearly every week. The Ravens are now two weeks into the new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell but any changes to the play calling are not that apparent other than Ray Rice getting a heavy workload in week 16.

Rice turned in 107 yards as a runner and then had six catches for 51 yards and another score in his heaviest workload of the year. He was only ran ten times in that season opener though he gained 68 yards and scored twice. The switch to Caldwell's offense will be a success if he does nothing more than to give the ball more to their best player - Ray Rice.

The only offensive scheming that may happen in this game is to get Anquan Boldin a 1000 yard season since he just needs 79 more yards to get there. He already posted four catches for 63 yards and a score in the first meeting

There is nothing more to accomplish this week aside from keeping players healthy to potentially play the same team next week in Baltimore. That puts risk on all the players regardless what Harbaugh says to the media. Why not say it is for real - nothing to lose by seeing how the Bengals prepare for them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 10 18 11 7 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 6 15 5 19 16 26

  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.

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 13-10
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN 23-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 250,2
WR A.J. Green 6-80,1
WR Brandon LaFell 5-80

Pregame Notes: The Bengals get into the playoffs while kicking the Steelers down the ladder last week - how great was that? They even won their last four road games as well and now can notch their tenth win if the Ravens acquiesce to reality and try to mail this one in and rest players. This has been a good season for the defense that has held six of their last seven opponents to fewer than 14 points.

Andy Dalton only passed for 221 yards and no scores in that opener but had at least one score in every successive game until last week in Pittsburgh. He's already scored 26 passing touchdowns and even added four more as a runner. His pace has been off in recent weeks though with never more than one passing touchdown in the last four weeks.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis was on a hot streak with five straight weeks of 100+ total yards but then was swamped in Pittsburgh. He ran for 91 yards and a score on 18 carries in Baltimore this year. His last six weeks probably saved his job since he was stuck around 60 yards per game prior to week ten.

Mike Nugent may be back this week since his calf has improved. In the end, you never want to rely on a fantasy kicker in a meaningless game though. Josh Brown has kicked well in relief but may be released this week or next.

Jermaine Gresham only managed three catches for 30 yards in Pittsburgh while A.J. Green settled for five receptions and 70 yards. He would start his nine game scoring streak the following week.

There are no safe plays here this week. A.J. Green and Green-Ellis are both considerations and should be good for decent yardage at least but there is nothing on the line here but the wrong things - see what you opponent looks like and stay healthy for next week in case you play the Ravens again. It is all a big risk.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 12 26 7 16 10 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 9 23 12 5 28 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN CLE 0000025030 ***
What was easily Dalton's best game of 2017 came against the Browns in Week 4. He was solid in the first meeting last year and offered little despite playing fairly well in the second contest. At any rate, Dalton should be a viable starter in a pinch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joe Mixon, CIN CLE 5001100000 ***
Running backs have averaged 95.8 yards on the ground, which ranks 13th, against the Browns. Only two of the last 119 carries have scored, and this is only the 16th-best matchup for offensive yards gained. Mixing went for a mere 29 yards on 17 carries and added four catches for 19 yards in the first meeting.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN CLE 1005400000 ***
Backs have averaged five catches for 36.3 yards against Cleveland through the sky. One of those 20 snares went into the end zone. This is a negative-leaning PPR matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN CLE 0061002000 ***
The reception volume hasn't been there this year for Green, but he has scored in three of his last four games and six of his past eight. This stretch includes Week 4 outing against Cleveland. The Browns offer a fairly stiff matchup, and Green has beaten them like a drum in three of the last four contests.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN CLE 005601000 ***
Cleveland offers the fourth-best matchup for receptions, 10th-easiest for yardage, seventh-best for fantasy points, and ninth-softest for touchdown frequency. Kroft is a fine place to look for points.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN CLE 1144 ***
No team has provided kickers more field goal chances a game (3.3) than Cleveland. Eleven of those 13 tries were true. This is the third-best matchup in Week 12.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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