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 @JAC 0000018011 ***
The Jags have been a formidable opponent through two games, carrying over from last year's success. Flacco is still finding his groove and could face extra pressure upfront this week. He's a suspect fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Javorius Allen, BAL @JAC 7015300000 ***
Look for Allen to be ridden heavily in this one. The Ravens may be without Terrance West, and Alex Collins barely knows the playbook. Jacksonville presents a good matchup for ground success but little out of the backfield for PPR scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Terrance West, BAL @JAC 401000000 *
West has an undisclosed soft-tissue injury and didn't practice Wednesday.

Update: West (calf) was a full participant Friday and is listed as questionable. He should play but see limited touches while sharing with Buck Allen. There's always an outside chance West is used near the goal line, so he has some utility.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, BAL @JAC 003301000 **
Maclin draws a top-five defense of his position, one that has allowed only 15 receiver catches and a TD in two games. He is the best bet of this receiving corps, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Breshad Perriman, BAL @JAC 002200000 ***
A smothering matchup for a one-trick pony doesn't sound appealing. Avoid Perriman in all normal situations for conventional gaming.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, BAL @JAC 001100000 ***
Jacksonville has given up just 15 catches to wideouts in two games, and only one has found the end zone. Wallace is on the verge of having no fantasy worth based on Jeremy Maclin's arrival and the low volume of passing in Baltimore.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Benjamin Watson, BAL @JAC 005500000 **
The ageless veteran enjoyed a nice PPR showing in Week 2, and it could be followed up with another decent game. The Jaguars have granted a six receptions and 75.5 yards per game, plus one TD in two games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @JAC 2222 ***
Kickers have gone a perfect 5-for-5 on TD-cappers and nailed two of three when facing the Jags this year. Tucker is always a fine start based on potential and an offense that lacks an explosive element.

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 @GB 0000022011 ***
Five teams have granted fewer quarterback points in the first two weeks than the Packers. Dalton is coming off consecutive poor efforts and now has to travel to Lambeau.

Update: Furthermore, TE Tyler Eifert and rookie WR John Ross have been ruled out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @GB 2003201000 *
Green Bay has given up only 29 yards on five catches by running backs -- one of which went into the end zone. Bernard has to score for this to be a worthwhile gamble. He's more safely left on the bench.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @GB 2001100000 ***
Hill draws a favorable matchup, assuming Cincy can move the ball into Green Bay's scoring territory. Too much risk for not enough reward potential here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joe Mixon, CIN @GB 2001100000 **
Mixon's workload increased last week and there is a bit of hope he may continue to lead the way. This is a tough situation against a technically negative matchup, and he shouldn't be utilized until we see more of an effort to get him the ball.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN @GB 005700000 ***
Only six teams, including Green Bay, have permitted zero touchdowns to wideouts this year. Starting Green should come with moderate fantasy expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alex Erickson, CIN @GB 004500000 ***
Erickson doesn't belong in the fantasy conversation for lineup decisions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN @GB 004300000 ***
No receiver has scored on Green Bay in the 22 receptions it has allowed this season. LaFell could benefit slightly from added coverage paid to A.J. Green. Either way, he's a risky proposition and is best left for PPR.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN @GB 1111 ***
Green Bay has yielded 9.5 fantasy points, on average, to kickers in 2017. The breakdown favors three-pointers to the tune of 5-for-5 vs. 4-for-4 on point-after attempts.

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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