FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 5 BUF at CLE (THU) DET at GB NE at CIN SEA at IND
DEN at DAL KC at TEN SD at OAK NYJ at ATL (MON)
BAL at MIA HOU at SF NO at CHI On Bye:
*UPDATED CAR at ARI JAC at STL PHI at NYG MIN, PIT, TB, WAS

Prediction: NE 24, CIN 20 (Line: CIN by 1.5)

Players of Interest: Andy Dalton

UPDATE: Stevan Ridley is already listed as out because of something undefined about his knee. The Patriots have 10 different people listed as questionable this week. Brandon Bolden was limited in every practice. He would be a great start here with Ridley out if he was healthy but Bolden is no lock to play and his knee was an issue. He's a risky start at best but will likely be active. LeGarrette Blount would pick up the slack at least as a rusher. Danny Amendola is a game time decision after being limited int all practices this week. Check the inactives before the game. Rob Gronkowski is also listed as questionable but no one expects him to play. Kenbrell Thompkins was also limited and listed as questionable but is expected to play with any limitations. Imagine - only 12 more weeks of flipping a coin on a questionable Patriot player.

The Patriots may not have been the same explosive team of years past, but at 4-0 you cannot argue with results. The 2-2 Bengals are unbeaten at home so far. This is a coin toss since the Patriots are always hard to gauge while the Bengals alternate between looking like a top team or one that cannot even beat the Browns.

1 @BUF 23-21 10 BYE WEEK
2 NYJ 13-10 11 @CAR -
3 TB 23-3 12 DEN -
4 @ATL 30-23 13 @HOU -
5 @CIN - 14 CLE -
6 NO - 15 @MIA -
7 @NYJ - 16 @BAL -
8 MIA - 17 BUF -
9 PIT - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 250,2
RB Brandon Bolden 30 2-20
WR Danny Amendola
WR Julian Edelman 7-70,1
WR Brandon LaFell 4-30
TE Rob Gronkowski
PK Stephen Gostkowski 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: It hasn't always been pretty and the Pats are relying more on their defense than their offense but in the end - they continue to get the job done. The win in Atlanta was particularly impressive because the first three games went against rookie quarterbacks. There is still a weekly watch for when Rob Gronkowski or Danny Amendola returns which will kick the offense up a notch or two for a team already 4-0.

QUARTERBACKS: The Patriots are unbeaten but it is not because Tom Brady has been prolific. He has yet to throw for more than two scores in any game and only once topped 300 yards. His seven touchdowns on the season match what Peyton Manning accomplished in his first game. This isn't a big fantasy year for Brady so far but the return of Amendola and Gronkowski is bound to help.

RUNNING BACKS: This continues to be a three-headed committee with Stevan Ridley good for maybe a dozen runs and maybe a catch. LeGarrette Blount is getting fewer carries than Ridley but doing more with them and Blount comes off a 64 yard effort in Atlanta on only nine carries and he scored for the first time of any Patriot running back this year. Brandon Bolden mixes in as well and overall, there is really minimal value in any of these players. No one is used consistently as a receiver and the rushing load is diced up into thirds. Ridley is no longer the primary back with a big share of the load. He's just the first guy to carry the ball and so far not even the best one.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Aaron Dobson injured his neck in Atlanta and may not play. But Danny Amendola may. The plus is that this is an early game on Sunday so you can know if he is at least active. Reports are that he is close but as much as been said for the last couple of weeks and never from an official source of the tight-lipped Patriots. Julian Edelman has been an adequate fill-in for Amendola and comes off a season best 118 yard effort in Atlanta. Kenbrell Thompkins is also turning the corner in his rookie season with two straight weeks of catching a touchdown and he comes off a very nice 127 yard effort last week.

I will assume that Amendola misses this week and update if any credible information exists despite the Patriots attempt to crush it. The bottom line is he won't be active unless he can play a full game.

TIGHT ENDS: Rob Gronkowski is getting close to playing and he too is rumored to possibly play this week. With him out of the lineup, the tight end position has been little more than a blocker with not a shred of fantasy value. Gronk will make a huge difference on this offense when he can play.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bengals defense is certainly consistent since each of their four previous opponents have ended with between 242 and 269 passing yards and one score if in Cincy, two if it is a road game. That's already in line with what the New Brady is producing this season. The Bengals have been decent against the run and only allowed one runner to top 55 yards against them. The Pats are going to divide the load anyway but could end up with a rushing score. Brady, Thompkins and Edelman are reasonable starts this week though Gronkowski and Amendola could change that. Sadly there is no safe play for running back.

WHAT TO WATCH: This entire offense is in perpetual transition so whatever happens on Sunday may not be reliable. The running backs are constantly shifting their share of the load and the receivers will change dramatically if and when Gronk or Amendola show up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 24 18 4 31 2 22
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 15 15 15 16 14 19

 

1 @CHI 21-24 10 @BAL -
2 PIT 20-10 11 CLE -
3 GB 34-30 12 BYE WEEK
4 @CLE 6-17 13 @SD -
5 NE - 14 IND -
6 @BUF - 15 @PIT -
7 @DET - 16 MIN -
8 NYJ - 17 BAL -
9 @MIA - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 280,1
RB Giovani Bernard 30,1 4-50
WR A.J. Green 6-40,1
WR Mohamed Sanu 5-50
TE Tyler Eifert 3-40
TE Jermaine Gresham 5-60
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Beating the Steelers and Packers was impressive and seemed to say that the Bengals were taking a step up this year but then getting punked by the Browns who would not give up a touchdown sets the team back. For all the moves in the preseason and NFL draft, this still seems very much like the same team of 2012 that depends far too much on what A.J. Green can accomplish.

QUARTERBACKS: Four weeks into the season and Andy Dalton only scored five times and has not been close to his season opener when he passed for 282 yards and two scores. The defense has kept the Bengals in every game but Dalton is not doing enough to consistently move the offense.

RUNNING BACKS: The Bengals want to get more out of their rookie Giovani Bernard but splitting the load up with the ineffective BenJarvus Green-Ellis means that he is limited to only ten carries per week. His season best was only 50 rushing yards against the Packers though he did score in both the previous home games. Bernard is stepping up as a receiver in recent weeks and that helps to sustain at least some fantasy value. Bernard has not been bad by any measure, he just doesn't get enough volume of touches to matter much.

This will be the first time that Green-Ellis plays against his old team but nothing so far suggests he is in line for a notable game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: A.J. Green ended up wearing Joe Haden last week and was limited to only 51 yards on seven catches despite being thrown 15 passes. But that mark is mostly his new standard. Green opened the year with 162 yards against the Bears but since he has only averaged 44 yards per game. Mohamed Sanu has yet to score or have any real impact. Outside of Green's first game, no one in this unit has exceeded 70 yards in any game. This is the same as last year only Green has been unable to take advantage of being the only talented wideout.

TIGHT ENDS: There is production here but the problem is that the workload is split up between Jermaine Gresham and the rookie Tyler Eifert and neither have scored. Oddly enough, both have been as good as 66 yards in a game and yet usually remain around 30 yards or less. Marginal fantasy value here but both offer needed outlets to Dalton.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Patriots have only allowed four passing scores this year though they faced three rookie quarterbacks. Last week Matt Ryan passes for 421 yards and two scores in their comeback quest. But unlike the Falcons, the Bengals do not have more than one big-time receiver. The Pats have not allowed any passing scores to a wideout in the last three weeks. They have only allowed one rushing score all year. This is yet another week where expectations should be moderate for Dalton, Green and Bernard. With any luck, the Bengals get into a shootout but there just isn't much ammo here to use. The Pats are without Vince Wilfork but that won't mean much here. It didn't in Atlanta.

WHAT TO WATCH: Andy Dalton has to both bring more life to the receivers other than A.J. Green and eliminate his mistakes and turnovers. He is the key to this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 28 17 24 16 27 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 8 11 9 15 6 7

WEEK 5 BUF at CLE (THU) DET at GB NE at CIN SEA at IND
DEN at DAL KC at TEN SD at OAK NYJ at ATL (MON)
BAL at MIA HOU at SF NO at CHI On Bye:
*UPDATED CAR at ARI JAC at STL PHI at NYG MIN, PIT, TB, WAS


a d v e r t i s e m e n t