FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7 SEA at ARI (THU) CIN at DET HOU at KC STL at CAR
BUF at MIA DAL at PHI SD at JAC TB at ATL
CHI at WAS DEN at IND SF at TEN MIN at NYG (MON)
*UPDATED BAL at PIT CLE at GB NE at NYJ On Bye: NO, OAK

Prediction: CLE 17, GB 30 (Line: GB by 10)

Players of Interest: Jordan Cameron

Update: James Jones is listed as questionable but never practiced this week. He is not expected to play.

The Browns are 3-3 and just one game behind the Bengals in the AFC North but lost to the visiting Lions and already miss Brian Hoyer. The Packers are 3-2 with a two game winning streak but just lost half of their wideouts. Playing in Green Bay makes a big difference this week.

1 MIA 10-23 10 BYE WEEK
2 @BAL 6-14 11 @CIN -
3 @MIN 31-27 12 PIT -
4 CIN 17-6 13 JAC -
5 BUF 37-24 14 @NE -
6 DET 17-31 15 CHI -
7 @GB - 16 @NYJ -
8 @KC - 17 @PIT -
9 BAL - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Miles Austin 2-20
WR Josh Gordon 5-80,1
TE Jordan Cameron 6-70,1

Pregame Notes: The Browns did well enough to be 3-3 but only played in two road games this year. They won in Minnesota like everyone else and lost in Baltimore. WIth this trip and then to Kansas City followed by hosting the Ravens, the Browns may be .500 for the final week this year. The defense keeps them in most games but on the road and facing better teams will make the offensive shortcomings all too easily seen.

QUARTERBACKS: Brandon Weeden remains the starter despite being 0-3 when he plays the full game. At least he passed for two scores and 292 yards versus the Lions but threw two interceptions as well. The only other option is Jason Campbell and that won't be an upgrade. Weeden will remain the starter unless they lose enough games that they have to make the change just to look like they are still trying.

RUNNING BACKS: Willis McGahee started in three straight home games and now gets to face defenses on their own turf. He scored once against the Bills and managed 72 yards on 26 carries but was ineffective and little used otherwise. He only caught just one pass so far and his value is just as the runner for the first half before the Browns fall too far behind. Chris Ogbonnaya was little used in the one easy game versus the Bills but has otherwise been solid with five runs and about a half dozen catches each week. He scored twice as a receiver and given the likelihood that the Browns will be in plenty of pass formations, Ogbonnaya will continue to contribute on passing downs as a runner and receiver.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Four weeks playing and Josh Gordon was never worse than 71 yards in a game. He topped 100 yards twice and scored twice as well. His challenge now becomes road games as his only away venue was in Minnesota. No other Browns wideout matters or turns in more than maybe 30 yards in a game. Greg Little scored for the first time all year but only gained 12 yards on two catches versus the Lions. Stop Gordon and you stop all the wideouts.

TIGHT ENDS: The concern is that Jordan Cameron is starting to decline with Weeden as the quarterback. Granted he was there in the season opener when Cameron first blew up but these last two weeks saw him with only 36 yards on three catches against the Bills and then 64 yards on five catches in the loss to the Lions. Half of those catches came on the final drive though and Cameron is not being the primary target that he was with Hoyer under center.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Packers secondary always allows at least one passing score and three times gave up over 300 yards but Weeden is less likely to excel here. In his favor is that the Packers are weakest against tight ends and wideouts. There is no reason to expect anything more than minimal yardage from McGahee going against a top ten rush defense. Weeden is a risky play but with some upside this week. Gordon and Cameron both face favorable matchups if they can take advantage of them.

WHAT TO WATCH: Cameron must be used more than the last two weeks. Gordon has been productive but cannot become the sole weapon used by Weeden or the Browns chances grow even dimmer. Cameron adds a much needed element to the offense and prevents it from all shrinking down to pitch and catch with Gordon. This is a great situation for Cameron to be more productive.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 19 24 25 5 23 14
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 27 8 25 29 2 15

 

1 @SF 28-34 10 PHI -
2 WAS 38-20 11 @NYG -
3 @CIN 30-34 12 MIN -
4 BYE WEEK 13 @DET -
5 DET 22-9 14 ATL -
6 @BAL 19-17 15 @DAL -
7 CLE - 16 PIT -
8 @MIN - 17 @CHI -
9 CHI - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 20 250,1
RB Eddie Lacy 100,1
WR Jarrett Boykin 3-50
WR Jordy Nelson 5-60
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers won their last two games including the road win in Baltimore. The looming schedule is pretty light for the next six weeks aside from the Bears visiting in week nine. Losing wideouts last week will hurt but at least both will return at some point and this week presents one of the softest matchups of the year. Losing receivers can at least be weathered too because of Eddie Lacy and the general success of the rushing game.

QUARTERBACKS: Aaron Rodgers scores every week but has not seen multiples since back in week two. These last three games have all been well below the normal production for Rodgers but featuring three different runners who have topped 100 rush yards subtracts from the normally pass-heavy scheme. Rodgers is still good. It is just that he hasn't been great in the last month.

RUNNING BACKS: Eddie Lacy ran 23 times in each of the last two games and gained 99 and 120 yards respectively. He still only scored in the season opener and he has nearly no role as a receiver but Lacy brings a new ability to pound the ball and close out games. He's a full-time back who never shares.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Randall Cobb fractured his right fibula and is on the injured reserve/designated to return list. He cannot play again until week 15 at the earliest though the final three games would greatly benefit from him playing. James Jones sprained his PCL but may still be able to play in this game. He'll likely be a game time decision and as such won't be included in the projections unless late week shows marked improvement. This means that Jarrett Boykin becomes a factor for at least this week and potentially the rest of the way replacing Cobb.

Boykin was an undrafted free agent signed by the Jaguars last year and now with the Packers. He caught a 43-yard screen pass late last week but more importantly he missed on his first five targets that included two outright drops. Becoming a starter in the Packers offense is obviously a positive but it doesn't make the journeyman from Virginia Tech automatically more talented. He's worth a roster add in the "you never know vein" but is highly unlikely to be a 1:1 replacement for Cobb. The Packers would more likely rely on Jermichael Finley or Eddie Lacy more.

TIGHT ENDS: While Jermichael Finley cooled from his hot start to the season, the loss of Cobb and potentially Jones means he has to step up and become a bigger part of the passing equation. Finley could even end up splitting out as a wideout. He's been good for about 50 or 60 yards in most games and needs to increase his workload.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Browns were shut down on all quarterbacks until last week when they let Matt Stafford score four times. And the reality is that their first five games never faced even an average quarterback. The weakness against the run is certain to be challenged this week and they allowed six touchdowns to running backs already. Joe Haden is likely to end up on Jordy Nelson and that would depress his stats but he is still worth a start in a home game regardless. Haden won't necessarily always be on him and they will move him around. Rodgers, Lacy, Nelson and Jones (if available) should start this week.

WHAT TO WATCH: The offense will change with two top wideouts out but with Lacy and Finley there to use more the total effort should not suffer this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 22 2 16 1 22
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 11 21 7 18 13 13

WEEK 7 SEA at ARI (THU) CIN at DET HOU at KC STL at CAR
BUF at MIA DAL at PHI SD at JAC TB at ATL
CHI at WAS DEN at IND SF at TEN MIN at NYG (MON)
*UPDATED BAL at PIT CLE at GB NE at NYJ On Bye: NO, OAK


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