FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11 IND at TEN (THU) CLE at CIN MIN at SEA SF at NO
ATL at TB DET at PIT OAK at HOU WAS at PHI
BAL at CHI GB at NYG NYJ at BUF NE at CAR (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at JAC KC at DEN SD at MIA On Bye: DAL, STL

Prediction: BAL 17, CHI 24 (Line: CHI by 3)

Update: Martellus Bennett is listed as questionable but is expected to play. Marlon Brown was suddenly held out of practice on Friday and is now questionable to play. He is risky and should be checked on Sunday to ensure he is active and can play.

Update #2: The weather in Chicago is possibly a severe thunderstorm and the winds may be as high as 35 miles per hour. I am revising the passing numbers slightly but this could be anywhere from a non-event to an offense-killer all depending on what happens. This is the first game of the day so you can know what to expect before any games start.

The 4-5 Ravens are still only two games out of the AFC North lead but are only 1-4 in road games. The 5-4 Bears are 3-2 at home and alternating weeks when they lose a starting quarterback. Definitely a coin flip game but the homefield should be enough to take the win.

1 @DEN 27-49 10 CIN 20-17
2 CLE 14-6 11 @CHI -
3 HOU 30-9 12 NYJ -
4 @BUF 20-23 13 PIT -
5 @MIA 26-23 14 MIN -
6 GB 17-19 15 @DET -
7 @PIT 16-19 16 NE -
8 BYE WEEK 17 @CIN -
9 @CLE 18-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 10 240,2
RB Ray Rice 40 4-30
WR Marlon Brown
WR Jacoby Jones 3-40
WR Steve Smith 4-40
WR Torrey Smith 5-70
PK Justin Tucker 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard as it is to remember, this team won the Superbowl last year when they suddenly got hot late in the year and never stopped rolling. This year is just the flip side when you sell a team's soul for a trophy. The Ravens remain competitive in all games thanks to a defense that may have lost aging stars but is still plenty formidable where it counts. Unfortunately the offense remains a shell of last season and almost ever week ends up to be a three point swing.

QUARTERBACKS: Joe Flacco chugs along with two touchdown games in most weeks and moderate yardage unless facing a really weak secondary. He has 12 touchdowns on the year against 11 interceptions for a very average pace. With one of the worst rushing offenses that offer little help, Flacco has been increasingly subject to more sacks (30) and hits. Flacco can throw for higher yardage and has three efforts over 300 yards. But he cannot toss more than two scores in any game and twice failed to score at all.

RUNNING BACKS: HC John Harbaugh said that Ray Rice is still contending with a hip injury he sustained earlier this year. While he did not offer which week that happened, it would be hard to say just by looking at the box scores. Rice topped 45 rushing yards only once all season and is averaging only 36 rush yards per game. He'll add 20 yards or so as a receiver but he's been a bitter disappointment for fantasy team owners and a liability you cannot justify dumping.

Bernard Pierce has been the more effective runner but he is usually limited to only six or eight runs per game and still remains outside any fantasy relevance. The compete lack of any credible ground attack has greatly limited the offense and prevented any consistency.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Despite the games with higher yardage passed, this unit rarely exceeds average stats in any given week. Torrey Smith did score last week for only the second time all year but he has been the only consistently productive receiver. He's topped 100 yards twice - and is the only one that has - and usually ends up around 80 yards in most weeks though he has been less effective in recent weeks against better defenses. Marlon Brown is just the 50 yard per week buy to help move the chains four or five times but will catch the touchdowns and leads the team with five even though he rarely has more than those 50 yards. Jacoby Jones scored in his first game back and then promptly disappeared.

TIGHT ENDS: Dallas Clark is down to single catch games in recent weeks but did score a touchdown in three of the last four weeks. He has the potential for decent yardage but tends to spend more time blocking against the better defenses. His receptions increase when facing a weaker secondary.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bears defense is not what it used to be and the loss of many defensive players have really caused a decline including Charles Tillman going on short-term IR just this week. Every opponent in Chicago throws for at least one score if not two and always with moderate to good yardage. The secondary has been hard hit and that will help Flacco and Smith connect better this week. The Bears rush defense has taken a similar path and allowed big games to several running backs but the problem is the Ravens are worse on offense than the Bears are bad on defense. At best this ends up a wash and produces the normal numbers for the Ravens. That makes all but Smith a marginal and/or risky play.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 24 24 14 20 11 17
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 13 25 13 28 25 15

 

1 CIN 24-21 10 DET 19-21
2 MIN 31-30 11 BAL -
3 @PIT 40-23 12 @STL -
4 @DET 32-40 13 @MIN -
5 NO 18-26 14 DAL -
6 NYG 27-21 15 @CLE -
7 @WAS 41-45 16 @PHI -
8 BYE WEEK 17 GB -
9 @GB 27-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Matt Forte 70,1 4-40
WR Alshon Jeffery 5-60
WR Brandon Marshall 7-100,1
TE Martellus Bennett 3-20,1
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bears fell behind the Lions after the loss last week and the remaining schedule is no gimmee either. The Bears are constantly dealing with holes in the offense and defense and now losing Jay Cutler twice in a row shakes it back up again. Losing twice to the Lions likely sinks any chance of winning the division but the Bears still have a shot at a wildcard that will almost certainly end up with the Panthers or 49ers.

QUARTERBACKS: Jay Cutler now has a high-ankle sprain and will be out this week and more. At least Josh McCown has been more than adequate as a replacement and he passed for 272 yards and two scores in the win over the Packers. He'll get a bigger test here against a better defense but the offense doesn't take much of a step down so far just because McCown has to start a few games.

RUNNING BACKS: Matt Forte has been a top fantasy back this year and almost always produces over 100 total yards ever week. Oddly enough, he scores just when he is on the road. His last six touchdowns were spread out over the last four away games. His last four home games - zero. Forte adds in as a receiver each week as well and is getting nearly all the running back touches for the Bears. He's only topped 100 rush yards once but four to six receptions per game ensure he never has a bad outing.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Both Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall have not missed a beat with McCown under center. Marshall scored six times over the last five weeks and broken the century mark on four different occasions. Jeffery was equally as productive in yardage and catches though he only scored three times so far. This is not only one of the top ranked wide receiver units in the NFL, it is almost 100% just about Marshall and Jeffery. The offense has been a major benefit to both starting wideouts.

TIGHT ENDS: Martellus Bennett is the one player that seems to be negatively affected by McCown. His last two games only produced four catches each for around 30 yards. The higher yardage efforts have disappeared for now. McCown has been successful enough with the two starting wideouts that he hasn't needed to rely on Bennett so far.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Ravens have been terrific against the pass when at home but much less formidable in away games where all opponents score at least one passing touchdown and they gave up five scores over the last two weeks. They have only allowed one rushing touchdown to a runner back this year but can give up rush yards to the better runners. The Bears at home would merit the same players as fantasy starts regardless who they faced and that is true here. Forte, Marshall and Jeffery all make good starts and while it is risky, there is a chance that Bennett could get involved again against a team that has permitted five touchdowns to tight ends over their five previous road matchups.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 9 12 4 17 9 4
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 15 2 20 17 29 18

WEEK 11 IND at TEN (THU) CLE at CIN MIN at SEA SF at NO
ATL at TB DET at PIT OAK at HOU WAS at PHI
BAL at CHI GB at NYG NYJ at BUF NE at CAR (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at JAC KC at DEN SD at MIA On Bye: DAL, STL


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