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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 

Prediction: CIN 24, SD 27 (Line: SD by 1.5)

Update: Ryan Mathews is upgraded to probable and had a full practice on Friday. He'll play and so will Eddie Royal who is still held out of practices to rest his toe but he still plays.

The 7-4 Bengals lead the AFC North by two games but are only 2-4 in road games. The 5-6 Chargers come off their upset win in Kansas City and are 2-2 at home. This is a coin toss game because both teams can play at a high level but also can surprise when a weaker team beats them. The Bengals come off their bye and the Chargers have not won at home since week six.

1 @CHI 21-24 10 @BAL 17-20
2 PIT 20-10 11 CLE 41-20
3 GB 34-30 12 BYE WEEK
4 @CLE 6-17 13 @SD -
5 NE 13-6 14 IND -
6 @BUF 27-24 15 @PIT -
7 @DET 27-24 16 MIN -
8 NYJ 49-9 17 BAL -
9 @MIA 20-22 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 300,3
RB Giovani Bernard 50 5-40
WR A.J. Green 6-120,2
WR Marvin Jones 2-30
WR Greg Little 3-20
WR Mohamed Sanu 3-40
TE Tyler Eifert 3-30
TE Jermaine Gresham 3-20
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bengals last beat up on the visiting Browns but the last two road games were both close losses and the two wins before that were back-to-back 27-24 scores. The Bengals really only need to win two more games - at Pittsburgh and then against the visiting Ravens in the season finale. Pick up a win either against the visiting Colts or Vikings and the division is theirs.

QUARTERBACKS: Andy Dalton is inconsistent and that makes forecasting him a bit tougher. In most games he is very good and has already thrown 21 touchdowns but he has three games with no scores and even his last three touchdown game when the Browns visited only produced 93 passing yards. Weather is going to be an ongoing factor later on in home games. Most of his multiple touchdown games have been in road venues.

RUNNING BACKS: BenJarvus Green-Ellis chugs along as the primary runner in most games but he rarely scores and never catches any passes. He's not reliable for more than around 40 yards per game. Giovani Bernard has certainly not been above a bad game or two but was on a hot streak prior to the bye when he turned in around 100 total yards for three weeks in a row with a total of three touchdowns during that span. His usage as a receiver tends to happen more in road games against the better defenses that are limiting the receivers.

WIDE RECEIVERS: A.J. Green was on a five game streak of 100+ yard games before the weather and Joe Haden ruined it. Green has been the only consistently good Bengals receiver and five of his six 100 yard efforts came on the road. Marvin Jones was a factor around mid-season but has dropped to only single catch games for the last couple of weeks. Whatever happens with the wideouts is going to go through Green if not limited entirely to him.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy relevance though Jermaine Gresham caught a touchdown in two of the last three games. Both he and Tyler Eifert rarely end up with more than 20 yards or so per week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Charger pass defense gives up good yardage and multiple scores to any decent passing team and that is where the Bengals are going to compete in this game. No runner has scored in San Diego or even gained more than 70 rushing yards. But the Chargers are very kind to primary wideouts who almost always gain 100 yards and/or score. Dalton and Green are solid starts while Bernard should end up with decent yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 13 19 9 10 23 6
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 29 16 28 17 13 6

 

1 HOU 28-31 10 DEN 20-28
2 @PHI 33-30 11 @MIA 16-20
3 @TEN 17-20 12 @KC 41-38
4 DAL 30-21 13 CIN -
5 @OAK 17-27 14 NYG -
6 IND 19-9 15 @DEN -
7 @JAC 24-6 16 OAK -
8 BYE WEEK 17 KC -
9 @WAS 24-30 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Kellen Clemens 10 190,1
QB Philip Rivers 290,3
RB Donald Brown 60,1 1-10
RB Ryan Mathews 70 1-10
RB Danny Woodhead 20 5-40,1
WR Keenan Allen 6-100,1
WR Eddie Royal 3-40
TE Antonio Gates 5-50,1
TE Ladarius Green 2-40
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Big win in Kansas City but the Chargers are still four games back of the Broncos and Chiefs. They remain in the mass chase of 5-6 teams after that final wild card bid. With only one road game left to play, the Bolts should remain in contention. The final schedule holds a trip to the Broncos but the rest will all be at home and for fantasy purposes, in relatively good weather.

QUARTERBACKS: Philip Rivers was on a six game streak of single touchdown games and them when faced with his toughest game of the year he threw for 392 yards and three scores in Kansas City. He always scored and usually produced good to great yardage. Rivers is another quarterback that can turn in a mediocre showing in the middle of 300+ yard games. Unless the rushing effort is great, he'll always pass for good stats.

RUNNING BACKS: Ryan Mathews tweaked his hamstring in win over the Chiefs and may not be available for this game. I will assume that he cannot and even if he did it is unlikely he would be 100%. Being replaced by Ronnie Brown has not been much to worry about for opposing defenses.

Danny Woodhead comes off his second two touchdown game of the year when he ran and received for scores. But his role as a runner remain low every week and even his receiving stats have been typically under 50 yards. If Mathews is out, it will fall back onto Woodhead more but the Chargers have never used him as more than a part of a committee.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Vincent Brown finally hit rock bottom when he failed to catch his one pass. He's really nothing more than a blocker who lines out wide. Keenan Allen remains the best rookie wideout this year and produced his fourth 100 yard effort when he caught nine passes for 124 yards in Kansas City. Unless the opponent has a shut down corner, Allen is good for 80 yards or more almost every week. Eddie Royal bounces around with moderate yardage but even he injured his ribs last week and may be questionable here.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates has gone six weeks with never more than 62 yards in any game and he scored only once in that time. He's being targeted by defenses and others are filling in for what once was his. Ladarius Green is the next starting tight end whenever Gates hangs up his cleats. Green just scored last week thanks to a 60-yard catch where he outran defenders and he logged 81 yards in Miami the previous week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bengals almost always allow two passing scores or more in road games and the yardage should be good to great. But they are formidable against the run and allowed just two rushing touchdowns to running backs this year. With Mathews banged up, chances are the rushing is not going to be much anyway. The Bengals allowed five scores to tight ends in road games but that no longer necessarily speak to Gates. Rivers, Woodhead, Allen and Gates all deserve consideration with Gates the weaker play though with upside. There should be a score for a tight end - either him or Green again.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 5 3 16 2 7 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 8 8 14 8 10 27

WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 



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