FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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: PIT 23, BAL 20 (Line: BAL by 3.5)

Both the Steelers and Ravens are 5-6 and in the hunt for the final wild card in the AFC. That becomes more unlikely for one of these two teams by next week. This is a replay of week seven when the Steelers won 19-16 in Pittsburgh. An oddity here is that five of the last eight meetings have been won by the road team. This should be another low scoring affair and is the evening game on Thanksgiving.

1 TEN 9-16 10 BUF 23-10
2 @CIN 10-20 11 DET 37-27
3 CHI 23-40 12 @CLE 27-11
4 @MIN 27-34 13 @BAL -
5 BYE WEEK 14 MIA -
6 @NYJ 19-6 15 CIN -
7 BAL 19-16 16 @GB -
8 @OAK 18-21 17 CLE -
9 @NE 31-55 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 20 220,2
RB Le'Veon Bell 80 4-30,1
WR Antonio Brown 6-90,1
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 2-20
WR Lance Moore 3-30
TE Heath Miller 3-20
PK Shaun Suisham 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Steelers are on a three game winning streak and this week is likely the toughest match-up left on the schedule. The division is not entirely out of reach yet with the Bengals owning a two game lead but due to visit Pittsburgh in week 15. The Steelers would need a little help to get there and winning out would probably need to happen but at least they are on an upswing here in the latter part of the season. This week really will define their season. A loss means even a wildcard is going to be all but impossible.

QUARTERBACKS: Ben Roethlisberger continues to score in every game this year and increased his totals nicely with 11 touchdowns over just the last four weeks. He passed for 160 yards and one score in the previous win over the Ravens for his lowest game of the year. But he completed 17 of only 23 passes in that game.

RUNNING BACKS: The scoring has been low for Le'Veon Bell but he's produced consistent yardage each week thanks to his dual role as a receiver. Bell ends up around 100 total yards in almost every game and ran for 93 yards on 19 carries in the previous meeting with the Ravens. He also had a season low one catch for six yards in that game. Recent weeks have him used for three or four receptions.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Antonio Brown is on a roll with four touchdowns and three efforts over 90 yards over the last four games. Even against Joe Haden in Cleveland he raked in six catches for 92 yards and one touchdown. His only bad game since week two was when he caught six passes for 50 yards against the Ravens. But he did bring in six of his seven targets and Roethlisberger only passes 23 times. Emmanuel Sanders only caught one short pass that day but has been effective in road games where he scored all three of his touchdowns this season. Jerricho Cotchery was held to no catch last week and only brought in four passes for 41 yards in the first meeting with the Ravens.

TIGHT ENDS: His production varies considerably each week from as good as 67 yards against the Lions to only one catch versus the Bills in the prior week. Heath Miller scored only once this year - against the Ravens in week seven when he ended with two receptions for 17 yards.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is a replay and the personnel remains the same from that first meeting. Playing in Baltimore won't be any easier though and they've only allowed one rushing touchdown this year though Bell did run for 93 yards against them already. Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are both worth a fantasy start but no other players present more promise than risk.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 14 29 3 25 6 26
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 11 2 17 10 26 20

 

1 @DEN 27-49 10 CIN 20-17
2 CLE 14-6 11 @CHI 20-23
3 HOU 30-9 12 NYJ 19-3
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 vs PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 250,2
RB Bernard Pierce 30 1-20
RB Ray Rice 70,1 6-30
WR Jacoby Jones 4-60
WR Steve Smith 5-60,1
WR Torrey Smith 5-70
TE Dennis Pitta 3-20
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The defending Super Bowl Champs are still struggling to score points but at least the defense has been good enough to hold all opponents to 23 points or fewer since the season opener. The remaining schedule is tougher than the Steelers with trips to play in Detroit and Cincinnati sandwiching when they host the Patriots. Aside from the Vikings game, none look to be that easy. The biggest problem for the Ravens is that for six weeks now they have not scored more than 20 points in any game.

QUARTERBACKS: Joe Flacco is more consistent in recent weeks and threw at least one score in each of the last six games. But he never has more than two touchdowns and his yardage has been below average in most weeks. He's also picked up a turnover habit with seven over the past four games.

RUNNING BACKS: Ray Rice blew up in Chicago when he ran for 131 yards and one score but that was an extreme outlier for the back who has been more likely to turn in around 35 rushing yards every week with maybe 20 more as a receiver. Rice rushed for 45 yards on 15 carries in Pittsburgh and added four catches for 27 yards, Bernard Pierce ended with only 13 yards on six runs in that game. There is no difference in home or away for Rice. He has been equally ineffective in both venues.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Torrey Smith is the lone consistent producer here and usually ends up with 80 yards or so in most weeks. He was held to 61 yards on three catches in Pittsburgh this year. No other Raven wideout gained more than 35 yards in that game. This offense doesn't throw that much or that well and whatever happens has to include Smith or it is just another mediocre effort. Smith scored in each of the last two weeks as well but his yardage has been on a slow decline in the most recent weeks.

TIGHT ENDS: Dallas Clark rarely has any notable yardage but when he does, it comes in home games. He's scored only three times this year but once when during his three catches for nine yards in Pittsburgh. Both he and Ed Dickson offer very minimal fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: No changes to this offense since the week seven meeting other than most receivers have been even less successful in recent games. Flacco was marginally productive in the first game but should be a little better here because of the home venue. None of the Ravens stand out as excellent plays but both Smith and Rice are at least worthy of consideration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 27 28 14 22 8 17
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 9 17 15 11 19 19

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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