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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17 BAL at CIN DEN at OAK JAC at IND STL at SEA
BUF at NE DET at MIN KC at SD TB at NO
CAR at ATL GB at CHI NYJ at MIA WAS at NYG
*UPDATED CLE at PIT HOU at TEN SF at ARI PHI at DAL

Prediction: BAL 16, CIN 30 (Line: CIN by 6.5)

Update: Both Ray Rice and Torrey Smith are listed as questionable but are expected to play. Jermain Gresham was upgraded to questionable but is not expected to be active.

This is a replay of week 10 when the Ravens won 20-17 in Baltimore. The Ravens are only 2-5 on the road and the Bengals are 7-0 at home. The Bengals already won the division and in theory could get the #2 seed with a win here and a loss by the Patriots to the visiting Bills which is really unlikely. The Ravens are in the hunt for the second AFC wildcard but need to win here and then get the Fins to lose to the visiting Jets - also unlikely. This game goes off in the early batch so they cannot know what the others will have done yet.

The last four home games saw the Bengals score 40+ points. The Ravens averaged around 20 points each in their last four road games.

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 22-20
5 @MIA 26-23 14 MIN 29-26
6 GB 17-19 15 @DET 18-16
7 @PIT 16-19 16 NE 7-41
8 BYE WEEK 17 @CIN -
9 @CLE 18-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 220,1
RB Bernard Pierce 20
RB Ray Rice 30 6-30
WR Marlon Brown 3-40
WR Jacoby Jones 4-50
WR Torrey Smith 4-50,1
TE Dennis Pitta 4-30
PK Justin Tucker 3 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: There is seemingly a lot on the line in this game for both but really there isn't since the Ravens are unlikely to reach the wildcard and the Bengals will be playing in the first round barring a shocking loss to the Patriots. This rivalry is enough to make them play in earnest anyway though and they typically play close games and seven of the last eight went to the home team.

Joe Flacco was bothered with a sore knee and he hasn't thrown a touchdown in the last two games. Aside from facing a weak defense like the Vikings, Flacco has been limited to one touchdown pass per game anyway. He threw one of his few two touchdowns games in the last meeting with the Bengals but only ended with 140 passing yards.

Ray Rice ran for just 30 yards on 18 carries in that game and added three receptions for 17 yards. Bernard Pierce gained 31 yards on eight runs in that game. Rice has been a disappointment but at least he is consistent because he's almost never had more than moderate yardage in any game and scored in just three games. A good game for Rice by now is any time he has more than 80 total yards. Pierce is used just enough to keep Rice to those moderate results.

Dennis Pitta came back in week 14 but so far that has only resulted in one touchdown and an average of 35 yards per game. Dallas Clark was the starter in week 10 and he scored on the Bengals in his only catch in the game.

Torrey Smith already has a career best 1101 yards this year but was limited to a career low four touchdowns. He's been good for around 70 yards in most games and caught five passes for 46 yards and one touchdown in the win over the Bengals. Marlon Brown now plays the Anquan Boldin role of adding a handful of possession catches to keep the sticks moving. Brown turned in just one catch for 10 yards in the last meeting.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Ravens pulled off the win last time but playing on the road won't be nearly as beneficial and the Bengals are getting better here at the end of the year. They play better defense at home and both teams are very familiar with each other. Torrey Smith makes for a low end fantasy play just because he is mostly consistent around 70 yards per game but no other Raven has much appeal here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 26 31 15 20 2 19
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 9 7 11 7 10 19

 

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 17-10
5 NE 13-6 14 IND 42-28
6 @BUF 27-24 15 @PIT 20-30
7 @DET 27-24 16 MIN 42-14
8 NYJ 49-9 17 BAL -
9 @MIA 20-22 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell 20 230,1
QB Andy Dalton 270,2
RB Giovani Bernard 40 7-40,1
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 30
WR A.J. Green 6-100,1
WR Marvin Jones 5-40
WR Mohamed Sanu 2-40
PK Mike Nugent 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bengals are a dangerous team in the playoffs though they have played much less effectively in road games and that will catch up with them eventually in the playoffs. Not so much this week.

Andy Dalton went throught streaks of scoring and having low games but since midseason he kicked it up a notch. He only scored five times in the first five weeks but since has accounted for 27 touchdowns over the last 10 weeks. in Baltimore he had one of his lesser efforts with 274 yards and just two touchdowns. He's been a lock to score three or more times in the last four home games.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis provides the power running and short yardage carries here and scored four times over the last four games but his production typically remains under around 40 yards or so. Green-Ellis rushed for 36 yards on nine carries in Baltimore while Giovani Bernard gained 58 yards on 14 carries and added 37 yards and a touchdown on eight rushes for a season best as a receiver.

Bernard scored eight times in 2013 and three came via passes. He still has not broken 100 rushing yards in a game but at home has been a safe bet to top 60 yards or more.

One difference this week is that Jermaine Gresham is nursing a sore abdomen and is not practicing. Tyler Eifert also has a bad shoulder and may be questionable. I am holding both out of projections and will update based on what happens. Gresham did not play in the last meeting with the Ravens and Eifert settled for three receptions for 55 yards that week as one of his best yardage games this year.

A.J. Green already has a career best season entering into this finale. He stands at 94 catches for 1365 yards and two touchdowns as one of the elite receivers in the NFL. At one point he was on a five game stretch of 100+ yard games and one of his best efforts for 2013 was when he caught eight passes for 151 yards and one touchdown in Baltimore. He's mostly alone though in making a difference since Marvin Jones only managed one catch for two yards in that game and Mohamed Sanu rarely exceeds 40 yards in any game and scored just twice this year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Ravens are always less formidable in road games and more so this year than any recent seasons. Dalton is on a 3+ touchdown streak at home and the Bengals have been bombing all who show up for the last two months. Dalton and Green are must-starts every week. Bernard and Green-Ellis only produced moderate yardage between them in week ten and will face one of the very best run stoppers in the business. Bernard is a low end play hoping for a long gainer and Green-Ellis is a play to hope he scores once because the yardage is not likely to be anything significant.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 12 16 8 12 26 12
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 10 3 17 11 18 14

WEEK 17 BAL at CIN DEN at OAK JAC at IND STL at SEA
BUF at NE DET at MIN KC at SD TB at NO
CAR at ATL GB at CHI NYJ at MIA WAS at NYG
*UPDATED CLE at PIT HOU at TEN SF at ARI PHI at DAL


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