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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN* CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR* PHI at DET* SEA at DEN* JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL* STL at OAK* NYG at IND*
*Updated MIA at MIN* KC at CLE* NE at NYJ NO at SF*

Prediction: BAL 17, CIN 20

Update: Anquan Boldin has been limited in practice this week because of his thigh but is expected to play. Boldin being on an injury report is hardly anything new. Todd Heap was held out of practice but returned for limited work on Thursday and his shoulder is improving. He may still play but check on game day if you really need him. Chances are he will play but not be 100%. Cedric Benson has rested his shoulder this week as well but is good to go for the game.

Update #2 - Boldin had a full practice on Friday and is good to play. Heap remains limited in practice and would be if he plays in the game. He's better to leave on your bench this week.

This was the battle for the AFC North last year and the Bengals swept the Ravens, winning 17-14 in Baltimore and later 17-7 at home. The Ravens come off a close win in New York with as dominating a defense as they have ever had. The Bengals lost in New England but the offense still generated 24 points. The Ravens are favored here slightly but homefield has been rather popular so far this year.

Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ W 10-9 10 @ATL --
2 @CIN -- 11 @CAR --
3 CLE -- 12 TB --
4 @PIT -- 13 PIT --
5 DEN -- 14 @HOU --
6 @NE -- 15 NO --
7 BUF -- 16 @CLE --
8 Bye - 17 CIN --
9 MIA --   - -
Ravens Report | Statistics | Roster
BALTIMORE at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco - - 240, 2
RB Ray Rice 60 20 -
TE Todd Heap - 30 -
WR Anquan Boldin - 80,1 -
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh - 40 -
WR Derrick Mason - 50,1 -
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The additions of Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh may not have been directly why the Ravens are 1-0, but they will be a big reason why this team will remain a playoff contender all season. The defense was incredible against the Jets and now get a new test against the one team that swept them last season. It is only one game but it also was played in the toughest of venues. This week will either show the Ravens are truly taking another step up or if the Jets were just one of those inexplicably flat teams last week.

QUARTERBACK: The Jets brought the defense last week and the very first offensive play was when Joe Flacco got destroyed by a blitzer and fumbled. But he just played in New York against the Jets and threw for 248 yards and one interception. Anquan Boldin topped 100 yards in his first showing as a Raven and every defense from here on out is going to be easier.

Flacco passed for 195 yards and no scores with two interceptions in Cincinnati last year.

The Bengals just donated 258 yards and three scores to Tom Brady last week and looked flat unlike last season. Expect a better game from Flacco this week and at least one score if not two.

RUNNING BACKS: Ray Rice gained 43 yards on 21 carries against the Jets and then added only two catches for 19 yards. One consequence of adding Boldin and Houshmandzadeh could be fewer passes for Rice who was the only option after Derrick Mason last year. Even more painful was Willis McGahee coming in and taking the only touchdown in the game.

Rice gained 48 yards on 12 carries and scored once in Cincy last season. He added eight receptions for 88 yards. Expect more yardage this time but fewer receptions.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Anquan Boldin opened with seven receptions for 110 yards. No wideout did that when visiting the Jets last year. As a team the Ravens only had two players turn in over 100 receiving yards in a game for 2009. Boldin did it in his first game in the worst venue on the planet. That is notable. Derrick Mason (2-21) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (2-21) both got to know Darrelle Revis. But it is very encouraging already that the Ravens offense is getting better and maybe much better.

No wide receiver had more than 36 yards against the Bengals in either meeting for 2009.

This year's version of the Bengals remains good against the pass and even the Patriots at home could not produce a receiver with more than 64 yards (though Welker scored twice). I like two scores here that should favor the wideouts. Boldin is an obvious must play but even Mason could have a decent showing.

TIGHT ENDS: Todd Heap had one of his best efforts as of late when he caught six passes for 72 yards against the Jets. But he tweaked his shoulder at the end of the game and now has a short week to heal. I'll assume he can play and update as warranted.

Heap turned in 28 yards on three catches in the last meeting with the Bengals.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 22 20 21 12 25 21
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 28 19 26 26 24 32


Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NE L 24-38 10 @IND --
2 BAL -- 11 BUF --
3 @CAR -- 12 @NYJ --
4 @CLE -- 13 NO --
5 TB -- 14 @PIT --
6 Bye - 15 CLE --
7 @ATL -- 16 SD --
8 MIA -- 17 @BAL --
9 PIT -- - - -
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer - - 240,1
RB Cedric Benson 80,1 10 -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 30 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 70,1 -
WR Terrell Owens - 60 -
WR Jordan Shipley - 60 -
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bengals dropped their game in New England with a surprising decline of the defense from last season. With three very "winnable" games waiting after this week, a win here would be huge over a divisional rival who is coming off a very hard fought game and a short week. This week answers if the Bengals are going to be for real again this year or if 2009 was just one of those magic years.

QUARTERBACK: Carson Palmer left the Patriots game with 345 passing yards and two scores though much of that came later in the game when the Patriots had it well in hand. Palmer threw for 224 yards and one score versus the visiting Ravens last year and could have done more but the rushing of Cedric Benson was enough to hold off the Ravens.

The Ravens were brutal on Mark Sanchez last week but at least some of that is on Sanchez. Look for more passing yards than normal from Palmer. The Ravens added Boldin and Houshmandzadeh. The Bengals brought on Terrell Owens and Jordan Shipley and already had Ochocinco.

RUNNING BACKS: Cedric Benson rushed for only 43 yards on 15 carries last week but he still had a rushing touchdown. More importantly, he ran for 117 yards and one score when the Ravens visited last year. He had 120 yards and a score in Baltimore. These Ravens seems better than that but even a reduced rushing total should have one touchdown.

LaDainian Tomlinson was having some success running the ball on these Ravens last Monday. He had 62 yards on just 11 carries. Benson may have a bigger day depending on whether the Ravens can score via the pass or not.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Grand Opening of the Ochocinco and Owens show had good fantasy results at least. Chad Ochocinco led the team with 12 catches for 159 yards and one score against the Pats though it came late in the already decided game. Terrell Owens had 13 targets just like Ochocinco but only came up with seven catches for 53 yards. The rookie Jordan Shipley was in the slot and came up with 82 yards on five catches.

Ochocinco turned in 66 yards on five catches against the Ravens last year. He had 94 yards as a visitor in Baltimore.

This time there are two more viable wide receivers for Palmer. The one score could end up anywhere but I will credit Ochocinco since it is the home opener and he'll want to "go first".

TIGHT ENDS: The rookie Jermaine Gresham has changed the Bengals. A team that had long ignored the position for receptions drafted a premier pass catching tight end out of college and he comes up with six catches for 25 yards and a score in his first game. With now four viable weapons, it will take some time for Palmer to sort out what he is most comfortable and what he is going to use less.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 3 15 3 9 19 32
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 1 11 3 4 27 21

WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR PHI at DET SEA at DEN JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL STL at OAK NYG at IND
  MIA at MIN KC at CLE NE at NYJ NO at SF
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