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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2010
CAR at PIT BAL at CLE TEN at KC *IND at OAK
*DAL at ARI DET at MIA SEA at TB NYG at GB
*NE at BUF *NYJ at CHI *MIN at PHI *SD at CIN
*UPDATED *SF at STL *WAS at JAC *HOU at DEN NO at ATL

Prediction: SD 30, CIN 14

Update: Chad Ochocinco has been held out the last two days of practice but is still expected to play. His ankle is an issue and I am downgrading him because of it. Malcom Floyd's hamstring has kept him out of practice and I am removing him from the projections since he is a risk to not play. Patrick Crayton is trying to return from his wrist injury and had a full day of practice on Friday but I am not adding him into the projections because he is still not a lock to play this week. Antonio Gates has not practiced but says he is not sure if he will play or not so no need to rely on him yet. It is unlikely and he would not be anywhere near 100% healthy anyway.

Update #2: Chad Ochocinco is questionable and may not play this week. I am removing him from the projections completely just because he would be a poor, ricky choice even if he did play. Antonio Gates has already been called out.

The Bengals ended their ten game losing streak but that's going to be a wrap for the season. The Chargers are still in the hunt for the playoffs but have to hope the Chiefs stumble to get there. This should be a cold game with a chance of snow showers. This is the late Sunday game.

San Diego Chargers (8-6)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC L 14-21 10 Bye -
2 JAC W 38-13 11 DEN W 35-14
3 @SEA L 20-27 12 @IND W 36-14
4 ARI W 41-10 13 OAK L 13-28
5 @OAK L 27-35 14 KC W 31-0
6 @STL L 17-20 15 SF W 34-7
7 NE L 20-23 16 @CIN --
8 TEN W 33-25 17 @DEN --
9 @HOU W 29-23 - - -
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 260,2
RB Ryan Mathews 50 10 -
RB Mike Tolbert 60,1 10 -
TE Randy McMichael - 50 -
WR Malcom Floyd - 50,1 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 90,1 -
WR Kelley Washington - 50,1 -
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Nothing wrong with the offense lately that has won the last two games by a total of 65-7 and that has been without Antonio Gates who has most likely played his last for the regular season anyway. The final two road trips will both see the Chargers favored and a 10-6 record for a team that started 2-5 is remarkable but it is probably not enough to get into the postseason.

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers remains as prolific as ever and has thrown for multiple scores in ten different games this year and only once failed to have at least one touchdown. He already has 29 touchdowns on the season and over half his games have totaled over 280 passing yards.

The Bengals seemingly rank well against the pass but that's mostly thanks to Jimmy Clausen, Seneca Wallace, Josh Freeman, Chad Henne and Mark Sanchez. The last three visitors to Cincy have all scored at least twice in their game along with healthy yardage. Start Rivers this week and expect to see at least good yardage and a couple of scores if not more.

RUNNING BACKS: For the last two weeks, Mike Tolbert and Ryan Mathews have exactly split the workload and ended with similar results. It's like taking the Tomlinson of old and breaking him down into two people. Sadly that doesn't nearly help fantasy leaguers as much as one super back.

The Bengals are about average against the run but in recent home games have allowed most opponents over 100 rushing yards along with a touchdown or two. The same breakdown here as the last two weeks is in order.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Good news, bad news for Vincent Jackson. His game last week - 5-112 and three touchdowns - showed he was still a force to reckon with and should command a heft price on the open market. The bad news is that the Chargers are probably going to slap a franchise tag on him and screw up everything he was hoping for. So far as this week is concerned - it is all good.

Malcom Floyd is expected back this week from his hamstring strain and I will tentatively pencil him into the projections as being healthy and update as needed. Legedu Naanee is back too but not being thrown any passes because Kelley Washington has been getting that action. Washington has around 50 yards in each of the last two games.

The Bengals have already allowed 11 touchdowns to visiting wideouts this year and the Chargers are probably going to be without Antonio Gates again so this unit will step up to fill the void. Have to like Jackson again this week and the second score could go anywhere.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates has sat out of practices and is not expected to play this or next week. That leaves Randy McMichael who has been a rather pronounced step down.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 4 4 13 2 8 13
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 13 26 15 25 30
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SD 3 9 13 13 17 17


Cincinnati Bengals (3-11)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NE L 24-38 10 @IND L 17-23
2 BAL W 15-10 11 BUF L 31-49
3 @CAR W 20-7 12 @NYJ L 10-26
4 @CLE L 20-23 13 NO L 30-34
5 TB L 21-24 14 @PIT L 7-23
6 Bye - 15 CLE W 19-17
7 @ATL L 32-39 16 SD --
8 MIA L 14-22 17 @BAL --
9 PIT L 21-27 - - -
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer - - 180,1
RB Cedric Benson 70,1 10 -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 30,1 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 40 -
WR Andre Caldwell - 50 -
WR Jordan Shipley - 60 -
PK Clint Stitser 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The win over the Browns was huge since it ended an embarrassing ten game losing streak but the team lost Terrell Owens and was maybe going to bench him anyway since "The Mouth That Roared" was at it again grousing about everything. Owens won't be back and neither will Chad Ochocinco. This could be a very different looking team in 2011 but then again - it may be no better.

QUARTERBACK: Carson Palmer was having a strong season but for the last four games has never thrown more than one touchdown if that. And his yardage has tended to remain at 200 yards or less. Owens is gone and Ochocinco is banged up and now the #1 pass defense shows up. No reason to consider Palmer as a starter this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Cedric Benson comes off his best effort of the year when he ran for 150 yards on 31 carries and scored once last Sunday. He credited the use of a fullback for the first time this year while perhaps pointing at a home game with the Browns should have also factored into the equation. Chances are the Bengals will want to run more if they can with injuries to the wide receivers but the Chargers have a better than average rushing defense that has only allowed three players to exceed 100 yards on them.

Benson has a shot at one touchdown this week but his yardage should remain only moderate and hidden in the results of last week was the first time they never used him as a receiver in a game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: With Terrell Owens done for the year, Andre Caldwell is will close out the season as the Bengals' starting flanker. He turned in four catches for 89 yards last week but that roughly equaled what he had totaled in all the games prior to Sunday. Chad Ochocinco continues to play but is bothered by his ankle and will have to under go arthroscopic ankle surgery this offseason. Ochocinco has only scored four times this year and not at all since week 11. Even less likely now that Owens is gone and all focus returns to Ochocinco.

The Chargers are #1 against wide receivers anyway so expect a minimal game here from the wideouts.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermaine Gresham has been pretty quiet in recent weeks but the loss of Owens should prompt the Bengals to turn more to the rookie again. Gresham has three scores on the season and now faces the only relative weakness in the Chargers secondary.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 18 28 8 26 18 28
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 1 11 1 21 2 26
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CIN -17 -17 -7 -5 -16 -2

WEEK 16
2010
CAR at PIT BAL at CLE TEN at KC IND at OAK
DAL at ARI DET at MIA SEA at TB NYG at GB
NE at BUF NYJ at CHI MIN at PHI SD at CIN
  SF at STL WAS at JAC HOU at DEN NO at ATL
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