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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND * JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN * DAL at SF * KC at DET SEA at PIT
* CHI at NO GB at CAR * OAK at BUF TB at MIN
*updated * CIN at DEN * HOU at MIA PHI at ATL * STL at NYG (mon)

Prediction: CIN 20, DEN 23

Players to Watch: Daniel Fells, Jermaine Gresham

Update: Brandon Lloyd is questionable to play with his groin injury that held him out of practices on Wednesday and Thursday. He had limited work on Friday but the Broncos are not releasing any more information about his status. He will likely be a game time decision and won't likely be 100% even if he does play. I am lowering his projections because of the risk and check the inactives first before you risk him as a start.

The Bengals come off a nice upset in Cleveland where both sides of the ball went well. Starting a rookie quarterback gave way to Bruce Gradkowski because of injury but Andy Dalton should be back. The Broncos lost to the Raiders on Monday night but remain at home loaded with injured players. This is going to be a very, very messy game that could take a number of different paths. The Bengals were two lucky plays from losing 13-17 last week. The only helpful gauge here is that the Bengals were only 1-7 in road games last year and the Broncos were 3-5 at home.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 27-17 10 PIT -
2 @DEN - 11 @BAL -
3 SF - 12 CLE -
4 BUF - 13 @PIT -
5 @JAC - 14 HOU -
6 IND - 15 @STL -
7 Bye - 16 ARI -
8 @SEA - 17 BAL -
9 @TEN -      
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton - - 170,1
RB Cedric Benson 90,1 10 -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 50,1 -
WR A.J. Green - 40 -
WR Jerome Simpson - 40 -
WR Jordan Shipley - 20 -
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bengals enjoyed a nice fourth quarter last week to win the game when the Browns left the rookie A.J. Green uncovered for a touchdown and later Cedric Benson squirted through on a short yardage run and went 39 yards for a touchdown. The limited play of the rookie quarterback was somewhat encouraging though but this team still has a long way to go to know what they can be. Opening with two road games is no help.

QUARTERBACK: The rookie Andy Dalton completed 10 of 15 for 81 yards and touchdown last week before injuring his wrist. He is believed to only have a forearm contusion and was better after the game but will go in for an MRI to make sure all is well. I will assume that Dalton starts again this week and update as warranted. Bruce Gradkowski subbed for him last week but was not as impressive. Dalton has skills, the only question is how long is learning curve will be.

The Broncos pass defense was sound on Monday night but it was only the Raiders visiting. Plus Champ Bailey has a hamstring strain that will help.

RUNNING BACKS: The box score shows an impressive 121 yards on 25 carries and one score by Cedric Benson last week but that was more like 24 carries for 84 yards and a 3.4 yard per carry average. And one lucky pop through the line that netted him a 39-yard touchdown at the end of the game. Benson is no different than he has been but he had the one good play. And this week he faces a notoriously bad rush defense in Denver so after two weeks, you might be able to sell Benson for something good that will last. This should be a decent showing by Benson and he might pop one again.

Oh yes, and the annual " we have to use Bernard Scott more" plan resulted in four carries for three yards. See ya again next year!

WIDE RECEIVERS: There was nothing impressive here. The prized rookie A.J. Green had only one catch but it went for a 41-yard touchdown when the Bengals went with a quick snap and the Browns did not cover him. And that came from Gradkowski, not Dalton. Jerome Simpson led the wideouts with only four catches for 44 yards and Jordan Shipley ended with one catch for a net loss of one yard. There are no fantasy starters in this group for now and Green may not be relevant until next year depending on the development of Dalton.

Pass defense is the better part of the Denver defense. Keep expectations low.

TIGHT ENDS: The lone star of the receiving corps was Jermaine Gresham who had a team high six receptions for 58 yards and one score. And that touchdown came from Dalton who has taken a shine to his talented tight end. Worth watching here because the rest of the receivers are not stepping up yet and Gresham could be in store for a big year as the #1 outlet.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 23 10 22 11 9 23
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 8 29 3 3 30 22


Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK 20-23 10 @KC -
2 CIN - 11 NYJ -
3 @TEN - 12 @SD -
4 @GB - 13 @MIN -
5 SD - 14 CHI -
6 Bye - 15 NE -
7 @MIA - 16 @BUF -
8 DET - 17 KC -
9 @OAK -      
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 290,2
RB Willis McGahee 40 40 -
TE Daniel Fells - 40,1 -
WR Eric Decker - 70,1 -
WR Eddie Royal - 50 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 40 -
PK Matt Prater 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Broncos always have problems with the Raiders and the installation of the new offense is hardly complete yet. The Broncos were also slapped by numerous injuries that will impact this game as well. When Kyle Orton could not get the job done, the crowd starting chanting for #3 QB Tim Tebow and in post game interviews, HC John Fox ignored all Tebow questions. Fox needs to get a win this week because if may be a long time before he has an opportunity this good. Like maybe week 17.

QUARTERBACK: The fantasy stats were still okay on Monday night with Kyle Orton passing for 304 yards and one score but he was sacked five times and had a lost fumble and interception. He went right back to relying on Brandon Lloyd with success but no other receiver did much. Orton is going to have a "Tebow Monkey" on his back all season long until the Broncos start winning games.

At home, Orton should see success passing this week against a weaker Bengals secondary that gave up two scores to the Browns. That is assuming that Lloyd is healthy. If Moreno is out, then Orton has to throw even more this week.

RUNNING BACKS: The Broncos had nearly no rushing game last week with only 25 yards on 12 runs from the backfield. This is hardly the return to a power rushing attack that HC John Fox wants. This does look like why the Broncos passed so much last year. Knowshon Moreno pulled a hamstring and will have a MRI done. It looked like it was a more than a slight strain so I will assume Moreno cannot play and update as warranted.

That means that Willis McGahee will be the primary runner after he gained three yards on four runs last week. He did supply five catches for 32 yards which will be more critical this week but McGahee has lost a step and is not the back he once was. Lance Ball will likely join in to help replace Moreno.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brandon Lloyd injured his groin in the fourth quarter last week but says it was not significant. I will assume he plays and he will be very critical here since he had a team high 11 targets that he turned into 89 yards on six receptions. Eddie Royal was targeted six times but only ended up with two receptions for 33 yards while Eric Decker manned the slot for 53 yards on three carries.

The Broncos need a healthy Lloyd here. His status could be a game changer.

TIGHT ENDS: Notable is that the new offense relied on Daniel Fells for six targets that he turned into three catches for 32 yards. The Bengals gave up two scores to the tight ends of Cleveland along with 80 yards on six catches so Fells is a definite player of interest on this offense this week. Fox wants a more traditional offense so Fells could be a surprise player in this scheme.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 17 16 21 26 14 13
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 14 8 5 31 11 10

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN DAL at SF KC at DET SEA at PIT
CHI at NO GB at CAR OAK at BUF TB at MIN
  CIN at DEN HOU at MIA PHI at ATL STL at NYG (mon)

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