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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 4
2011
* ATL at SEA * DET at DAL * NO at JAC * SF at PHI
BUF at CIN * MIA at SD * NYG at ARI * TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL * WAS at STL
* UPDATED * DEN at GB * NE at OAK PIT at HOU * IND at TB (mon)

Prediction: TEN 20, CLE 16

Players to Watch: Jared Cook, Montario Hardesty

Update: Mohamed Massaquoi has been limited in all practices because of his ankle and is considered questionable though he has not been ruled out. He will likely play but be limited and is not a safe play this week. Peyton Hillis has been in all practices and will start.

The Titans are 2-1 thanks mostly to Matt Hasselbeck but hit the road where they are 0-1. The Browns are 2-1 and remain home after beating the Dolphins. This has an excellent chance of being the lowest scoring game of the weekend.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC 14-16 10 @CAR -
2 BAL 26-13 11 @ATL -
3 DEN 17-14 12 TB -
4 @CLE - 13 @BUF -
5 @PIT - 14 NO -
6 Bye - 15 @IND -
7 HOU - 16 JAC -
8 IND - 17 @HOU -
9 CIN -      
Titans Report | Statistics | Roster
TENNESSEE at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 270, 2
RB Chris Johnson 40 30 -
TE Jared Cook - 30,1 -
WR Damian Williams - 40 -
WR Nate Washington - 100,1 -
WR Lavelle Hawkins - 40 -
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Titans have managed to win twice without almost any help from Chris Johnson who apparently sat on his wallet and got a deep bruise in his buttocks. Problem though is that now Kenny Britt is gone and with him the biggest chunk of the passing game as well as all the touchdowns from the first two weeks. Someone will fill in for him but no one is going to replace him. With the rushing game an embarrassment, the Titans need to find something that works fast before the season takes a nasty turn.

QUARTERBACK: Apparently Matt Hasselbeck wasn't quite as washed up as was thought in Seattle. He has thrown for at least one score per game and never less than 263 passing yards. He has five touchdowns against only two interceptions and is playing very much like the savvy veteran quarterback everyone thinks they are hiring and that so rarely shows up this well. There may be no person to replace Britt, but Hasselbeck will try to make a couple of guys combine for the same effect.

The Browns have allowed at least one passing score in every game though the yardage has been moderate. Then again, Bruce Gradkowski, Kerry Collins and Chad Henne are not exactly considered elite.

RUNNING BACKS: It certainly does not make a case for holding out and getting paid. Chris Johnson has been so anemic as a runner that he would be cut from the team were this his only body of work. Johnson played against the visiting Broncos and could only manage 21 yards on 13 carries? This should have been a nice matchup for Johnson in previous years since the Browns have allowed well over 100 rushing yards per opponent but nothing so far says that Johnson is turning a corner soon. An undrafted free agent can be pulled from the stands and run better than Johnson has.

Javon Ringer is going to figure in to some measure and he even had the touchdown last week. The only saving grace of Johnson has been last week when he caught four passes for 54 yards. I'll project for just Johnson but he will not be alone.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Kenny Britt has a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season. He was on a roll for those first two weeks with apparently his first real quarterback. Now Nate Washington is the clear #1 receiver and the void left behind by Britt will be up for grabs between Lavelle Hawkins and Damian Williams. Until there is any clarity, only Washington has fantasy value and it gets a nice shot in the arm with the departure of Britt. Washington was already cranking out 90 yard games lately.

TIGHT ENDS: There had been precious little value in the tight ends but the loss of Britt has prompted HC Mike Munchak to say he was considering using Jared Cook more in multiple receiver sets. Cook was a preseason sleeper to some that never panned out. That could happen now. He's worth tracking this week since the Titans have to throw the ball to get down the field. The Browns are weaker against the position and have allowed both Jermaine Gresham (6-58) and Dallas Clark (4-32) to score touchdowns.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 11 30 8 18 20 23
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 6 21 4 18 32 1


Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 17-27 10 STL -
2 @IND 27-19 11 JAC -
3 MIA 17-16 12 @CIN -
4 TEN - 13 BAL -
5 Bye - 14 @PIT -
6 @OAK - 15 @ARI -
7 SEA - 16 @BAL -
8 @SF - 17 PIT -
9 @HOU -      
Browns Report | Statistics | Roster
CLEVELAND vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Colt McCoy 10 - 210,1
RB Peyton Hillis 50 30 -
TE Ben Watson - 50 -
TE Evan Moore - 10 -
WR Mohamed Massaquoi - 40,1 -
PK Phil Dawson 3 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Browns offense took a hit last week when Peyton Hillis was too sick to play but Montario Hardesty filled in just as well if not better. The offense is still challenged to score much and the two wins were over teams that are both 0-3 on the season. The offense seems stuck in second gear with a passing game that is adequate and yet never really good. A bye week awaits after this game and then a tough stretch of three road games over the next four matchups.

QUARTERBACK: The schedule has been fairly light but at least Colt McCoy is treating every game the same. He has spent the last three weeks throwing for 213, 211 and 210 yards. Now there is consistency. Maybe not a productive consistency but still McCoy has been amazingly the same every week with either two scores at home or one score in road games.

The Titans have not allowed more than 197 passing yards so far or more than two scores so McCoy's self-imposed ceiling should remain intact.

RUNNING BACKS: Peyton Hillis was unable to play last week because of strep throat and in his place, Montario Hardesty got his first start a year later than he expected. He was impressive, rushing for 67 yards on 14 carries and adding 19 yards on three receptions against the Dolphins. Hardesty did well enough that the expectation is that he will mix in to some measure with Hillis who should be back this week.

I will update Hillis status if necessary.

Aside from the Colts game, the Browns have not been rolling up big rushing yards or scores so splitting anything would really hurt the fantasy value of Hillis. The Titans are also decent against the run and have only allowed one rushing touchdown and only Maurice Jones-Drew had more than 52 rushing yards on the Titans. Expect Hillis to come up shorter than normal in rushing yards but to tack on some receptions. So far he has been lighter on those than last season though, with only ten catches for 53 yards in his first two games.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This remains a fantasy wasteland. There has only been once that any wideout gained more than 49 yards in any game and Mohamed Massaquoi is the lead receiver with only eight catches for 148 yards and one touchdown over three games. The Browns will use four of them in a game but they merely divide what little comes to them. No real fantasy value here and nothing reliable.

TIGHT ENDS: The better value - and marginally so - is with the tight ends but even then the Browns split the workload up so that Evan Moore gets just the touchdown passes in the endzone and Ben Watson takes mostly all the infield catches. The Titans have been tough on tight ends so far thought they have not met any truly productive ones. Watson is a marginal weekly play and nothing more. Moore is just hoping his one catch is a score. Watson has averaged about 50 yards per game when at home.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 24 22 28 3 22 21
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 2 17 2 4 7 4

WEEK 4
2011
ATL at SEA DET at DAL NO at JAC SF at PHI
BUF at CIN MIA at SD NYG at ARI TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL WAS at STL
  DEN at GB NE at OAK PIT at HOU IND at TB (mon)

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