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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 8
2011
* ARI at BAL * DET at DEN * MIN at CAR * SD at KC (mon)
* CIN at SEA IND at TEN * NE at PIT Bye Week
* CLE at SF * JAC at HOU * NO at STL ATL, CHI, GB
* Updated DAL at PHI * MIA at NYG WAS at BUF NYJ, OAK, TB

Prediction: CIN 23, SEA 13

Players to Watch: Bernard Scott, Doug Baldwin

Update: There is still a chance that Tarvaris Jackson plays this week so Whitehurst is not a safe start.

This is a tough game to call. The Bengals are 4-2 and 2-1 on the road playing very good defense. The Seahawks are 2-4 but always play better at home where their two games have been decided by three points or less. But these Bengals are better and the Seahawks are still smarting from a complete lack of offense in Cleveland.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 27-17 10 PIT -
2 @DEN 22-24 11 @BAL -
3 SF 8-13 12 CLE -
4 BUF 23-20 13 @PIT -
5 @JAC 30-20 14 HOU -
6 IND 27-17 15 @STL -
7 Bye - 16 ARI -
8 @SEA - 17 BAL -
9 @TEN -      
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton - - 240,2
RB Bernard Scott 50 10 -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 40,1 -
WR A.J. Green - 90,1 -
WR Jerome Simpson - 50 -
WR Andre Caldwell - 30 -
PK Mike Nugent 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: If the Bengals end up in the playoffs, they will have earned the trip with a very tough schedule left to play. But the offense has been posting solid points and the defense is quietly one of the better units in the league overall. This will be one of the softer games of the year but still hardly a gimmee.

QUARTERBACK: The Polish Rifle took over after week one and while he's not setting any records, he's been very promising in his performance on a rebuilding team that has very young receivers. Andy Dalton has passed for seven touchdowns against only five interceptions and has gelled nicely with rookie standout A. J. Green. Dalton has scored in all but one game but has been inconsistent in weekly yardage - as good as 332 yards and as small as 157 yards.

The Seahawks defense is about average against the pass but very good with the run. That should prompt Dalton to toss a couple of scores with decent yardage, especially with Benson out.

RUNNING BACKS: Cedric Benson was given a one game suspension and he is sitting out this week even though he the ruling on his unfair labor practice charge is not expected for a few more weeks. The Bengals rushing game has been less than productive anyway. All combined there have only been three rushing touchdowns and Benson logged two efforts over 100 rushing yards but all others were under 65 yards.

With Benson out, the Bengals will rely more on Bernard Scott but that is no hidden gem. Scott has rushed for 85 yards on 30 runs this year for an average of only 2.8 yards per carry. That's hardly worth banking heavily on Scott this week.

The Seahawks have been great against the run and not allowed any 100 yard rushers. Expect moderate yardage at best from Scott and likely no score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Typically rookie wideouts are of little fantasy value and offer no consistency. Not so for A.J. Green who has either gained 100 yards or scored or both in all but one game this year. Green is on a pace to end with 77 catches for 1208 yards and 16 touchdowns. Considering he is just a rookie on a rebuilding team that has a rookie quarterback - Green could be scary good for a long time to come. Jerome Simpson has yet to score a touchdown this year but he has topped 100 yards twice already and offers a nice complement to Green.

This should be a good venue for Green against a secondary that has allowed four touchdowns to the position over the last five games and three 100+ yard efforts in that time span. No other receiver has done much for the Bengals let alone on the road.

TIGHT ENDS: Unlike Simpson, Jermaine Gresham is lighter on yardage but has scored in three games including two of the last three. He has topped out at 70 yards in a game and generally stays between 20 and 50 yards but is a red zone target. Two of his three scores came in road games.

The Seahawks have not faced many decent receiving tight ends and Dalton likes to look for Gresham, particularly in road games. Look for decent yardage and a good shot at a touchdown this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 21 26 12 15 11 10
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 14 4 15 14 24 31


Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SF 17-33 10 BAL -
2 @PIT 0-24 11 @STL -
3 ARI 13-10 12 WAS -
4 ATL 28-30 13 PHI -
5 @NYG 36-25 14 STL -
6 Bye - 15 @CHI -
7 @CLE 3-6 16 SF -
8 CIN - 17 @ARI -
9 @DAL -      
Seahawks Report | Statistics | Roster
SEATTLE vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Charlie Whitehurst - - 170,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 40 20 -
WR Sidney Rice - 50 -
WR Doug Baldwin - 60,1 -
WR Ben Obamanu - 40 -
PK Steven Hauschka 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks were looking good wit their upset win in New York over the Giants but losing players on the offense has really dulled what was already a mediocre scoring-unit. The Seahawks are in a weaker division but the 49ers appear intent on winning so Seattle will not be reaching the post season with a losing record this year. They will have that same record, it just doesn't send you anywhere in January.

QUARTERBACK: The Seahawks finally discovered how to make Tarvaris Jackson seem like a desirable commodity - just start using Charlie Whitehurst. He only passed for 97 yards in Cleveland and competed just 12 of 30 passes. He was marginally better in New York against the Giants when he threw for 149 yards and one touchdown. Whitehurst was horrible in Cleveland completing just 12 of 30 passes. HC Pete Carroll says no change is imminent here if only because there is no one else any better to turn to.

The Bengals have only allowed two passing touchdowns over the last four games. Expect small yardage and no more than one touchdown pass if that even happens.

RUNNING BACKS: Marshawn Lynch was a scratch last week when he suffered back spasms late in pregame warm ups and was pulled from the game after inactives were turned in and fantasy leaguers could respond to it. His absence was replaced by the combination of Justin Forsett (8-23) and Leon Washington (7-39 rush, 4-10 receive). HC Pete Carroll said that Lynch had an issue with his back all year but had not been placed on the injury report and had played through it until last Sunday.

Lynch is determined to play this week but that won't be certain until later in the week. I will assume that Lynch can play and update if needed. Washington would get the start if Lynch is unable to play again. The Bengals have been good against the run allowing just one runner to top 100 yards but four rushers have scored on them. The Seahawks only have two touchdowns by a running back this year (both Lynch) and this is the worst set of tailbacks in the league. Do not expect much.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Now that defenses know that Sidney Rice is the one to cover, he has only managed back-to-back efforts of 38 yards in New York and Cleveland. Ignoring last week when all receivers did nothing, Doug Baldwin was on a two game streak with decent yardage and one score while Ben Obamanu had scored in each of the last two matchups.. Granted yardage is always light on this team but at least they were starting to score with the wide receivers.

The Bengals have only allowed two wideouts to score and both were the #2 for their team. Expect a lesser game again from Rice and a chance for a score between Baldwin and Obamanu. I'll credit Baldwin for a placeholder.

TIGHT ENDS: The Seahawks rarely use this position for more than one catch and have never thrown a score to a tight end. Zach Miller is still not cleared to practice from his concussion so ignore this for the week if not the entire season. No fantasy value here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 24 32 10 32 32 19
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 5 16 3 15 9 4

WEEK 8
2011
ARI at BAL DET at DEN MIN at CAR SD at KC (mon)
CIN at SEA IND at TEN NE at PIT Bye Week
CLE at SF JAC at HOU NO at STL ATL, CHI, GB
  DAL at PHI MIA at NYG WAS at BUF NYJ, OAK, TB

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