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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 9
2011
* ATL at IND * DEN at OAK * NYJ at BUF TB at NO
* BAL at PIT * GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN * MIA at KC * SF at WAS Bye Week
* Updated * CLE at HOU * NYG at NE * STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

Prediction: BAL 17, PIT 23

Update: Emmanuel Sanders has been counted out this week because of his knee and has been removed from the projections. Hines Ward has been limited this week and is listed as questionable but is expected to play.

This is one of the games of the week. The Ravens slaughtered the visiting Steelers in the season opener 35-7 but now hit the road where they are only 1-2. The Steelers are atop the AFC North at 6-2 and are 4-0 at home. The Ravens are 5-2 and a loss here means they drop back two games but a win ties them for the division. The Steelers have been playing better though and so far - the Ravens are very different on the road.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 35-7 10 @SEA -
2 @TEN 13-26 11 CIN -
3 @STL 37-7 12 SF -
4 NYJ 34-17 13 @CLE -
5 Bye - 14 IND -
6 HOU 29-14 15 @SD -
7 @JAC 7-9 16 CLE -
8 ARI 30-27 17 @CIN -
9 @PIT -   - -
Ravens Report | Statistics | Roster
BALTIMORE at PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco - - 210,1
RB Ray Rice 50,1 60 -
TE Ed Dickson - 40 -
WR Anquan Boldin - 40,1 -
WR Torrey Smith - 50 -
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Ravens squeaked past the Cards last week likely because they were looking forward to this critical matchup. There is no debate - the Ravens are great at home where most wins are by two touchdowns but on the road the only win has been against the Rams which doesn't really even count. The Ravens were dominant in week one but this time around could be all different.

QUARTERBACK: Joe Flacco turned in 224 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener in Baltimore. He had one other big game like that - in St. Louis of course. But the other five games have only totaled two passing scores. Flacco passed for plenty of yards at home but his last two road games only resulted in 137 and 197 yards. The Steelers secondary has been much better since the season opener and allowed just four touchdowns from their four visitors. Consider this - Tom Brady just left there with only 198 yards and two scores.

RUNNING BACKS: Ray Rice gained 107 yards and a score on 19 runs against the Steelers in week one. He added 42 yards and a touchdown on his four catches as well. Consider that Rice has scored seven times this year but on the road has no rushing touchdowns and just one as a receiver back in week two. Rice is always going to produce the yardage in total but this week should end up with more as a receiver. While his past stats do not really support it, I am giving him a touchdown. It seems more likely than two scores by Flacco.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The only thing interesting here is that the Ravens really have little success with their wide receivers. Torrey Smith had one big game against the Rams and then marginal yardage since. Anquan Boldin had two monster yardage games and both were at home. Boldin has averaged about 50 yards per game away from Baltimore. The one passing score is going to end up here with Boldin or with a tight end. The Steelers have allowed a wideout to score in the last two home games.

Boldin caught four passes for 74 yards and one score on the Steelers in week one while no other wide out had any catches.

TIGHT ENDS: The Ravens have only thrown one touchdown to their tight ends this year but at least Ed Dickson has been good for 30 or 40 yards in most games. He should end up as a factor this week.

Dickinson scored one on his five catches for 59 yards in the season opener.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 19 7 28 11 1 1
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 4 13 4 13 1 18


Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 7-35 10 @CIN -
2 SEA 24-0 11 Bye -
3 @IND 23-20 12 @KC -
4 @HOU 10-17 13 CIN -
5 TEN 38-17 14 CLE -
6 JAC 17-13 15 @SF -
7 @ARI 32-20 16 STL -
8 NE 25-17 17 @CLE -
9 BAL -      
Steelers Report | Statistics | Roster
PITTSBURGH vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger - - 240,2
RB Rashard Mendenhall 60 - -
TE Heath Miller - 20 -
WR Antonio Brown - 80,1 -
WR Emmanuel Sanders - 30,1 -
WR Mike Wallace - 90,1 -
PK Shaun Suisham 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Steelers are on a four game winning streak and have not lost at home even when the Patriots came calling last Sunday. That season opener was a definite aberration for the defense that has never allowed more than 17 points in any home game and the offense is showing new life in recent weeks. The Steelers took it on the chin in the opener but have a chance for sweet revenge this week.

QUARTERBACK: Ben Roethlisberger only scored once and gained 280 yards in Baltimore earlier this year. He's been much better in recent weeks but the Ravens still have never allowed more than one passing touchdown in any game. But realistically their road games were against Matt Hasselbeck (358 yards), Sam Bradford (166) and Blaine Gabbert (93). Big Ben should end up with a decent showing here in yardage with a good chance for two scores.

RUNNING BACKS: Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 45 yards 12 runs in Baltimore. He's been only marginally better in games since and has just one effort that has exceeded 70 rushing yards even at home. He has nearly no role as a receiver but has rushed in three touchdowns. The Ravens remain a top rushing defense that has only given up two touchdowns to running backs.

Expect Mendenhall to have his normal marginal yardage. There is a chance for one score but not enough to rely on it happening.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mike Wallace caught eight receptions for 107 yards in Baltimore and has been rock solid every week. The worst he has ever been is 70 yards and he has five touchdowns on the season. Wallace surprisingly did not score on the Patriots but had three straight touchdown games prior to that one. Emmanuel Sanders had the lone receiving score in the season opener and only once since - he's been a minor player in almost every game. Antonio Brown has been improving in recent weeks and scored on the Patriots for his first NFL touchdown. Hines Ward has been out with a bad ankle.

The Ravens remain rock solid in the secondary but have allowed four different wideouts to post around 100 yards and five have scored on them. I like at least one passing score to end up here if not both. Wallace is a lock to start every week but the other score is mainly a placeholder.

TIGHT ENDS: Heath Miller gained 42 yards on three catches in the season opener against the Ravens but has been never much better than that. The Ravens have never allowed a touchdown to a tight end this year or any one with more than the 42 yards that Miller gained.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 9 24 2 16 18 30
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 2 2 14 1 8 28

WEEK 9
2011
ATL at IND DEN at OAK NYJ at BUF TB at NO
BAL at PIT GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN MIA at KC SF at WAS Bye Week
  CLE at HOU NYG at NE STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

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