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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 16
2011
HOU at IND (thu) * JAC at TEN OAK at KC * STL at PIT
ARI at CIN MIA at NE * PHI at DAL TB at CAR
* CLE at BAL * MIN at WAS * SD at DET * CHI at GB
* UPDATED DEN at BUF * NYG at NYJ * SF at SEA * ATL at NO (mon)

Prediction: ARI 17, CIN 23

The Cardinals are 7-7 thanks to a four game winning streak but now hit the road where they have only been 2-5. The Bengals are 8-6 and 5-3 at home. The Cardinals at home are undeniably better but on the road have only beaten the Rams and upset the Eagles.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 28-21 10 @PHI 21-17
2 @WAS 21-22 11 @SF 7-23
3 @SEA 10-13 12 @STL 23-20
4 NYG 27-31 13 DAL 19-13
5 @MIN 10-34 14 SF 21-19
6 Bye - 15 CLE 20-17
7 PIT 20-32 16 @CIN -
8 @BAL 27-30 17 SEA -
9 STL 19-13 - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB John Skelton - - 230,2
RB Beanie Wells 50 - -
TE Todd Heap - 30 -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 80,1 -
WR Andre Roberts - 50 -
WR Early Doucet - 50,1 -
PK Jay Feely 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals have a chance at a .500 season by beating the visiting Seahawks in the season finale and if they could also manage a victory here it would make an impressive 9-7 season. The Cardinals are 6-1 since midseason thanks mostly to improved defensive play and John Skelton who has been even better than Kevin Kolb.

QUARTERBACK: Kevin Kolb was held out last week because of his concussion and may not return for this game as well. John Skelton has been at least as good as Kolb and likely better. His two games since Kolb went down were both over 280 passing yards and a total of four touchdowns. Those were at home though and the Bengals have been good against the pass and never allowed more than two scores against them.

Since the Bengals should contain Beanie Wells, expect a decent game from Skelton with good yardage and the chance for two touchdowns.

RUNNING BACKS: Beanie Wells continues to play on a sore knee and his stats show it. Wells has not rushed for more than 61 yards over the last three games which were all at home including only 51 yards on 15 runs versus the visiting Browns. He now heads into Cincy where the Bengals have not allowed more than 65 rushing yards to any runner this year and that included Frank Gore, Fred Jackson and Arian Foster.

Figure on an even worse showing for Wells this week and probably a limit of 15 carries if even that.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Larry Fitzgerald has been pretty consistent around 60 yards per game with the occasional big Sunday thrown in. He has scored seven times this year and five came in road efforts. He remains worthy of an every week start and has the best shot at a score of any Cardinals wideout. Andre Roberts caught a touchdown in each of the last two games but he's been a minimal factor in all road venues this season. Early Doucet has been a better scorer away from home but he also rarely has more than 50 yards in any game if that.

I like two scores and one or both ends up here but only Fitzgerald is worth a fantasy start.

TIGHT ENDS: Todd Heap has never scored this year but in recent weeks with Skelton has has produced 40 to 60 yards per game. All were at home though so temper expectations on even that marginal production.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 20 19 10 25 29 17
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 6 13 15 8 6 6


Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 27-17 10 PIT 17-24
2 @DEN 22-24 11 @BAL 24-31
3 SF 8-13 12 CLE 23-20
4 BUF 23-20 13 @PIT 7-35
5 @JAC 30-20 14 HOU 19-20
6 IND 27-17 15 @STL 20-13
7 Bye - 16 ARI -
8 @SEA 34-12 17 BAL -
9 @TEN 24-17      
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton - - 230,1
RB Cedric Benson 70,1 - -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 40 -
WR A.J. Green - 80 -
WR Jerome Simpson - 30,1 -
PK Mike Nugent 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bengals round out their season with two home games but week 17 against the Ravens will be a tough matchup as well as the Cards have the potential to be. The season winds down with both Andy Dalton and A.J. Green at least in the conversation for Rookie of the Year while Cedric Benson has to be playing out his final days as a Bengal.

QUARTERBACK: Andy Dalton is winding down his rookie season as a big success though his passing yardage has dipped below 200 per game for the last three weeks and he has only passed for just one score at most for the last five matchups. But he has 18 touchdowns in his first year against only 12 interceptions. He faces a Cardinals secondary that has been good against the pass only because they were busy allowing opponents to run so well in road matchups.

Dalton is a safe play for around 200 yards and one touchdown this week and pretty much every week. He could throw for two but it is a big risk to assume.

RUNNING BACKS: Cedric Benson chugs along in his one year contract and has to know his performance this year was mildly solid and of very little advantage for the Bengals. Be broke 100 yards only three times (two were CLE of course) and scored six times. He has a good chance for a score again this week since the Cards as visitors have allowed seven rushing touchdowns already. But Benson should maintain his moderate rushing stats and has to hope that Bernard Scott doesn't steal any more scoring opportunities as he did just last week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: A.J. Green has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 sprain of his right shoulder but played with the injury in the second half on Sunday. Still, he was held to just two short catches then but totaled 115 yards on six carries in the game. Green is expected to play this week and should not be too limited but will not be 100%. Green has been the only wideout for the Bengals worthy of a fantasy start all year and has five scores and three games over 100 yards.

Jerome Simpson has been locked under 40 yards in seven of the last eight games though he managed three short touchdowns in that time. Green would be a heavy favorite for a touchdown catch this week but his shoulder may be an issue. I'll credit the score to Simpson but that's mostly a placeholder.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermaine Gresham has scored five times this year but only once in the last five weeks and rarely has more than 50 yards in any game. He could be used more if Green proves limited but even then he's never been reliable for more than moderate yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 23 26 15 17 11 11
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 12 12 24 9 26 29

WEEK 16
2011
HOU at IND (thu) JAC at TEN OAK at KC STL at PIT
ARI at CIN MIA at NE PHI at DAL TB at CAR
CLE at BAL MIN at WAS SD at DET CHI at GB
  DEN at BUF NYG at NYJ SF at SEA ATL at NO (mon)

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