FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) *IND at CHI *PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC JAC at MIN *PIT at DEN *WAS at NO
*BUF at NYJ *MIA at HOU *SEA at ARI *CIN at BAL (MON)
*UPDATED *CAR at TB *NE at TEN SF at GB *SD at OAK (MON)

Prediction: BUF 16, NYJ 20 (Line: NYJ by 3)

Players Updated: Steve Johnson, Dustin Keller

Players to Watch: Fred Jackson, Santonio Holmes, TIM TEBOW!

These teams both finished 6-10 on the season and yet the Jets swept the Bills 28-24 at home and 27-11 in Buffalo. The Jets have won seven of the last eight meetings and five straight currently. Preseason had the Jets unable to score a touchdown until the final game but that was just preseason and the Bills were nothing special either. Played in New York is the key to the Jets getting off to a winning start.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ ----- 10 @NE -----
2 KC ----- 11 MIA -----
3 @CLE ----- 12 @IND -----
4 NE ----- 13 JAC -----
5 @SF ----- 14 STL -----
6 @ARI ----- 15 SEA -----
7 TEN ----- 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Bills started last year on a very strong note with Ryan Fitzpatrick racking up multiple touchdown games but by midseason it all took a downward turn. The passing game no longer was as effective and by several accounts defenses had figured out the Bills. It certainly looked like it with the Bills 5-2 after seven games but only 1-8 the rest of the way.

Fred Jackson had the rare breakout season at the age of 30 when he was rolling up touchdowns and 100 yard games but then he fractured his fibula in week 11. C.J. Spiller was a total bust up to that point but finished the season with four games over 100 total yards and a score in each. Now that Jackson has returned and signed a new two-year agreement at the age of 31, the plan is to form yet another committee with he and Spiller. Notable was that Spiller never was successful until Jackson was gone. In all other games, Jackson always showed up Spiller so badly that the Bills just treated him as a relief player and allowed Fred to take the workload. How that works out this year is worth seeing because Jackson was truly a great back when left alone.

Stevie Johnson started the year well but then stumbled most of the rest of season before posting some good efforts against AFC West teams that he will not face this year. Johnson has back-to-back seasons of 1000 yards. David Nelson (61-658-5) was a consistent contributor but only for around 50 yards in most games. Donald Jones also starts and has won the #2 role for now. He missed the final six games last year with a sprained ankle and only had one game of any note. Overall - not an exciting group that play in a scheme that opponents have apparently figured out. Johnson remains the only real fantasy play here.

Tight end Scott Chandler was the week one darling of 2011 when he caught two touchdowns and gained 63 yards in the season opener. Scored once in the next two games. Then became a 30 yard player with no scores in all but one remaining game. No reason for now to assume that he'll be anything more than last year.

Remember the Bills of late 2011. They are still all the same players and scheme.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 16 8 8 24 18 5
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 11 11 26 14 24 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kyle Orton, BUF @OAK 0000019011 ***
We've seen nothing from Orton of late--one multi-TD game in his last six outings--to suggest he warrants a fantasy play here, even in a reasonably compelling matchup with the Raiders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @OAK 6016500000 ***
While you can run on the Raiders, and the Bills and Jackson most certainly will, where they're particularly susceptible is to pass-catching backs. Fred has 19 catches in the four games since he returned to action; that coupled with his carries makes him a good fantasy start that elevates to great in PPR formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF @OAK 2001100000 ***
Dixon's role never really materialized when the Bills were down a couple backs; now that Fred Jackson and potentially CJ Spiller are back, he's persona non grata.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF @OAK 200000000 ***
Complementary backs have done next to nothing since the return of Fred Jackson, and it will take garbage time for Brown to see enough touches to have a fantasy impact. But it's Oakland, so we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @OAK 003500000 ***
Woods has had a couple big games against the Jets, but that just puts him in the big pile of "receivers with a pulse". With Kyle Orton's subdued numbers there's likely room for just one fantasy impact player among Buffalo's receivers--and Sammy Watkins has that covered.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @OAK 004400000 ***
Two of the three 100-yard games the Raiders have given up to opposing wide receivers have gone to speed guys (Malcom Floyd, Stedman Bailey). Watkins is most certainly a speed guy, not to mention the Bills' top target--and the best bet for fantasy success in the Buffalo passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @OAK 003201000 **
The Raiders have given up five TE TDs in the past six games so don't dismiss Chandler out of hand. But he has one TD in the past six games, so he's far from a lock.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @OAK 1133 ****
Carpenter has double-digits in two of the past three and at least seven points in six of the past seven--numbers sure to be equaled or exceeded against an Oakland defense that's allowed at least seven kicker points in 13 of 14 games, and double-digit points six times already.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF ----- 10 @SEA -----
2 @PIT ----- 11 @STL -----
3 @MIA ----- 12 NE -----
4 SF ----- 13 ARI -----
5 HOU ----- 14 @JAC -----
6 IND ----- 15 @TEN -----
7 @NE ----- 16 SD -----
8 MIA ----- 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Jets spent the offseason doing little more than dumping veteran wide receivers and acquiring Tim Tebow so that the New York press always had a default story every day. But the offense is looking lethargic and even changing offensive coordinators to Tony Sparano has not sparked any changes. Then again, Sparano comes from a background of run-heavy attacks that use committee backfields. That is one of two problems here.

Problem one is the quarterback situation where acquiring Tebow means the fans will be constantly calling for him in every game gone bad. Mark Sanchez rarely threw for much yardage last year but he did have at least one score in almost every game. He even posted 180 yards and four scores when the Bills showed up in week 12 last year right after they had lost Fred Jackson. Tebow assumedly plays in wildcat packages but from a fantasy standpoint it is just a mess that apparently is not working well anyway.

The Jets continue to believe that Shonn Greene is the answer at running back despite his marginal success. He remained healthy all last year and still only produced 1054 rushing yards and a career best six touchdowns. The plan is to be more physical with the run game which is only more of the same as it was under Brian Schottenheimer and with the same plodding back. With LaDainian Tomlinson gone, Bilal Powell has won the #2 job and will be the third down back. His best characteristic is that he's not Shonn Greene but he's also a bit undersized for a power rushing scheme since he is just 5'10" and 204 pounds.

The new offensive scheme has done little to the passing effort other than likely de-emphasizing Dustin Keller. Santonio Holmes should be the star here if only because only second year player Jeremy Kerley and rookie Stephen Hill are also starting. Hill has a lot of promise but is raw. Holmes has just not looked good this summer even though he should be a star compared to the rest. It is a bad sign for the season because the Jets are otherwise relying on Shonn Greene to be so much more than he has ever been.

That all said, the Jets have always beat the Bills in recent years. Even with a struggling offense, the Jets can take this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 4 10 3 17 23 32
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 21 29 9 32 15 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ NE 30000020011 ***
Geno hasn't been a fantasy helper all year, and with something similar to the 226 and 1 he posted on the Patriots earlier this season he's unlikely to start now.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ NE 801000000 ***
The Jets are still solid against opposing running backs; they haven't allowed an RB TD since Week 9. But big backs who get carries--like Ivory himself, who put up 21-107-1 in the earlier meeting with the Jets--have tended to have success against the Jets. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ NE 5002100000 ***
CJ?K has essentially split carries with Chris Ivory over the past two weeks. New England's not a defense prone to give up much more than the minimum, but there's some opportunities for a fresh CJ?K, especially against some pretty tired-looking defenders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ NE 006701000 ***
Decker is housing all the targets, what with a hurt Harvin and really no alternative. It's a nice gig if you can get it, one that certainly helps pad a college resume.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ NE 2002200000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ NE 004300000 ***
Bottom line, with so little going on in the Jets' passing game there's no reason to look behind Decker and (when healthy) Amaro for fantasy contributions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ NE 003200000 ***
Amaro is a big target with a ton of potential, a word that means "talented but hasn't actually done anything yet." You should have better options at your disposal.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ NE 1122 ***
Only occasionally does Folk kick in a fantasy contribution, though the fact he did so with 13 against the Patriots earlier this year warrants mention. As does the fact that AFC East kickers have multiple treys in three of four against the Patriots, as opposed to just half (five of 10) of non-divisional kickers.

WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) IND at CHI PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC JAC at MIN PIT at DEN WAS at NO
BUF at NYJ MIA at HOU SEA at ARI CIN at BAL (MON)
  CAR at TB NE at TEN SF at GB SD at OAK (MON)

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