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 EJ Manuel, BUF MIA 20000020011 ***
Manuel missed both ends of last season's series with the Dolphins, and aside from a rushing score he did nothing last week against the Bears to suggest he warrants fantasy attention. Hey, if you want to back on the rushing score you go right ahead; odds are you have a better fantasy option at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF MIA 7015300000 ***
Spiller has had his chances against Miami, with three 20-plus carry games over the past two seasons (two while Fred Jackson was out of the lineup). And he's produced triple-digit combo yardage in all three, averaging 137 yards from scrimmage per game. But he hasn't scored. Spiller did find the end zone last week, but he's best used in a yardage-heavy format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF MIA 5004300000 ***
Jackson scored in both ends of last season's series with the Dolphins, and he's involved enough in everything the Bills do that he's a solid bet to get enough touches to reach the end zone again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF MIA 004500000 ***
The Bills haven't scored a WR TD or had a wideout top 70 receiving yards against the Dolphins since Week 15 of 2011. Woods hit the 70 mark against Miami last year and despite being benched in the preseason led the team in targets in the season opener. If you're forced to start a Bills wideout he's probably your best bet, but that's not saying much.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF MIA 004500000 **
Right now Watkins is all sunshine and upside, but he fell behind Robert Woods in the targets race in Week 1 and has done nothing to suggest he's anything more than a fantasy lottery ticket at this juncture of his career.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF MIA 003400000 ***
Tough for receiver depth to carve out fantasy value when EJ Manuel is your quarterback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF MIA 001100000 ***
Chandler is still looking for his first catch of 2014. History suggests he'll get it--and maybe another--against the Dolphins, but it won't amount to nearly enough to move the fantasy needle.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF MIA 3222 ***
Hell hath no fury like a kicker scorned: in two meetings with the team that kicked him to the curb Carpenter has kicked seven field goals and three PATs. He's coming off a multi-trey game last week and would love yet another opportunity to stick it to the Phins.

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 @GB 40000023012 ***
Dare we say Smith--23 of 28 for 221 and a TD, with 38 rushing yards to boot--was more Russell Wilson than Wilson was last week with 19-28-191-2 and 27 rushing yards against the Pack? Of course, that feels like a restrained line from Wilson and something approaching the high end of Geno's fantasy productivity; in other words, no need to go gettin' giddy about his fantasy prospects this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @GB 7015300000 ***
Despite reports to the contrary, CJ?K remains the lead back in Rex Ryan's committee. His 13 touches resulted in 91 yards and a touch in his Jets debut, a line that feels like it could be his usual in Gotham.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @GB 4001100000 ***
Ivory's 10-102-1 stat line is propped up by one well-blocked long TD run, but the Packers have run-stopping issues--especially in the interior, where Ivory handles the bulk of the work--so he's not a bad option if you're hunting for RB help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @GB 006701000 ***
As anticipated, Decker was Geno Smith's top target in his Jets debut. Expect that trend to continue, as he's clearly the team's best wideout, which puts him first in line for dibs on any passing game productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @GB 004500000 ***
Kerley's targets suggest he's settling into the Jets' WR2 role, though since we're not even sure there's enough productivity for one consistent fantasy receiver just yet he can't be started with any reasonable degree of certainty.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jeff Cumberland, NYJ @GB 003200000 ***
Pedestrian tight end churning out a mediocre stat line that with no bye weeks doesn't warrant much fantasy consideration? Check.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @GB 1122 ***
Doesn't feel like the Jets consistently put up enough points for their kicker to warrant serious fantasy consideration.

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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