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 CLE 0000023020 ***
We know Orton can have his way with the Jets; that's no surprise. But maybe, just maybe he can have his way with the Browns as well, especially considering they've allowed multiple touchdown tosses in two straight and three of four, even to relatively nondescript QBs (Mike Glennon, Ryan Mallett, Matt Ryan).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF CLE 3004300000 ***
Jackson was healthy enough for about half the workload last week, so you'd think he can add to that workload--and his fantasy production--here. At minimum he's a good fantasy start against a softish Browns' run D; given a larger share, he's even more than that.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF CLE 400000000 ***
Dixon looks to be Buffalo's goal line guy, but the Browns are more about giving up yards than scores so that puts a crimp in Dixon's fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF CLE 2001100000 ***
Brown appears to be the Bills third wheel with Fred Jackson back, so even if Buffalo carves out some fantasy value for one or two backs he's on the outside looking in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF CLE 004501000 ***
Joe Haden has been playing better, but that hasn't prevented WR1s from putting up solid fantasy games four of the past five weeks. In other words, you can exhibit concern but no need to fear a Haden/Watkins matchup this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF CLE 006600000 ***
Hogan has been creeping up on Robert Woods' targets, but all that's doing is making both tough fantasy starts as there simply isn't enough passing game production to go around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF CLE 003500000 ***
Woods exploded last week against the Jets, but this is still Sammy Watkins' passing game; reaching deeper is a risky fantasy proposition at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF CLE 003300000 ***
The Browns haven't given up much to opposing tight ends this year, and with Chandler sharing looks with two other TEs he's a difficult at best fantasy start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF CLE 3322 ***
Carp's been consistently around 10 points per game over the past month; maybe dial it back a bit due to weather, but he's still a solid fantasy option here.

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 Michael Vick, NYJ MIA 30000017011 ***
Geno Smith will start at quarterback for the Jets this week. As if it even matters.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ MIA 5002100000 ***
Ivory is no longer the Jets' clear-cut go-to back; he essentially split carries with Chris Johnson last week and doesn't fit the mold of the few backs who have found success against Miami--namely, speed guys.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ MIA 3002100000 ***
Johnson has a couple solid outings against the Dolphins on his resume, though they came two and four years ago as a Texan. Given that the Dolphins just let CJ Anderson run all over them, there's a chance the Jets find a way to do the same with this CJ and/or Chris Ivory. Not a good chance, mind you, but a chance nonetheless.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ MIA 005501000 **
The Dolphins have given up some big WR outings; however there's a big difference between the likes of Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas catching passes from Matthew Stafford and Peyton Manning... and Decker trying to catch errant tosses from Geno Smith. Subdue your expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ MIA 004400000 ***
The advantage Harvin has is that there are ways to get him the ball that don't involve Geno Smith's accuracy. Whether the Jets go out of their way to do that here remains to be seen.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ MIA 002300000 ***
There's barely enough passing game productivity to feed one, maybe two wide receivers in New York. Kerley is running a distant third to Eric Decker and Percy Harvin, so there's no reason to think he'll be a fantasy factor here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ MIA 1111 ***
Folk has a total of 20 points over the past for games, kicking for an offense that hasn't topped 25 all year. Neither of those bode well for his fantasy prospects this week.

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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