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 Tyrod Taylor, BUF MIA 20100016000 *
Taylor (knee) will start if he is healthy. Check back Friday for more information. All signs point to him going. Even with Tom Brady's shoddy performance in Week 14, Miami remains dreadful against quarterbacks. This is the second-best matchup for Week 15, mostly fueled by this group giving up a touchdown pass every 9.5 completions (4th). Taylor has no weapons and must be avoided.

Update: Taylor is not on the final injury report.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF MIA 10012100000 ***
Shady faces Miami for the first time since last year's Week 16 home game when he ate them for lunch. The Dolphins have provided the second-most points to the position in the past five weeks, allowing 159.4 offensive yards (7th) and the second-most receptions a game (7.6). This is the fourth-best matchup for offensive scoring and No. 2 for PPR fantasy points gained.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, BUF MIA 004500000 ***
The Dolphins offer a harsh matchup, and Thompson shouldn't be on a fantasy roster at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Zay Jones, BUF MIA 002300000 ***
Jones has quarterback questions and a tough matchup. The Dolphins have given up the third-fewest catches to his position in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, BUF MIA 003300000 *
KB was limited Wednesday after aggravating his knee in Week 14. He has a chance to play.

Update: He was limited all week and is questionable. The big-bodied wideout has a solid enough matchup to flex him, but be sure to check the final inactives before committing a lineup spot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF MIA 003200000 ***
Clay has been non-existent since returning from his knee injury a month ago. The position offers far better choices for desperate owners. Miami is a great matchup, which makes Clay's downturn that much more unfortunate.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Hauschka, BUF MIA 2222 ***
This is a poor matchup for field goal opportunities but a top-five opponent for extra points. Overall, Miami is a fringe matchup and just midrange for potential points.

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 Bryce Petty, NYJ @NO 0000017012 *
Petty will replace Josh McCown (hand) at the Saints. There is zero justification for starting him in any conventional setup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bilal Powell, NYJ @NO 4004300000 *
Powell shouldn't be in any fantasy lineups this week. He has one touchdown in the past eight games, catching only four passes in his last four games. The Saints are formidable against his position, rating in the bottom half of the league in both scoring setups.

Update: Matt Forte didn't practice all week and is unlikely to play, making Powell a viable flex in deep leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, NYJ @NO 2003200000 *
There is little to like about the matchup. It's not good for receiving work in terms of volume, though two balls found the end zone. Since Week 9, the Saints have given up 120.4 offensive yards (20th) a game to RBs.

Update: Forte didn't practice all week and is unlikely to play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robby Anderson, NYJ @NO 003400000 *
Anderson's fine season appears poised to crash and burn when it matters most. The loss of quarterback Josh McCown means Bryce Petty will be the starter, and there's little incentive to chancing this one with the playoffs at stake. Play him if you must. New Orleans has been vulnerable of late to wideouts, though this defense has missed two of its key secondary members at times in the last five weeks to skew the stats in a negative way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, NYJ @NO 003300000 ***
Kearse faces a Saints defense that looks like a good matchup using recent data, but injuries hurt their cause. Now healthy, the secondary is trending in the stronger direction. Toss in Bryce Petty as Kearse's new starting quarterback and it's time to look elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ @NO 003201000 *
Tight ends have averaged a mere 3.5 catches (24th) for 42 yards (21st) against the Saints over the past five games. One in nine grabs made it into the end zone (14th). Bryce Petty replaces Josh McCown at quarterback for the Jets.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, NYJ @NO 1111 ***
No Josh McCown should stymie the offense's momentum. The Saints have allowed only 4.2 combined kicking tries per outing (19th).

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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