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 @NE 0000025021 **
Orto threw for 299 and 2 in the earlier meeting with New England, but he'd been in a bit of a slump until last week's 329 and 3 in Oakland. He'll catch the Patriots with nothing to play for, but he's still a bit of a risky fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 2007500000 ***
Jackson has scored in three of his last four against the Patriots, and four of his last six--including a rushing TD in the earlier meeting with New England. The risk is that the Bills know what they have in Jackson so they may give CJ Spiller some extra looks--but that's just one of the many risks you run with a Week 17 title game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3003200000 ***
Spiller returned to four carries for negative four yards last week in Oakland, along with four catches for 14 yards. But he actually has a decent track record in New England, topping 100 combo yards on each of his last three visits and scoring in two of his last four trips to Gillette Stadium. If the Bills opt to give him an audition to keep his job, he has a decent shot of carving out some fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 007701000 **
With Darrelle Revis all over Sammy Watkins, Woods paced the Bills in the earlier matchup with 7-78-1. Woods also scored last week, and they're likely to be playing catchup so another solid fantasy outing wouldn't surprise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NE 004500000 ***
Hogan has the distinct advantage of not drawing Darrelle Revis. He scored in the earlier matchup and is a viable option if New England's varsity corners stick around long enough to blanket Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NE 003300000 **
Watkins was shut down by Darrelle Revis in the earlier meeting, but with New England having locked up home field advantage Revis may make an early exit. You wanna hang your fantasy hat on that, go ahead.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004401000 ***
Chandler had his best game of the season, 105 yards, in the earlier meeting with New England. He scored last week and, given the strength of the Patriots' corners, is a viable alternative for Kyle Orton--and thus a fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 1122 ***
New England has allowed multiple field goals in five of their last six; Carpenter has kicked multiple field goals in five of his last seven. Expect an uptick over his two point performance against the Patriots earlier this season--maybe even a big one if Bill Belichick starts playing the JV sooner rather than later.

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 @MIA 20000016001 **
How Smith kept his job after 65 yards and no TDs against the Dolphins in the earlier meeting is one of life's great mysteries. His season has been largely devoid of fantasy help; no reason to think he breaks ranks here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @MIA 5001100000 ***
When Geno Smith is your quarterback, running the ball--a lot--is the offensive game plan of choice. Ivory carried 16 times for 62 yards in the earlier meeting with Miami; he's bound to see double-digit totes again, though he may wind up playing second-fiddle to Chris Johnson like he did the last time these teams met.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @MIA 4002100000 ***
Handing the ball to CJ?K 10-plus times a game is preferable to having Geno Smith throw on those plays, so expect Johnson to see double-digit touches for the fifth straight game; he's averaging around 65 yards per game, so if that helps your fantasy bottom line go ahead and give him a spin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @MIA 005500000 ***
Jets wideouts accounted for 26 receiving yards the last time they faced Miami. Decker's actually been decent since then with games of 89 and 100 yards, but banking on the Jets' passing game for productivity is a recipe for disaster regardless of opponent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @MIA 003200000 ***
The Jets can barely keep a WR1 satiated with stats; Kerley's a WR3 who could bump up to WR2 status if Percy Harvin can't play, but neither role gets him onto your fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ @MIA 002100000 ***
Jeff Cumberland has seen more action while Amaro battles injuries and adjustment to the NFL. He has the potential to be a helpful fantasy player--just not this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @MIA 3300 ***
Foles has multiple treys in three of his last four, including two in the earlier meeting with Miami. You trust Geno to get the Jets close, go ahead and rely on Folk for your fantasy squad.

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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