FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: ARI 13, NE 37 (Line: NE by 14)

Players to watch: Andre Roberts, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd

The Cardinals come off their close win over the visiting Seahawks and hit the road where they were only 2-6 last season. The Patriots drummed the Titans in Tennessee last week and back at home they almost never lose. The only question here is how big the win will be and how many points they allow the Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE ----- 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI ----- 12 STL -----
4 MIA ----- 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL ----- 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF ----- 15 DET -----
7 @MIN ----- 16 CHI -----
8 SF ----- 17 @SF -----
9 @GB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 270,2
RB Chris Johnson 40 7-50
WR Larry Fitzgerald 6-90,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 6-60,1

Pregame Notes: Nothing like having a quarterback competition and after deciding the winner between two quarterbacks that you already knew, that one gets hurt in the first game. John Skelton has an ankle sprain that is not believed to be of the "high" variety. He's hoped to only need a few weeks but regardless the start goes over to Kevin Kolb for this game. There is a decent chance that the Cardinals play musical quarterbacks for the rest of the season anyway.

Facing the Seahawks great rushing defense really put the clamps on the running backs so we don't really know what to expect this year. Beanie Wells ran seven times for only 14 yards and Ryan Williams first playing time only produced nine yards on eight carries. There was an even split between the two main backs and then LaRod Stephens-Howling actually ran in the touchdown just to make it all even worse. Ongoing this will remain the Wells and Williams show, with their split determined by game time success. The problem this week is that they face another great rushing defense what equally shut down Chris Johnson only this week the game is played in New England. Not a good thing and hold judgment about the backfield at least until home games against the Eagles and Dolphins. It is a tough schedule for the Cardinals and the impact is not something you can ignore.

Larry Fitzgerald was targeted a team high 11 times with four receptions for 63 yards but Andre Roberts is one to watch since he had nine passes directed towards him and ended with 54 yards and one score on five receptions. Early Doucet (3-37) played the #3 with the rookie Michael Floyd only thrown one pass that he failed to catch.

As with most every year, the use of the tight end is always suggested and yet rarely happens. Todd Heap only accounted for three catches and 32 yards which may be a high side for him.

The Cards face the Patriots defense that is going to shut down the run - make no mistake. How well they can defend the pass is the question and last season they were always among the worse. In Tennessee, they held the Titans to a combined 272 passing yards and one score. That bodes a bit better for the receivers..

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 26 26 16 21 17 15
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 14 12 13 14 15 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Palmer, ARI @MIA 0000025022 ***
Miami was throttled by Joe Flacco last week, leaving the Dolphins as the fourth most generous defense in the last five weeks for quarterbacks. The position has allowed a touchdown every 11.4 completions (12th) and 270.8 aerial yards per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB David Johnson, ARI @MIA 7008801000 ***
Johnson's march continues, this week in Miami, where he faces fantasy's sixth softest matchup. The Dolphins have allowed five offensive touchdowns in as many games of late, giving up the seventh most receptions a game to RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @MIA 007600000 ***
Miami has allowed receivers to average 12.8 catches (15th) for 160.2 yards (12th) per game since Week 8, scoring four times on 64 catches (25th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @MIA 002300000 ***
Floyd is impossibly frustrating to deal with in fantasy. The matchup is mediocre, which lowers the incentive to consider him a good deal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, ARI @MIA 004401000 ***
Only the Packers have been worse against tight ends in the last five weeks. Gresham is a solid play given his recent uptick in involvement.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @MIA 3322 ***
Miami has given up the 10th most extra point attempts per game but only the 19th highest average for field goal tries. This factors to being the 12th most combined attempts per game since Week 8.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF -----
2 ARI ----- 11 IND -----
3 @BAL ----- 12 @NYJ -----
4 @BUF ----- 13 @MIA -----
5 DEN ----- 14 HOU -----
6 @SEA ----- 15 SF -----
7 NYJ ----- 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL ----- 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 330,3
WR Danny Amendola 6-70,1
TE Martellus Bennett 4-40
TE Rob Gronkowski 6-80,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 3 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriots come off a big opening win and now return home for what should be another year filled with victories for the home town stands. There's only been one game so but several interesting developments hint this could be a year of same great results only they'll get there in a different manner.

Aaron Hernandez (6-59-1) and Rob Gronkowski (6-60-1) start the year as apparent bookends so no change to the team with the most productive tight ends in the history of the NFL. These weapons are not going anywhere and there is no reason to change. But the addition of Brandon Lloyd (5-69) has made a difference in the sense he was the most targeted player with eight passes thrown his way. Wes Welker only caught three of his five throws and ended with a paltry 14 yards. For a guy who has four seasons of 110+ catches, Welker was suddenly just another receiver and not even one who had many looks. He's in his final year of his contract with the Pats and if week one means much, he's truly in his final season there. It is only one game and yes, it seems reasonable to sound an alarm. It just looked different with Lloyd there.

Another change is Stevan Ridley who gashed the Titans for 125 yards and one score on 21 carries and added two receptions for 27 yards. Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead combined for 11 carries but only gained 31 yards. This looked very much like the Ridley show. He'll always carry at least a little risk because of the history of the Pats backfield but he undeniably looks like an answer for them that they need not change. Ridley was effective enough that Tom Brady only passed for 236 yards and two scores.

This week should be fascinating because the Patriots generally rush better at home and Brady has lesser games because they win handily. No defense is going to load up against Ridley with Brady under center. And yet that may actually mean those 5000 yards from 2011 have little chance of repeating. The offseason was a hype machine of the Pats passing and how Brandon Lloyd might become a stud there. So far the reality is that the Pats remain a tight end machine with a really nice rushing attack.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 14 10 30 1 14 7
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 5 8 7 7 21 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE BAL 0000028020 ***
Remove the one rushing touchdown scored against the Ravens since Week 8 and we have the ninth worst matchup for QBs. This one is in New England, but Brady losing both Gronk and the lesser used Danny Amendola in back-to-back games is bound to catch up at some point.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, NE BAL 401000000 ***
The only redeeming quality about this matchup is Baltimore gives up a lot of catches per game, but that's not Blount's thing. It' is the third hardest matchup to exploit in Week 14.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dion Lewis, NE BAL 2004300000 ***
Despite the good matchup for receiving backs, Lewis probably shouldn't be used -- at least not by owners looking for some comfort in their lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE BAL 004300000 ***
The Ravens have given up the fourth most catches to running backs, on average, over the last five weeks. White is a risky play with his touch share in the backfield, but he has some flex appeal in PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE BAL 008801000 ***
No Gronk. No Amendola. Edelman should be asked to shoulder the receiving load and gets a relatively neutral matchup against the Ravens. Start him with confidence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcolm Mitchell, NE BAL 006801000 ***
TB12 has shown trust in the rookie and hasn't been let down a whole lot. Mitchell has a decent enough matchup, as the visiting Ravens rate in the middle of the league in most notable categories against wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, NE BAL 004500000 ***
Baltimore has surrendered a touchdown per game to receivers over the last five weeks, giving up the 33.1 aggregate PPR points in that time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, NE BAL 003300000 ***
Over the last five weeks, tight ends have averaged 4.8 catches for 49 yards against the Ravens. Two of the 24 grabs went for touchdowns. Bennett is a sketchy play.

Update: Bennett was limited Thursday and Friday. He has until Monday night to get right, and his official status will be known Saturday.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE BAL 2233 ***
No team is more evenly negative against kickers. Baltimore ranks 31st in FGAs, XPAs and fantasy points allowed, while also rating 32nd in combined kicking chances over the last five weeks.

WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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