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 Blaine Gabbert 10 200,1
QB Carson Palmer 270,2
RB Adrian Peterson 90,1 2-10
WR Larry Fitzgerald 6-90,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 6-60,1
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP

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 Blaine Gabbert, ARI JAC 10000018002 ***
A week after a career game, Gabbert takes on the second-worst opponent for fantasy quarterbacks. Avoid him in all setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Adrian Peterson, ARI JAC 6011100000 ***
Jacksonville has given up three receiving scores to RBs but only one on the last 68 attempts. Consider this an optimistic projection. Jacksonville is the toughest team for rushing yards allowed per game (48) since Week 6.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI JAC 004400000 ***
As noted last week, Fitz is quarterback-proof. He probably isn't Jaguars-proof, though. None of the last 31 receptions by a wideout found the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR J.J. Nelson, ARI JAC 002300000 ***
Nelson barely touches the ball and hasn't scored in more than a month. The matchup is also stifling.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chad Williams, ARI JAC 002300000 ***
Williams will get his shot, according to his head coach. The Jags have surrendered the fewest fantasy points per game to receivers, including no scores since Week 6.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, ARI JAC 002300000 ***
Gresham has no fantasy utility and a tough matchup. Blaine Gabbert showed an affinity for rookie Ricky Seals-Jones to boot.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, ARI JAC 2211 ***
Jacksonville is easily the worst matchup for kickers. The position has averaged 1.75 possible fantasy points a game. The next closest opponent is at 4.75 possible points. The highest is at 12.4.

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 MIA 0000030030 ***
Brady missed the first meeting last year, and these teams haven't battled yet in 2017. He went for 276-3-0 in the Week 17 trip to Miami last year. The Dolphins have generally been in the middle of the pack against quarterbacks this year, although this has been one of the more abused defenses in the past five weeks. Brady should be Brady.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dion Lewis, NE MIA 6012200000 ***
Miami has given up the third-most rushing yards a game and fifth-most offensive yards to the position. The matchup is slightly better in standard scoring -- four of the five TDs against since Week 6 have been on the ground.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rex Burkhead, NE MIA 3003301000 **
Burkhead is a lotto ticket in just about any fantasy setting. The Dolphins have given up five offensive touchdowns in the last five games, with one coming through the air. He's a fringe play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE MIA 1003200000 **
Miami has permitted more work on the ground. The 4.6 receptions and 37.2 aerial yards against are both 19th, with only one of the catches scoring. This is still the ninth-best opponent for PPR purposes based on the inflation of rushing scores.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NE MIA 005701000 ***
This is a great matchup for Cooks' big-play nature. The Dolphins have given up only the fourth-fewest receptions a week but the highest TD frequency at one per 6.4 catches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, NE MIA 004400000 ***
This isn't the type of matchup Amendola can exploit, on paper, anyway. Miami has surrendered only nine receptions (29th) for 133.4 yards (24th) a game to an entire team worth of wideouts. At least one in 6.4 catches has scored, which is the softest defense in that area.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, NE MIA 00000000 *
Hogan's status remains uncertain. Return later in the week for an update.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE MIA 005601000 ***
Gronk hasn't played Miami since 2015. The Dolphins are a pushover against his position, permitting four TDs in the last five games, and the fifth-most yards a week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE MIA 1144 ***
Kickers have averaged four extra points a game since Week 6. Eight of the 10 field goal kicks have sailed through the posts to help create the No. 9 matchup to exploit.

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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