Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @Dorey_TheHuddle

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

* 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
  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..

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 26 26 16 21 17 15
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 14 12 13 14 15 3

QB Carson Palmer, ARI LA 0000028020 ***
The matchup isn't ideal a week after throwing four picks, but Palmer should have a puncher's chance at a big enough day to help win some fantasy games. The Rams rank 15th in terms of ease of matchup. Last year, Palmer threw for 356, yards, one TD and an INT in the first meeting and 352-2-0 in the second contest with the Rams.
RB David Johnson, ARI LA 8014500000 ***
Never bench elite players, especially when they have a plus matchup like this one. LA is the ninth softest fantasy defense of running backs, giving up copious points on the ground and through the air. Johnson scored twice in two games vs. the then-St. Louis Rams in 2015, both of which came via the air.
RB Chris Johnson, ARI LA 300000000 ***
Johnson's only role in fantasy leagues should be keeping your bench warm.
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI LA 006901000 ***
Fitz is a must-play, of course, but the expectations need to be reduced. He goes up against the 15th toughest matchup, which isn't such a big deal until further inspection. This is a bend-but-don't-break defense against WRs, having allowed 49 catches for 574 yards and only one touchdown. No team has given up a stricter reception-to-touchdown ratio.
WR Michael Floyd, ARI LA 004601000 ***
Floyd caught a 12-163-0 line in two contests versus the 2015 Rams. This year's incarnation has authorized only one touchdown to the enemy's receiver position. This one is probably a toss-up for fantasy gamers. Floyd is a better non-PPR play.
WR John Brown, ARI LA 004500000 ***
Brown showed signs of life in Week 3 as the Cardinals attempted to come back from a big deficit. That doesn't figure to be the case against LA, so keep him stashed in reserve.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI LA 2233 ***
Despite the offensive capabilities of the Cards, Catanzaro has just four field goal attempts and nine XPAs. LA has allowed only two field goal attempts and seven point after tries ... that's just nine total fantasy points in three weeks.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
  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.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 14 10 30 1 14 7
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 5 8 7 7 21 15

QB Jacoby Brissett, NE BUF 30000016000 ***
The Patriots are preparing Brissett for his second straight start after he injured ligaments in his throwing hand. It is hard to imagine he plays, and media reports say the Patriots are also working on getting Jimmy Garoppolo back on the field. If not, they are actually comfortable with Julian Edelman at quarterback. Anyway, avoid whoever starts at quarterback.

Update: Brissett is questionable as a limited practice participant. Jimmy Garoppolo is, too. Translation: Good luck guessing how this plays out. Smart money says it will be Brissett.
RB LeGarrette Blount, NE BUF 1202000000 ****
Maybe with the exception of kicker Stephen Gostkowski, Blount is probably the only playable Patriot this week. The QB situation is untenable and will have a ripple effect. Blount is on a roll and gets the 11th easiest matchup for RBs.
RB James White, NE BUF 2002100000 **
Buffalo has done a good job limiting pass-catching backs, holding them to only 80 yards on 13 grabs. White's best utility is when the Pats are playing catchup, and it is doubtful that will happen in this one. Sit him.
WR Julian Edelman, NE BUF 004300000 ***
His upside is greatly lowered if Jacoby Brissett is the starter. Edelman is an acceptable PPR option against Buffalo's league-worst defense of PPR powerhouses, having given up 53 catches in three games (most in NFL).
WR Danny Amendola, NE BUF 003200000 ***
Amendola is a fringe option for rosters and belongs in precisely no fantasy lineups, even against the worst defense of PPR wideouts.
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE BUF 004500000 *
Total guesswork as to whether he plays meaningful reps, but the guess is likely so ... either way, the matchup is brutal. Buffalo ranks as the strongest unit against the position, having allowed only seven catches through three games. Those numbers are somewhat skewed because of matchups with Arizona and the Jets.

Update: Gronkowski is once again listed as a limited practice participant and is questionable for Week 4. He should play, but it may be another limited outing.
TE Martellus Bennett, NE BUF 002200000 ***
The quarterback situation matters greatly for this one ... and so does Gronk's health. If he is again limited, Bennett is a reasonable fantasy gamble. Knowing that, coming out of NE, is a shot in the dark, and that is against the best defense of TEs in the NFL.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE BUF 3322 ***
The Bills rank in the middle of the league against kickers -- something that usually comes with game flow. Gostkowski is arguably New England's best weapon given its quarterback woes.

* 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)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t