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 Chris Johnson 40 7-50
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 Carson Palmer, ARI DAL 0000024021 ***
After not giving up a TD to Eli Manning, Dallas was assaulted four times by Trevor Siemian. The Cowboys secondary is an injury-marred mess at the moment. Palmer should throw it a bunch in this contest. Play him without a better option present.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, ARI DAL 600000000 ***
The Cards may give him more work this week. Johnson doesn't see much work in the passing game and isn't an ideal red zone choice. Dallas has allowed just under 100 yards rushing per game and only one TD to RBs on the ground so far.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI DAL 1003300000 ***
Ellington has a good matchup, so there's that going for him, but little else. Too few touches makes him a sketchy fantasy choice.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, ARI DAL 200000000 ***
Williams isn't a trustworthy fantasy choice in any format. Chris Johnson should have a larger role this week, and Dallas isn't a total slouch against the position. Williams shouldn't be counted on without showing more.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI DAL 006701000 ***
Dallas is facing a mess of backend injuries on defense, which bodes well for Fitz to get on track with a big day. Even after blanketing the Giants receivers in Week 1, Dallas still rates as a top-12 opponent to exploit.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR J.J. Nelson, ARI DAL 005601000 ***
In non-PPR, Nelson is the No. 2 scorer through two weeks among wideouts. Dallas will focus more on stopping Fitz, which makes Nelson a viable play in all formats. The Cowboys were decimated by injuries in the secondary last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jaron Brown, ARI DAL 004400000 ***
Brown is a role player who at least has a good matchup against a Dallas secondary that has been brutalized by injuries.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, ARI DAL 2222 ***
Dallas has allowed only two field goal attempts this year. The six XPAs against rank in the top five of the most yielded by any team.

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 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 HOU 0000032030 ***
In his last two meetings with Houston, Brady has not been at his best. He has only four TD passes to two interceptions, averaging 21 fantasy points along the way. This year's Texans rate as fantasy's third harshest matchup, so far. Gronk and Danny Amendola look likely to return in Week 3, as well.

Update: Gronk, Amendola and Chris Hogan are all questionable and technically game-time calls. Brady should be fine even if one of the trio sits. Valuable Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson has been ruled out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mike Gillislee, NE HOU 701000000 ***
Running backs have gone for 205 yards and a TD on 56 carries, adding nine catches for 59 yards and a TD facing Houston during this fledgling season. Gillislee has proven to be a good bet for a score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE HOU 1005400000 ***
White is a PPR factor, especially if Gronk and Danny Amendola are limited. The Texans have surrendered just 59 yards on nine catches, one of which scored, to RBs in two contests.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NE HOU 0071101000 ***
The Texans haven't given up a touchdown to receivers in 2017, albeit against two hapless aerial attacks. Cooks should be ready for a huge fantasy showing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, NE HOU 004601000 ***
Hogan came up lame last week but is expected to play in Week 3. Houston has surrendered 18 catches for 230 yards and no scores to tight ends in 2017 to rate as the fifth worst matchup.

Update: Hogan (knee) is listed as questionable after being limited as late as Friday. Look for him to play, although checking the inactives is advised.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, NE HOU 005500000 **
Amendola practiced Wednesday and looks likely to play in Week 3. He's a high-risk, high-reward type in PPR leagues. Houston hasn't allowed a WR touchdown yet.

Update: Amendola says he is ready to play, so the Pats naturally list him as a limited participant Friday and questionable, which usually translates to being a game-time call. Expect him to dress, but check the inactives to be safe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Phillip Dorsett, NE HOU 002200000 *
Dorsett is probably a game-time decision this week with a sore ankle. Either way, his fantasy value is about zilch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE HOU 005501000 **
Gronk seemed optimistic about playing, but this is the Patriots, so who knows how it will turn out. Check back later in the week.

Update: Limited practice, questionable = game-time decision ... Gronk should play but may be on a snap count.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE HOU 0055 ***
Only Minnesota has allowed more field goal tries through two weeks. Gostkowski is a lineup lock as far as kickers go.

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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