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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: NYJ 13, PIT 23 (Line: PIT by 6)

Players to watch: Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley

Players Updated: Jeremy Kerley, Dustin Keller, Jonathan Dwyer, Stephen Hill, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace

We need this week. Right now, there is no way of knowing who the Jets really are. After a preseason where they could not score a touchdown against players who are currently mowing your lawn, The Jets laid a smackdown on the Bills with the highest score in the league. That is the sort of turnaround that makes you dizzy. The Steelers come off a loss to the PMannings in Denver and need a home game this week to collect their thoughts and get back on track. It all seems like week one where the Jets faced a bad team and the Steelers went against a good one.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 48-28 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
NYJ @ PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 30 280,1
RB Chris Johnson 40 7-50
RB Bilal Powell 10 2-10
WR Eric Decker 7-70
WR T.J. Graham 2-20
WR Percy Harvin 20 6-80,1
WR Jeremy Kerley 2-20
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: It helps to know the Bills intimately from being division mates and playing at home. Apparently a lot. Mark Sanchez went from being the Clown Prince to throwing for 266 yards and three scores on the Bills. Chances are the New York newspapers were late on Monday morning because it took so long to digest what happened and completely change gears about the Jets for one week at least.

Sanchez had success with Santonio Holmes (4-68) but did his damage with their 2,11 draft pick Stephen Hill (5-89, 2 TD) and second year player Jeremy Kerley (4-45, TD). Hill in particular is one to watch since the 6-4, 215 lb player may be the next Plaxico Burress only faster and with fewer firearms. It was only one game and against a familiar foe, but Hill was impressive and showed chemistry with Sanchez. Hill needs to be on fantasy rosters if only to stash and see.

The game went so well that Shonn Greene gained 94 yards and scored a touchdown. He only averaged 3.5 yards per carry but that's like 6.0 to an average NFL back. Even though it was a blowout, the Jets stuck with Greene instead burning up the clock with Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight. Tim Tebow came in on a few wildcat plays but only gained 11 yards on five carries and with that made Mark Sanchez very, very happy. It also meant that there were probably a hundred people in the stands with Tebow signs who just felt silly carrying them back out to their car.

One caveat to this game. Santonio Holmes faces his old team in their stadium and would love to show up for the hometown crowd. Particularly if anyone still has his old jersey. The Steelers may scheme expressly to take him away, but this will be a big motivation kind of game for Holmes. It will be his second trip back. He had 40 yards on six catches back in week 15 of 2010.

It was a great win but now the Jets hit the road to face the Steelers defense, in Pittsburgh, coming off a loss. That means rushing yardage will be low and passing success will be a major challenge. Peyton Manning at home in an offense that had no game film only passed for 253 yards and two scores. We've seen Mark Sanchez. We've followed Mark Sanchez. You, Mr. Sanchez, are no Peyton Manning.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 5 18 4 24 8 1
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 20 10 23 24 7 28

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ @NE 20000019011 ***
It's actually a sneaky favorable matchup against a Patriots defense that's allowed multiple TD tosses in three straight games. But it'll take a rushing score for Smith to be a real fantasy factor, and the Pats haven't allowed one yet this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @NE 4002100000 ****
Ivory may be the lead dog but he's still sharing at least some of the workload. And against a Patriots defense that's giving up 65 rushing yards per game at home, even a share won't be enough to move the fantasy needle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @NE 3001100000 ***
CJicK is seeing his touches and production dwindle, to the point he probably doesn't even warrant a fantasy roster spot at this juncture.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @NE 003401000 **
Kerley isn't doing much with the second-tier looks he's getting in the Jets' passing game. If you're banking on fantasy help here you're playing the "not covered by Darrelle Revis" card. There are better cards in the deck.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @NE 004500000 ****
We're sayin' there's a chance, as the Patriots have allowed four WR TDs in the past two games. That said, if Decker winds up on the business end of Darrelle Revis... well, that's not going to end well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ @NE 00000000 **
With Harvin you're hoping the Seahawks find enough ways to get him the ball that he busts a big play. Against a Rams' defense that's allowed seven WR TDs in just the past three games, there's a good shot Percy does just that.
Update: Harvin has been traded to the Jets, who have already played this week. So any pipe dreams of Harvin playing a full 16 games this year... poof.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ @NE 005500000 ****
Over the past three games the Pats have surrendered 8-93-1 to Travis Kelce and 6-105 to Scott Chandler. With Amaro's targets--and productivity--on the dramatic rise, you have to like his chances for a fantasy helper here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @NE 1111 ****
Aside from the week the Jets were shut out, Folk has consistently produced mediocre numbers. You're okay with him, but you can probably do better elsewhere.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC -----
2 NYJ ----- 11 BAL -----
3 @OAK ----- 12 @CLE -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL -----
5 PHI ----- 14 SD -----
6 @TEN ----- 15 @DAL -----
7 @CIN ----- 16 CIN -----
8 WAS ----- 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 10 270,1
WR Antonio Brown 5-70
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 5-60,1
WR Lance Moore 5-70
TE Heath Miller 4-40
PK Shaun Suisham 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Close loss to the Broncos in a game that was lost when Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception with 1:58 left that was returned for a 43-yard touchdown. That and allowing that Demaryius Thomas guy to yet again score a 70+ yard touchdown.

Big Ben threw for 245 yards and two scores with only the one interception but was sacked five times. He only completed 22 of 40 passes but was able to spread the ball around to his receivers. Antonio Brown (4-74) and Emmanuel Sanders (4-55) both led the team with eight targets while Mike Wallace was kept to shorter routes and still scored once on his 37 yards on four receptions. Even Heath Miller scored once on his four catches for 50 yards. It was not a huge passing effort but it was almost enough.

What was a disappointment was the rushing effort that saw Isaac Redman only gain 20 yards on his 11 carries, Jonathan Dwyer a bit better with nine runs for 43 yards and even Chris Rainey came in for two carries. All combined there was mediocre results and split up there was no fantasy value. No reason to expect anything different even when Rashard Mendenhall returns. The new passing scheme is still a work in progress but Big Ben is getting it down.

What is a positive is that the Jets just gave up a league worst 169 rushing yards to C.J. Spiller last week so expect at least some improvement in the rushing stats. Splitting up the carries won't make any one player a less than risky start though. There is also a chance that Darrell Revis is out with a concussion which would be a huge benefit for Antonio Brown. But the Steelers have enough receivers to get the job done regardless of one cornerback.

The Steelers need this win. They should play more up to their potential while the Jets return to earth.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 15 28 15 14 18 21
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 17 27 19 20 5 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT HOU 0000028022 ***
The last four quarterbacks to face Houston have thrown multiple touchdown passes; the last two have both topped 300 yards. Big Ben has thrown for 314 and 365 in two home games, no reason to think he can't put on a show on Monday night.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT HOU 9005400000 ****
Bell has triple-digit yards from scrimmage in every game this season and is a must-start regardless of opponent. Doesn't hurt that Houston has allowed 100-plus combo yards to opposing backs in four straight games, an average of 164 yards per game in that span.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeGarrette Blount, PIT HOU 300000000 ***
There might be enough table scraps for Blount to fall into some fantasy value on Monday night, but hopefully you have a more reliable option at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Antonio Brown, PIT HOU 008901000 ****
Opposing WR1s have scored in five straight against Houston. Brown has a streak of like a gazillion games in a row with at least five catches, as well as three 100-yard games and five TDs on the season. He's also lights out at home, with 5-116-1 and 7-131-2 to his credit. Plenty to like here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Markus Wheaton, PIT HOU 004600000 ***
The Texans have allowed multiple wideouts to score in two of their last three, but it's been a while since Wheaton was a fantasy factor--plus, Lance Moore swiped a secondary receiver touchdown last week. He's not unstartable, but there isn't much pointing towards cause for optimism.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Heath Miller, PIT HOU 003200000 ****
The Texans aren't a particularly favorable TE matchup, and Miller isn't a particularly effective fantasy tight end. Odds are you have a more enticing option at your disposal.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shaun Suisham, PIT HOU 3322 ***
After a fast start Suisham has been nothing special the last few weeks. If you're cool with solid, he's the kicker for you this week.

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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