Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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* 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
  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
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Bilal Powell 10 2-10
WR Andre Roberts 5-70,1

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.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 5 18 4 24 8 1
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 20 10 23 24 7 28

RB Bilal Powell, NYJ LAC 601000000 ***
Powell's value has plummeted without an involvement in the passing game. He hasn't recorded a reception in two games and has just four since Week 8. Unless he finds the end zone for his third time in four games, ignore him without a clearer path to points.

Update: Powell should see more work with Matt Forte and Elijah McGuire failing to combine for even one practice this week. Both are gametime decisions.
RB Isaiah Crowell, NYJ LAC 5001100000 ***
Crowell was limited Wednesday with a shoulder issue. There really isn't much to like about this matchup. The Bears have given up zero rushing TDs in the past five games, spanning 106 carries (30th). The 94.2 rushing yards allowed is 16th, which is as close to it gets for being positive on the ground.
RB Elijah McGuire, NYJ LAC 3002200000 ***
McGuire may see a few handles but isn't a fantasy factor, regardless of the matchup. This one happens to be on the negative side.

Update: McGuire is questionable and did not practice all week.
WR Jermaine Kearse, NYJ LAC 004301000 ***
There is no reason to chance it with Kearse vs. the toughest matchup of the week. LA has given up only one WR touchdown in the past five games, and this is a bottom-four matchup for receptions and yardage.
WR Robby Anderson, NYJ LAC 005500000 ***
The glory days with Josh McCown are a thing of the past, and Anderson faces the toughest matchup in both scoring systems for the week. LA has allowed a single touchdown by receivers over the past 42 receptions.

Update: Anderson was limited Wednesday but fully practiced the following two days. He is not on the report.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
  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
RB Stevan Ridley 100,1 3-20
WR Antonio Brown 5-70
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 5-60,1

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.

Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 15 28 15 14 18 21
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 17 27 19 20 5 6

QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @HOU 0000031031 ***
No Antonio Brown limits things a little for Big Ben. The matchup is awfully promising, and he has talented playmakers in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant, in addition to the always dangerous Le'Veon Bell from the backfield. Houston has provided quarterbacks a touchdown every 12.3 completions (12th) and surrendered a big day to Blake Bortles a week ago.
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT @HOU 6015500000 ***
Bell should see the rock aplenty with Antonio Brown out of action. The dual threat will face a Texans defense giving up big gains on the ground but modest numbers in the passing game to RBs. Since Week 10, this group has allowed 110.4 rushing yards, 34.4 receiving yards, and a rushing score every 17.7 carries (4th).
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT @HOU 0071202000 ***
The rookie gets to take off the training wheels, if that didn't already happen last year. The Texans have provided wideouts big performances while limiting overall team figures, mostly due to cake matchups. The likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Marquise Goodwin, Keelan Cole and Jaydon Mickens throttled this secondary in the past five weeks.
TE Jesse James, PIT @HOU 003300000 ***
We won't even rehash the catch controversy from Week 15. James will see a few more looks with Antonio Brown out, but there shouldn't a great deal of confidence in starting him. Houston provides a wonderful matchup, so brave owners may be able to stomach the risk.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chris Boswell, PIT @HOU 1144 ***
On a per-game rate, the Texans offer the top matchup for extra points and the No. 10 matchup for field goal tries. Together this forms fantasy's seventh-best matchup.

* 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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